Revolution Lullabye

February 16, 2008

Welch, Kathleen E. “Ideology and Freshman Textbook Production: The Place of Theory in Writing Pedagogy.”

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Welch, Kathleen E. “Ideology and Freshman Textbook Production: The Place of Theory in Writing Pedagogy.” CCC 38.3 (Oct 1987): 269-282. 

Welch argues both that freshman composition textbooks do not reflect current research and theories in the field of composition and that instead, the theories that drive most freshman composition textbooks are based in Cicero’s five classical canons and Alexander Bain’s modes of discourse. Welch argues that the antiquated theories presented in the textbooks are written for instructors more so than students; textbooks both train new teachers and reinforce the current-traditionalist beliefs of veteran teachers. Welch advocates a pedagogy that favors written student texts over a textbook. By using student texts, an instructor can more effectively teach the importance of the context of whole discourses, which is difficult to do with the short excerpts used in textbooks.

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