The Future of Thinking: Rhetoric and Liberal Arts Teaching by Jeff Mason, Peter Washington

By Jeff Mason, Peter Washington

Studying to imagine is a fancy task made of examining, writing, listening, talking and remembering textual fabrics. The way forward for Thinking adapts rhetorical routines akin to paraphrase, summary, precis and transcription to provide scholars a flexible diversity of concepts for making feel of texts, and encourages the speedy improvement of functional, severe talents in a variety of humanities scholars. during this procedure brief, written and spoken routines are given as a lot weight because the formal essay and the emphasis is often at the knowing and research, instead of the regurgitation of information.

The authors were effectively utilizing this technique of training for it slow, and the publication contains examples of workouts they've got used, with the implications and suggestions from their students.

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But as we know to our cost, this is not the case if we approach criticism only through analysis. On the contrary, such an approach actually estranges the student from his or her own writing by making it seem either pitifully inadequate, or too difficult to embark upon. The practical involvement of students is therefore essential, and this is one good way to achieve it. The lowlier one’s beginnings in any craft, the easier is the way in. No silversmith starts by making a Cellini vase. Why should undergraduates be expected to understand difficult works in history, literature and philosophy before they have become competent in the practice of these disciplines?

There is no short route to improvement. PROBLEMS WITH THE USUAL APPROACH What practical difference does our approach make to the way in which literary studies are taught? As an example, let us suppose that we are running a course in twentiethcentury fiction. Among the texts are some experimental novels: perhaps by 30 THE FUTURE OF THINKING Calvino, Llosa, O’Brien or Kundera. Normal practice is for students to read the novels; to attend seminars and/or lectures; and then to be given reading lists and essay questions.

We are less likely to over-privilege writing if we consider it with the other aspects of thinking. Writing essays or anything else is just part of a more complex learning process which incorporates and interpolates the results of reading and conversation. Nevertheless, the continued priority of writing in the educational system behoves us to take a careful look at the practice of writing. This we now proceed to do. Chapter 3 Rhetoric and composition There is far more of a positive element in art, that is to say, something which can be taught and handed on from one generation to the next, than is usually believed.

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