Focused on scholarship in rhetoric and composition over the past quarter-century, Concepts in Composition: Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Writing is designed to foster reflection on how theory impacts practice, enabling prospective teachers to develop their own comprehensive and coherent conception of what writing is or should be and to consider how people learn to write. This approach allows readers to assume the dual role of both teacher and student as they enter the conversation of the discipline and become familiar with some of the critical issues.
Each chapter addresses a particular theoretical concept relevant to classroom teaching and includes activities to help readers establish the connection between theoretical concepts and classroom lessons. A major premise is that only when prospective writing teachers understand this relationship will they be able to teach effectively. The chapters, designed to facilitate this understanding, include:
*an overview of a significant concept in composition that has generated scholarly attention, and in some instances, critical controversy over the past 25 years;
*writing assignments and discussion prompts to foster further exploration of the concept;
*bibliographies for further research; and
*suggestions for classroom activities to apply the concept in a pedagogical context.
The text is enriched by seven chapters authored by invited scholars with expertise in particular concepts of composition. Two appendixes—"Developing Effective Writing Assignments" and "Developing a Syllabus" enhance the pedagogical usefulness of the text.
Irene L. Clark is Professor of English, Director of Composition, and Director of the Master’s Option in Rhetoric and Composition at California State University, Northridge. She previously taught at the University of Southern California (USC), where she also co-directed the university’s Writing Program and directed its Writing Center. She has won multiple awards from the National Writing Centers Association, and has authored several textbooks. She holds a B.A. in Music from Hunter College, an M.A. in English from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in English Literature from USC.