Mainstreaming Basic Writers: Politics and Pedagogies of Access

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At a time when various political and administrative bodies are calling for the dissolution of basic writing instruction on four-year college campuses, the need for information concerning the options available to university decision makers has become more and more pressing. A wide range of professional judgments surrounding this situation exits.

Mainstreaming Basic Writers: Politics and Pedagogies of Access presents a range of positions taken in response to these recent challenges and offers alternative configurations for writing instruction that attempt to do justice to both students' needs and administrative constraints. Chapter authors include, for the most part, professionals entrusted with the role of advocating for a student population often described as "underprepared," "in need of remediation," and "at risk." Throughout the volume, contributors discuss current institutional developments and describe curricular designs that instructors searching for innovative ways to meet the needs of their heterogenous student populations will find helpful as models of college writing program curricula and administration.

This book's focus is to give a fair representation of some of the more noted perspectives from nationally recognized scholars and administrators working in the field of basic writing. This presentation of key positions on the issue of mainstreaming basic writers at the college level is an important resource for all writing program administrators, composition and rhetoric students and scholars, and university decision makers from provosts to deans to department chairs.

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Editorial Reviews

Currently, various political and administrative bodies are calling for the dissolution of basic writing instruction on four-year college campuses. In this volume, 12 contributions from writing instructors explore the controversy surrounding the "mainstreaming" of basic writers into more advanced classes. A sampling of topics includes the importance of placement and basic studies, the tracking of African American students, mainstreaming for ESL students, and the needs of at-risk students. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805835748
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/1/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Table of Contents

Contents: M.S. Sternglass, Foreword. Preface. G. McNenny, Writing Instruction and the Post-Remedial University: Setting the Scene for the Mainstreaming Debate in Basic Writing. Part I:The Controversy Surrounding Mainstreaming: Theory, Politics, and Practice. E.M. White, Revisiting the Importance of Placement and Basic Studies: Evidence of Success. I. Shor, Errors and Economics: Inequality Breeds Remediation. M. Soliday, Ideologies of Access and the Politics of Agency. T.G. Collins, K. Lynch, Mainstreaming? Eddy, Rivulet, Backwater, Site Specificity. E. Agnew, M. McLaughlin, Those Crazy Gates and How They Swing: Tracking the System That Tracks African-American Students. M. Singer, Moving the Margins. Part II:Alternative Configurations for Basic Writing. B. Gleason, Returning Adults to the Mainstream: Toward a Curriculum for Diverse Student Writers. R. Winslow, M. Mische, Rethinking At-Risk Students' Knowledge and Needs: Heroes' Decisions and Students' Quests for Identity and Meaning in a Content Composition Course. M. Wiley, Mainstreaming and Other Experiments in a Learning Community. T. Smoke, Mainstreaming Writing: What Does This Mean for ESL Students? S.H. Fitzgerald, The Context Determines Our Choice: Curriculum, Students, and Faculty.

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