Saturday, August 29, 2009

Opinion: What Should Colleges Teach?

What Should Colleges Teach? Part 1 by Stanley Fish, NYTimes, 08/24/09

A few years ago, when I was grading papers for a graduate literature course, I became alarmed at the inability of my students to write a clean English sentence. They could manage for about six words and then, almost invariably, the syntax (and everything else) fell apart. I became even more alarmed when I remembered that these same students were instructors in the college’s composition program. What, I wondered, could possibly be going on in their courses?

What Should Colleges Teach? Part 2 by Stanley Fish, NYTimes, 08/31/09

If the effect of instruction is to make students fear that they are walking through a minefield of error and that at any moment they are going to step on something that will wound them, the odds of their learning anything are small . . .

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