References Discussing the Benefits of Mainstreaming
Rodby, Judith and Tom Fox. “Basic Work and Material Acts: The Ironies, Discrepancies, and Disjunctures of Basic Writing and Mainstreaming.” Journal of Basic Writing 19.1 Spring 2000): 83-99.
This article demonstrate how the use of basic writing courses proved, over time, to be a detriment to student progress. These authors outline the ways in which Basic writing only produced apathy, disdain, and, essentially, writing that was exactly basic in nature. When the program ended, it was as if the ideological shift ceased to create basic writers. As a result, key principles of writing instruction began to emerge. Their research points to the fact that X does not lead to Y (students need to participate in the particular writing practice by engaging in the particular writing practice). Gradations of difficulty for different writing tasks are unhelpful, and certainly misrepresent the tasks of writing. Language acquisition is very different from the development of writing skills. They advocate small group workshop instruction in order for students to discuss, probe, test, and try out how the act of writing in FYC is accomplished on an individual, everyday basis.
Soliday, Mary. “From the Margins to the Mainstream: Reconceiving Remediation.” College Composition and Communication 47.1 (February 1996): 85-100.
This author began a three-year study in which she did away with entrance tests and assigned all students into a two-semester plan in which they earned appropriate college credit. She introduced a challenge to curriculum development while also negotiating the political conflicts that change evokes. Mainstreamed basis writing students are better able to control the academic forms because they are often more willing to grapple with complexity rather then just follow discrete forms. The inability to fully explain these complex thoughts stems from their sense of needing to follow the academic discourses at hand, but this can change. Soon the students will write with and against codes (their own and the academic discourse), and the students will also write for and from each one of those codes, a truly complex endeavor. A curriculum which emphasizes “linguistic self-consciousness, the study of language and culture, and social interactions with readers” tends to offer support to those students who bring diverse levels of preparation and backgrounds.
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