1st Edition

Mainstreaming Basic Writers Politics and Pedagogies of Access

Edited By Gerri McNenny, Sallyanne H. Fitzgerald Copyright 2001
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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.


    Gerri McNenny, Sallyanne H. Fitzgerald

    "...the book provides compositionists attempting to better understand what mainstreaming basic writing might mean with a useful introduction to such matters."

    Composition Studies

    "This is the right time for this book. Mainstreaming Basic Writers: Politics and Pedagogies of Access presents the issues that policymakers must confront when decisions need to be made about access and instruction. The strength of this book lies in its openness and willingness to present a wide range of perspectives from knowledgeable professionals in the field who are grappling with the question of how to best provide opportunities for those students who are increasingly being discriminated against by forces within the larger society who neither understand nor sympathize with the difficult personal and educational backgrounds that have made these students so vulnerable at this time. Believing that knowledge leads to strength, the editor and contributors of this book offer composition professionals a range of options that they can use to help shape policy at their individual institutions. Our students deserve this attention."

    Marilyn S. Sternglass
    Professor Emeritus of English, City College of the City University of New York,

    "Addresses an important and timely issue....The greatest strength of this book is that it addresses theoretical and sociopolitical issues in composition instruction in combination with more pragmatic factors in program implementation and evaluation....Fills a gap in the current literature."
    Linda Harklau
    University of Georgia