A one sentence summery of the 5 pedagogical theories we have studied so far…
- Expressive Pedagogy is a writer-centered approach that focuses on helping students finding their authentic voice as a writer through using freewriting, journaling, and peer response.
- Process Pedagogy resist formulaic, generalized approaches to writing in order to focus on the process of writing over written product, while encouraging writers to figure of “how” they individually write.
- Rhetorical Pedagogy sees rhetoric as the central component of the composition classroom; although it has evolved to not only teach the classic rhetoricians, but also address the context of rhetorics and identify and problematize the latent ideologies that are encoded in rhetoric.
- Critical Pedagogy uses the classroom as a place for developing individuals that can collectively participate in the democratic process and further the ideals of justice, freedom, and liberty though collectively re-envisioning society and becoming empowered as agents of change.
- Cultural Studies Pedagogy integrates selected elements of multiple other writing pedagogies, yet it differs from these pedagogies to the extent that it is focused on deconstructing the high/low cultural divide, as well as overcoming the separation between the work of the academy and the outside community.
A little compare and contrast to situate these pedagogical practices relationships to each other…
· While Expressive Pedagogy and Process Pedagogy share a writer-based, personal approach, they differ to the extent that Expressive Pedagogy is more interested in helping students develop their voices as writers and write for themselves, while Process Pedagogy is primarily interested in helping students learn a method in which they can personalize their writing process to their own needs. (Because of their similarities, but slightly different central focus, many theorist, such as Elbow, are adopted by practitioners of both Process and Expressive Pedagogies.)
· While many of the theories outlined (especially Cultural Studies) see the classroom as a space that can be adopted to empower composition for social, political, environmental, or other types of agencies, Critical Pedagogy is the most focused on using the composition classroom to address these issues in order to develop individuals that can collectively participate in the democratic process through active citizenship (and, no, this doesn’t just mean voting…it encompasses more avenues of agency).
· Perhaps Expressive Pedagogy and Process Pedagogy can be seen as having a generally different primary focus, more grounded in the voice and method of composition, than Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogies, which seem to deal primarily with how the composition classroom can function to promote agency and engaged citizenship for social change. While notably, for example, Expressive Pedagogy posits that the ultimate purpose of expressivism is to create individual agents of social change, this goal seems to be addressed secondary to actually classroom practice. Also, practitioners of Cultural Studies and Expressive Pedagogies (or Berlin read under Rhetorical Pedagogy) may disagree with the idea that the individual should be the focus of social change, and instead focus on collective actions.
· Rhetorical Pedagogy seems, on the surface, the most “traditional” of the pedagogies explored so far, and with a focus the history of rhetoric and its contextualization, this theory seems to be more further distanced from the students-centered goals of Process and Expressive. However, recent shifts in the field of Rhetorical Pedagogy, which focuses on multi-cultural contexts and identifying ideology, may begin to bridge this gap.
· Clearly some practitioners of Rhetorical Pedagogy, such as Berlin, expand beyond the teaching of classical rhetoric and integrate elements of Cultural Studies (challenging ideology and hegemony) and Critical Pedagogy (promoting collective agency) into their method.
· This leads me to the last point…although it is good to have a clear, concise definition of pedagogies, few of the theorist or practitioners we read would exclusively define their teaching method in terms of one pedagogy. Therefore, we see how the interconnection of these pedagogies is possible and beneficial in articulating a well-rounded classroom practice.