Basic Writing in America, published three decades after Mina Shaughnessy's ""Errors and Expectations"", presents the kind of educational stories envisioned by The City University of New York's Patricia Laurence. Each of these stories has its own unique setting, conflict and outcome. Yet together they give a powerful and dramatic portrait of basic writing in four-year colleges and universities across the country. In the Introduction the editors argue that basic writing programs involved a new concept of writing remediation. Receiving impetus from the American civil rights movement, these programs defined postsecondary education, not in terms of an investment for society, but as an individual right. Indeed, a major purpose of basic writing was to facilitate the integration of underrepresented groups into America's colleges and universities. The chapters describe the often hostile responses to basic writing and its students; the low status of basic writing programs within English departments and universities; clashes within the basic writing field itself; pedagogical developments in composition as applied to basic writing, and the professionalization of basic writing faculty. They also show, as years pass, the raising of college admission standards, the elimination or downsizing of basic writing programs, and the channeling of less qualified students to two-year colleges. But in a number of institutions there are also innovations and successes, including the emergence of a new type of basic writing program - one that is more integrated with the college or university and that offers learning support to a wider range of students.
Publisher: Hampton Press
Number of pages: 288
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