Not a Spectator Sport

“Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just by sitting in class listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.”

~~ Arthur W. Checkering and Zelda F. Gamson (1987)

On Slow Reading . . .

Slow Reading in an Hurried Age“As you develop your skills at slow reading, you will want to stop at as many signposts as you can, to carefully absorb the details of your book.

Going at a deliberate pace, you will be ready to consider the book’s central images, the knots that tie together the various strands that run through its pages.

The web woven by such threads cn be a nightmarish one.”

David Mikics, Slow Reading in an Hurried Age (102) 

Writers on Writing (1)

Several Short Sentences“In your head, you’ll probably find two models for writing.

One is the familiar model taught in high school and college–a matter of outlines and drafts and transitions and topic sentences and argument.

The other model is its antitheses–the way poets and novelists are often thought to write. Words used to describe this second model include ‘genius,’ ‘inspiration,’ ‘flow,’ and ‘natural,’ sometimes even ‘organic.’

Both models are useless. I should qualify that sentence. Both models are completely useless.” (7-8)

Making Meaning: The Power You Bring


“All human beings share and apply the competence to make meaning through symbolic representation, including language. It isn’t a competence that ‘bright’ people have but not ‘slow’ ones; or that the educated possess but not the uneducated; of that ‘older, more experienced’ people have but not younger ones. It isn’t a gift that teachers bestow on students. Rather, it is a power that students bring with them to the classrooms, hoping they might learn to use it more effectively for their own purposes.”

~~ C. H. Knoblauch and Lil Brannon, Rhetorical Traditions and the Teaching of Writing, 1985