(Coursework from ENG230: this short response, in which I needed to respond to anything concrete within the chapter, was assigned to be only one page; as with any future postings of my coursework, I will eventually revisit these assignments and likely expand on them as I re-engage with the material. In the meantime, I am posting the core assignment for archival purposes.)
Reading this chapter was like a blast-from-the-past. Mainly because it re-acquainted me with the baby steps that I had once learned but forgotten about in the intervenes years. More than serving as a reminder, however, the chapter firmly imprinted on me the plethora of options to use when teaching writing and revision.
Somewhere along the line, I abstracted reading and writing from its foundation. Instead of realizing that good writing was more than simply insisting on using correct punctuation and citation, I seemed to fall into believing that the teaching of writing could be served on an individual basis; for example, that I could teach an overview and them go through student papers and simply annotate where the student went wrong. As absurd as it may sound, the thought of incorporating flexible schemata and techniques related to the specifics of that schemata, never occurred to me.
Gilmore’s thoroughness throughout the chapter in explicating why this technique or that technique is limiting served as an inspiration to my own conception in explaining writing and revision. Gilmore’s strength, though, was in his ability to offer alternatives about why such and such was a weakness and why he offered an alternative was a better route. In relation to my own ingrained understanding of writing, Gilmore’s portfolio was a rich tapestry of rationale for the correct practice.
Practice is the key word—whereas Gilmore demonstrated action I only knew reaction. Hence, my inability to concretely imagine pedagogical techniques outside of a small toolbox. If Gilmore’s lengthy chapter does anything, it is to insist that the reader gives up reaction in favor of direct action. To do so, of course, requires engagement with students on their own level.