Monday, March 28, 2016

3/28: Yancey and Lauer

Yancey’s “Theory, Practice, and the Bridge Between”

In this article, Yancey discusses reflective transfer. She begins by asking some important questions: “How have I taught? How do I understand my own teaching? What have my students learned?” Yancey points out that because we work with human beings—students are not lab rats—it’s not that simple to “know” that they have learned or how well your teaching methods work. She argues that this sort of “knowing” is “too singular, too reductive, ultimately too inhuman”. But we do need to know what works, and so Yancey suggests reflection as a means of identifying causes of desired effects.

There are four steps to reflective transfer.

1.       Observe and examine your own practice.

2.       Make hypotheses about successes and failures and the reasons behind them.

3.       Shape the next iteration of similar experience based on your learning.

4.       Begin the cycle again.

Yancey notes that reflection is collaborative. The teacher plans and delivers the curriculum, and the students experience it. The points of intersection among delivered and experienced is where learning and teaching occur.

“good teachers are always students: learning about their own learning processes, about their teaching, about curricula, about students.”

Yancey goes on to discuss her experience with reflection in her own class. One of the reflective aspects that she mentions is providing a list of questions for her students at the end of the term. Some of the questions: “Describe the student who came through the door in January”, “Describe the teacher who will be leaving in May”, “What has this person learned about theory?”.

The article concludes with the idea that when reflection works, it raises more questions than it answers. But that is a good thing: reflection and learning should be a continuous endeavor.


Lauer’s “Historical Review: Issues in Rhetorical Invention”

                Notes on Part One: Theoretical Issues

-Invention has been positioned differently in rhetorical history.

-3 issues: differences over what constitutes invention, its purpose, and its underlying epistemology


Greek views:

-3 dominant Greek conceptions of invention

-Interpretations of Sophists, Plato, and Aristotle

-Differences exist over which inventional acts and arts are included

- Disagree over purposes of invention:

                -Initiating discourse with questions, issues, contradictions

                -Creating knowledge

                -Reaching probable judgment

                -Finding arguments to support existing theses

                -Communicating truths

                -Supporting persuasive propositions


Roman Views


-Differed from the Greeks and among themselves and their interpreters

-Invention was largely viewed as finding support for judgments and material for sections of the text

Cicero’s conceptions of invention would prevail through hundreds of years and influenced theory and practice through the Renaissance and still characterize pedagogies and textbooks today


Invention in Second Sophistic, Medieval, and Renaissance Rhetoric


-Invention narrowed to function and rarely served an epistemic purpose in the Second Sophistic period

-Classical status and topics were transfigured for new generic purposes

-Epistemic function of rhetorical invention practically disappeared, giving way to theology and the scientific method

-Renaissance: version of classical invention was adapted for vernacular culture

-Bacon: rhetorical invention dealt only with retrieving the known, while science created new knowledge


18th -19th Century Invention


-Scottish and British rhetoricians considered logic the home of invention. Rhetoric was assigned to communication

- Invention was compartmentalized into faculties of understanding, imagination, emotion, and will

-19th century: rhetoric was replaced with composition, which was devoted to practice and criticism.

-women rhetorical theorists brought new interests to composition

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