I’m super excited and looking forward to delving into this week’s readings in class, as I remember studying authors like Peter Elbow and Donald Murray during my previous undergraduate English courses.
Writing Without Teachers is a book by Peter Elbow that challenges conventional approaches to writing and encourages a more liberating and creative approach to the writing process. In this book, Elbow argues against the traditional view of writing as a linear, structured, and heavily edited process, instead, he advocates for a more freeform and exploratory approach. He introduces the concept of “freewriting,” a practice in which writers allow their thoughts to flow without grammar, spelling, or structure to tap into their innate creativity.
On the other hand, in Donald Murray’s article, Teaching Writing As a Process Not Product, Murray emphasizes the importance of viewing writing as a process that evolves over time rather than a one-time, linear task. He argues that effective writing instruction should encourage students to engage in the entire writing process, from prewriting and drafting to revising and editing. Murray believes this process-oriented approach helps students develop their writing skills and discover their unique voices.
Elbow also emphasizes the importance of separating the drafting and editing stages of writing because he believes that prematurely critiquing one’s work can stifle creativity. He encourages writers to embrace ambiguity, uncertainty, and imperfection in their initial drafts, allowing their ideas to evolve naturally.
Furthermore, Murray encourages teachers to recognize and appreciate the individuality of each writer. He emphasizes the need for personalized feedback and guidance, as well as the importance of creating a supportive and collaborative learning environment. By doing this, he believes teachers can help students become more confident and proficient writers.
Lastly, the journal article, How Remix Culture Informs Student Writing and Creativity by Antero Garcia highlights that almost everything created by individuals or students involves some form of remixing, where existing materials transform into something new. This process is not limited to music but extends to various domains, including writing.
Garcia emphasizes the significance of understanding and engaging with remix culture for educators and students. He argues that remixing opens creative avenues for young people, from fan fiction to reinterpretations of popular stories in various media forms. However, Garcia also encourages critical examination of the dynamics and implications of remixing. He suggests that educators help students analyze what changes occur through remixing and how it influences identities.
Incorporating these strategies into writing instruction can help students become more confident and proficient writers. I believe that freewriting fosters creativity and fluency. The drafting/editing process approach emphasizes skill development and ownership. Additionally, remixing promotes creativity, critical thinking, and ethical considerations.
Peter Elbow, Donald Murray, and Antero Garcia share a unique approach to the writing process, each contributing valuable insights and strategies to the field of writing instruction. While these authors approach the writing process from different angles, they share a commitment to fostering creativity, critical thinking, and individuality among students. Their unique perspectives contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of writing instruction, empowering students to become confident, adaptable, and reflective writers who can navigate various writing tasks with proficiency and creativity.