Kathleen Yancey argues that writing pedagogy doesn’t align with its application in the 21st century. She notes how society’s approach to writing has stayed constant while the role that writing plays in society has continued to evolve. Standard writing pedagogy focuses on the process of writing rather than the multi-dimensonal entity that constitutes writing today.
Our poster tries to emphasize three important characteristics of writing according to Yancey: writing as technology, the accessibility of writing, and the collaborative aspects inherent in writing. The image at the center illustrates all three of theses characteristics in that it depicts students using technology and working together to compose pieces of writing. Yancey stresses the importance of changing pedagogical practice in order to accommodate evolving technology and its influence on writing–outlining three steps: 1) develop new models of composing, 2) design new curriculums that support these new models, and 3) create new pedagogies enacting that curriculum.
Education has never taught writing as a singular (separate) discipline. It is almost always discussed/taught in context or in conjunction with something else. Children write stories before they’ve mastered paragraphs, people apply writing to other disciplines without fully recognizing its capabilities. The two stories that Yancey included in her address–one about a girl who wrote seeking response to flooding in Melbourne, Florida, and another regarding AP testing and a “smart-mob” that took place therein–are further examples of this sort of “running before you can walk” ideology. These stories were only successful because they occurred along with the rise other other technologies (namely social media). Just as these students wrote without, necessarily, recognizing the implications, we must continue to strive and press the boundaries of composition before we can fully understand what it is.
By adapting own own experiences: yielding what technologies are present, collaborating with those around us and in our networks, we can “author ourselves,” and as Yancey suggests: “Through writing we are”.