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Iris touching iris : praxis as an alternate paradigm in the writing classroom Johnson, Lesley

Abstract

The following paper outlines a response to a perceived need for an alternate paradigm than the one that currently dominates the field of writing pedagogy. The current paradigm, according to the author, operates on assumptions allied with technical rationality, assumptions which are problematic in light of the fundamental values that underpin the very act of writing itself. The paper also explores a possible alternate paradigm, described by the Aristotelian term, praxis, using a creative narrative style in the form of an ongoing dialogue between two sisters over the course of several months. The interaction between the two sisters frames the conceptual inquiry portion found in the five chapters. Through dialogue, the sisters explore issues of value in key aspects of their lives. These emotionally and intellectually charged conversations serve to underscore the author's belief that an alternate paradigm would open new doors in the composition classroom. Engaging in narrative, explains the author, provides a wealth of possible ways to sidestep the predominant action-reaction framework of technical rationality In telling and listening to stories, the author argues that it is possible to realize a different approach to teaching and researching writing.

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