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Theories of creative writing have been for the most part bound up with theories of art. Both teachers and the general public, however, are dissatisfied with such institutionalized theories. Creative writers should first look to theories of writing rather than infer them from art. Recent composition theories, both cognitive theories and those of collaborative learning, can not only inform creative writing pedagogies, but can also consistently address the theoretical concerns of creative writers. A collaborative approach to creative writing instruction can provide a reasonable theory of the imagination, address concerns about authority, and at the same time teach conventions of public forms of imaginative prose and verse. Imagination transforms experience into language, and is therefore necessarily related to the process of becoming an individual and becoming individually skilled at writing in relation to others and the world. New formulations of collaborative learning would modify the idea of joint apprenticeships in the classroom to mutual apprenticeship or peer tutoring. Collaborative learning in the creative writing classroom will help wean students from institutional dependency and teach them ways of negotiating self and art in the larger world, in ways that transform their experiences in that world into fictions they themselves can believe. (Fifteen references are attached.) (SG)

Descriptors: Collaborative Writing, Cooperative Learning, Creative Writing, Fiction, Higher Education, Imagination, Power Structure, Theory Practice Relationship, Writing Instruction, Writing Workshops

Autor: Mayo, Wendell


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