Download The Future of Thinking: Rhetoric and Liberal Arts Teaching by Jeff Mason, Peter Washington PDF

By Jeff Mason, Peter Washington

Studying to imagine is a fancy job made from examining, writing, listening, conversing and remembering textual fabrics. The way forward for Thinking adapts rhetorical workouts reminiscent of paraphrase, summary, precis and transcription to offer scholars a flexible variety of recommendations for making experience of texts, and encourages the speedy improvement of useful, serious abilities in quite a lot of humanities scholars. during this technique brief, written and spoken routines are given as a lot weight because the formal essay and the emphasis is often at the knowing and research, instead of the regurgitation of information.

The authors were effectively utilizing this technique of training for your time, and the e-book comprises examples of workouts they've got used, with the implications and suggestions from their students.

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Extra info for The Future of Thinking: Rhetoric and Liberal Arts Teaching

Sample text

But we are also aware, from the experience of teaching our students, of the differences between, and within, these disciplines. Both as critics and as writers, students need to become aware of these differences. As we shall see in Chapter 4, their critical activities support their writing; but the reverse is also true, learning to write in different modes sharpens critical insight. Like the distinction between cognitive and expressive skills that underpins all our chapters, the distinction between composition and criticism, synthesis and analysis, is a convenience not a principle.

Reduce the importance of the judgement, the shame and the honour, and you diminish the constraints that inhibit experimentation with content and form, matter and style. Rhetoric becomes a field of language play, not a collection of dreary routines. Released from its narrow equivalence with persuasion, and freed from the need to convince large audiences about life and death issues, it is the PHILOSOPHICAL AND LITERARY EXERCISES 45 gymnasium of the mind. Here students begin to test and assess their own powers.

If the essay is seen as the inevitable and only outcome, much of the point of these exercises is lost, because it is from them that the much-lauded ‘transferable skills’ are derived, which are part of liberal arts disciplines. We must remember that skill is always ‘skill in something’. There is no such thing as skill in the abstract. So the most useful thing we can do to develop transferable skills is to make sure that our pupils learn specific skills as well as possible. Without that, there are no skills to transfer.

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