What Should Colleges Teach? – Stanley Fish Blog – NYTimes.com

What Should Colleges Teach? – Stanley Fish Blog – NYTimes.com.

A few years ago, when I was grading papers for a graduate literature course, I became alarmed at the inability of my students to write a clean English sentence. They could manage for about six words and then, almost invariably, the syntax (and everything else) fell apart. I became even more alarmed when I remembered that these same students were instructors in the college’s composition program. What, I wondered, could possibly be going on in their courses?

I love to write and I wish I could make money on it.

I often cringe at the state of the Thai education system where still great stress is placed on rote memorization and not on critical thinking, creativity and especially not English writing.

It’s sad that the same is true about writing in the USA, and for what appears to be ideological rather than practical reasons.

I was fortunate that I was educated in the days when writing was considered an important skill. It served me well when I worked for HP – I invariably took the notes from meetings. “He who wields the pen has the power.”


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