• Video interview with Anne Gere, editor of Developing Writers, discussing the applications of the book for writing instructors.

Transcript

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    I'm Anne Ruggles Gere, and this chapter
    was actually a very late thought.

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    We had collected all the data,
    we had done a lot of the analysis,

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    we were writing chapters.

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    And I began to think, we spend so
    much time looking at how

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    students develop as writers,
    but what happens afterward?

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    Because I think in general,
    the research that has been done

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    on student writing development has,
    particularly for college students that is,

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    has focused just on
    the college period itself, and

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    has not really looked backward to what
    happens, what students bring with them.

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    Or to what shape it takes
    as they move forward.

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    And that was what really
    set this in motion.

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    And everybody else was
    busy working on chapters.

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    And I thought, okay, I can do this.

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    And so
    that's what really led to this chapter.

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    I think teachers need to realize
    that the writer they see at

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    a given moment is such a tiny slice
    of who that writer has been and

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    will become, and to be more respectful
    of that in a couple of ways.

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    I think too often, every writing
    instructor says to students implicitly or

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    explicitly, okay, forget everything
    you've ever done, do it this way now.

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    And I think that really misses
    huge pedagogical opportunities

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    to be able to understand what students
    are bringing to the classroom and

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    to help them draw on
    that in effective ways.

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    Similarly, I think,
    to be more respectful and

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    aware of the kinds of goals
    that students have as writers.

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    Because not only do they
    not come as blank slates,

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    they also have ideas and
    visions for themselves as writers.

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    And I think to be able to understand those
    and help students think about who they

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    want to become as writers is an important
    thing for instructors to pay attention to.

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    The college education
    that students receive is

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    really important because it enables
    students to become writers.

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    And that's something that,

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    it doesn't happen just in
    an English department or

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    just in a single course, but that it's
    something that continues on through.

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    Learning to write isn't
    an inoculation process.

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    It's a developmental process.

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    It occurs across multiple years.

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    And I think policymakers need
    to have that understanding

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    of how people learn to write well,
    that it's an ongoing process.

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    And so
    when you're making both financial and

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    curricular decisions as policymakers,
    to recognize

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    that there isn't an easy,
    quick fix where you can simply say,

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    okay, you've had this one course,
    now you should be a great writer forever.

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    It simply doesn't work that way.

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    It's like any art that we engage in.

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    It's the sustained tutelage that makes for
    a good writer.

Interview with Anne Gere: For Instructors

From Developing Writers in Higher Education: A Longitudinal Study by Anne Ruggles Gere, Editor

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