Literacy, Ideology, and Dialogue

Towards a Dialogic Pedagogy

By Irene Ward

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series, Teacher Empowerment and School Reform
Paperback : 9780791421987, 242 pages, August 1994
Hardcover : 9780791421970, 242 pages, August 1994

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Table of contents


Chapter One
Expressivists: Self-Discovery and Internal Dialogue

Dialogic "Helping Circles" and the Search for Truth

Writing as a Discovery of Self

Dialogue with the Other Self

Murray's Dialogic Conference Method

Dialogue and the Teacherless Class

Criterion-Based and Reader-Based Feedback

Sharing and Responding to Writing

Elbow's Internal Dialogues

Elbow's Paradoxical Audience

Internal Dialogics: Manipulating Audience Concepts

Expressivist Dialogics

Chapter Two
Social Constructionism and Dialogism

Social Construction and the Justification of Belief

Marilyn Cooper's Ecological Model

A Social Theory of Rhetoric

Writing Group Theory

Kenneth Bruffee and the "Conversation of Mankind"

Bruffee's Collaborative Pedagogy

Community, Conversation, and the Problem of Authority

Chapter Three
Dialogism and Radical Pedagogy

Liberatory Learning and Critical Consciousness

Freirean Dialogics

Importing Freirean Theory into Composition

The Reflection and Action Dialectic Ignored

Other Liberatory Experiments and Disappointments

The Irony of North American "Liberatory" Pedagogy

Returning the Dialogic to Radical Pedagogy

Chapter Four
Postmodern Views of Discourse and Dialogism

Gregory Ulmer and Applied Grammatology

(En)acting a Postmodern Pedagogy

Toward a Paralogic Rhetoric

Toward a Paralogic Pedagogy

Postmodern Pedagogy and Dialogism

Chapter Five
Toward A Functional Dialogism For Composition

Internal Dialogue: The Unfolding of Self-Knowledge

Internal Dialogic and ''Ideological Becoming"

Dialogism and Peer Criticism

The Role(s) of the Instructor in a Dialogic Writing Class

Incorporating Conflict and Difference into Dialogism

Feminist Epistemology and the Accomodation of Difference

Toward a Comprehensive Dialogism

Works Cited and Consulted



This is the first scholarly examination of the use of dialogic theory and pedagogy by scholars and teachers of writing. Dialogic methods have become extremely important to many different approaches to pedagogy. However, no one has yet noted that such pedagogies are being espoused by scholars and teachers who have vastly differing theoretical and ideological orientations from one another. Given the fact that the same kind of pedagogy is being proposed by people from such widely differing perspectives, it is time for a substantial reassessment of the use of dialogic pedagogies in literacy education.

Ward's critique of the "democratic" dialogue that expressivists, social constructionists, radical pedagogists, and poststructuralists profess should be read by all compositionists employing collaborative learning in their classrooms. Ward's pedagogy acknowledges and makes room for the differences among students that feminist and social constructionist pedagogies often ignore; it takes into account that social relationships outside the composition classroom can affect the relationships of students within it.

Irene Ward is in the English Department at Kansas State University, Manhattan.