PeterPan Posted January 23, 2011 Share Posted January 23, 2011 Is the prominence of essay-writing in younger and younger grades (6th, 7th, etc.) because of a spiraling, keep trying so sooner or later they figure it out, kind of thing? Or is it because there's actually VALUE to doing it? That's really hard for me to sort out. For instance someone on the hs board was discussing needing her students to do weekly 5 paragraph essays to do Omnibus 1 (curriculum aimed at 7th+). So if we WAIT, under Karen's premise that not all children are ready at such and such age, do we do harm or good? Mercy, I'm not trying to destabilize Karen. I'm saying I had so BOUGHT INTO the level of assignments (me and my "do a good job" goal) that it had never occurred to me that it wouldn't matter a flying fig if she does them now or later. So what say you? What are the potential holes in that logic? I could see both sides. It seems to me WTM has a delayed approach to longer essay writing and stays at the paragraph level a long time. I need to go read those sections for the higher grades and see. I know I didn't have much worth saying at certain grades. In fact, I think the most kids would be doing is parroting what they have been told. (We discussed this in class, you decided what you think based on the spin I gave you through the discussion and the way I steered things, now go write an essay on your oh-so-informed opinion.) Yes, I guess that's cynical. But seriously, what are the things to consider here? If you do something like the upper level CW stuff or get into a rhetoric study, yes you're doing some thinking and analysis. But really, after watching lots and lots of posts on the boards over the last how many years, I'm not sure how many people do that. I'm not sure that *most* people ever do more than basically trying to get their dc to write a logical multi-paragraph essay with an outline and clear thesis. If they get that far, they praise the saints. At least that's how it looks to me, just watching things. So if that's the case, then maybe Karen's assertion is accurate? In fact, there was a noble voice on the boards years ago (Kpzzz) who maintained that discussion was the foundation for writing and would cover a host of ills. Very interesting, as it seems to flow from the same point. Then I bring this full-circle to the out of the box thread. (And my apologies for making this long!) If the imperative need is for discussion and thought, NOT extreme or detailed writing tasks, then I think people might feel more comfortable getting out of the box. So there, clear as mud? Anyone have any thoughts? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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