Peter Elbow's widely-acclaimed and novel theories on the writing process, set out in Writing without Teachers and Writing with Power, have earned him the reputation of a leading innovator in the field. Now Elbow has drawn together twelve of his essays on the nature of learning and teaching, which, together, form a comprehensive synthesis of his philosophy of education. At once theoretical and down-to-earth, this collection will appeal not only to teachers and students of education, but to all those with a love of learning.
What, Elbow asks, is natural in studying, learning, and teaching? What are our assumptions about how the mind ought to function in learning and teaching? Elbow explores the "contraries" in the educational process, in particular his theory that clear thinking can be enhanced by inviting indecision, incoherence, and paradoxical thinking. The essay, written over period of twenty-five years, are engaged in a single enterprise: to arrive at insights or conclusions about learning and teaching while still doing justice to the "rich messiness" of intellectual inquiry. Elbow discusses the value of interdisciplinary teaching, his theory of "cooking" (an interaction of conflicting ideas), the authority relationship in teaching, and the value of specifying learning objectives. A full section is devoted to evaluation and feedback, both of students and faculty. Finally, Elbow focuses on the need to move beyond the skepticism of "critical thinking" to what he calls "methodological belief"--an ability to embrace more than one point of view.
About the Author:
Peter Elbow is Director of the Writing Program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has also taught at M.I.T., Franconia College, Evergreen State College, and Wesleyan University.
The famed innovator in writing instruction shares his philosophy of education