In this essay, I untangle two historically embedded challenges within the undergraduate writing methods course that continually reestablish divisions between theory and pedagogy (and often English and education departments by association) for preservice teachers. The two issues are:
1. The lack of status of the undergraduate writing methods course within English departments, entrenched by the historically marginalized reputations of both rhetoric and composition and English education programs; and
2. Internal disputes within the field of rhetoric and composition over a theoretical versus pedagogical emphasis for the undergraduate writing methods course, and external debates between the fields of rhetoric and composition and English education over content knowledge versus practical tools.
Mapping the history of the undergraduate writing methods course is one method of capturing what one segment of writing teacher education has historically looked like in the field. Understanding this history and using it to study current course designs and resulting effects on writing teacher preparation is the next step to offering general principles, or best practices.
Tulley, Christine E.
"“A Course No One Wants to Teach”: A Brief History of the Undergraduate Writing Methods Course,"
Teaching/Writing: The Journal of Writing Teacher Education: Vol. 5
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/wte/vol5/iss1/2