Final Remarks: Three Perspectives

New Writing Teacher

As a brand new first year composition instructor struggling with the typical issues facing instructors new to the field, I was fairly representative of the audience the producers of the DVD were hoping to reach. The approach that the DVD takes in encouraging new instructors with the formation of their own pedagogy is reassuring, and the suggestions offered were good ones, if not particularly enlightening for those with more experience than I. The DVD would serve as a conversation starter because it offers many concepts relating to the varied pedagogical approaches mentioned. For so many new instructors like myself, first-year difficulties stem from not knowing which questions to ask, and Pearson's DVD provides a discussion already in progress that new teachers can tap into and begin thinking about the pedagogical results from the various theory-, and praxis-related decisions.

Advanced Graduate Instructor

As an ABD graduate instructor, I have taught multiple sections of first- and second-year writing. And although I am a fairly new composition teacher, I feel as though I (and the “advanced graduate instructor” group I represent) was the farthest from Pearson’s target audience. I did not need the introduction to composition, I will not be training new graduate instructors in the near future, and I am in the midst of a heavily theoretical dissertation process. Thus, the DVD seems to be a more ineffectual professional development tool for individuals in my shared situation because an introduction to the field is not necessary and further, the DVD did not offer me, or the target audience I represent, any theoretical grounding for the pedagogical applications. But just because I was not the best audience for the DVD does not mean I failed to glean anything useful. Trends and Teaching in Composition helped reinforce some of the good teaching practices I learned in practicum, and during the review process, this DVD sparked insightful discussion about current trends in the field—even if the DVD itself did not always seem to follow those trends.

Associate Professor

As a Writing Program Administrator, my impulse is similar to the others: This DVD would be most useful as part of a larger conversation. In watching with graduate instructors in the program, I had to fight the impulse to pause and say, "how does that match--or not--your experiences?" or "let's put this in context." I can imagine this DVD being most useful when used in a piecemeal fashion during a Practicum course: watch seven minutes on argument as a prompt for discussion, not as a handy shortcut to the field and the classroom. Still, while our chapter summaries reiterate the desire for more nuance in each section, it's likely that the goal of the DVD for Pearson was to produce a portable and pithy teaching tool—a good goal and one that is certainly met.