When much of the
scholarship surrounding computers and composition - especially the teaching
of composition - has moved to sophisticated discussions of equity, of
access, of gender representation online, of spaciality and simulated
faciality, a number of newcomers to technology-rich spaces may struggle to
enter the conversation as fundamental questions seem to have been worked out
years ago. The goal of Takayoshi and Huot's Teaching of Writing: An
Introduction is clear, then, as they set out to inform this audience by
revisiting some of those questions and, more importantly, their answers. And
the goal of this collection is achieved.
Our editors (and the contributors) manage to welcome the newly-initiated so that beginners do not have to revisit scholarship from ten to fifteen years ago. The collection's key question - "How can and should writing teachers effectively incorporate writing technologies into their curriculum?" - is systematically addressed and answered through five distinct sections. As readers, we benefit from condensed versions of pedagogical lessons hard-won. And while the chapters included here address topics from assignment analysis (and curriculum analysis), to design, to development, to implementation, and to evaluation and re-design, these chapters simultaneously reveal a knowledge that is not based in lore but in tested lessons and real classroom application.
Finally, the book's scope seems broad at first, but it manages to rein in this scope such that the readings are diverse yet focused on the collection's main objective. It is surprisingly focused and it is most certainly a book I wish I'd had when I first taught in a computer-supported classroom.