National Writing Project

Book Review: If Not Now: Developmental Readers in the College Classroom, by Jeanne Henry

By: Barbara Bass
Publication: The Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 2
Date: Spring 1996

Summary: Bass is admiring and enthusiastic about the reading workshop strategies Henry uses with her developmentally challenged college students, though she is skeptical of the claim that these techniques will work with all students.

 

Excerpt

I wonder how many college teachers were actually taught how to teach? When I was first offered a position teaching college writing, I ran to the university bookstore and settled in amongst the composition texts to figure out for myself how to teach the course. Every text there offered the same recipe. Teach the modes of discourse one at a time, discuss model essays, and assign an essay based on each mode. I soon abandoned teaching composition this way; but I had no idea why or how I should teach instead.

I wish Jeanne Henry had been my colleague as I struggled alone with my classroom pedagogy.

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