National Writing Project

The Writing Classroom as a Laboratory for Democracy: An Interview with Don Rothman

Publication: Higher Education Exchange
Date: 2005

Summary: David Brown, coeditor of the Higher Education Exchange, interviews Don Rothman, former director of the Central California Writing Project, who for more than 30 years taught writing "as if the world depended on it."

 

Excerpt from Article

To the extent that democracy expresses our aspirations to sustain public discourse for the purpose of enhancing the public good, its health depends on nurturing certain habits of mind and skills. Over three decades of teaching writing, I have come to see quite vividly literacy's potential to enhance democracy, especially around the intellectual and social practices that make nonviolent persuasion possible. Literacy, of course, doesn't guarantee freedom of expression, but writing, in particular, offers opportunities for people to counter alienation, isolation, and selfishness that undermine democracy.

Copyright © 2005 Charles F. Kettering Foundation. This material is used by permission from Charles F. Kettering Foundation.
2005. "The Writing Classroom as a Laboratory for Democracy: An Interview with Don Rothman" in Higher Education Exchange (pp. 43-55). www.kettering.org

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