Literacy, Curriculum, and Pedagogies: Considerations for Anthropologists Teaching First-Year Composition
Despite the fact that this article began as a formal response to Chattaraj (2020), it serves a larger purpose in contextualizing the first-year composition classroom and the training required to provide effective instruction to students across all academic fields. Although an anthropologically-minded approach to the teaching of writing can be quite beneficial, suggesting that an anthropologist can—or even should—assume the responsibilities of first-year composition without additional training is ill-advised. To this end, this article draws upon not only the prior literature on Composition/Rhetoric, but also on the place and benefits of writing in the anthropology classroom more generally. Because the initial publication (i.e. Chattaraj, 2020) relied strictly on personal anecdotal evidence for academic success in a particular classroom setting at a liberal arts university, the findings are not generalizable to most post-secondary institutions due to the institutional accreditation requirements for educators, the concerning statistics on the literacy rates of incoming undergraduate students, the general objectives of curricular pathways, and the remarkable consistency found in first-year composition courses. As a result, this response presents a transparent overview of the first-year composition classroom and offers concrete suggestions for anthropologists who endeavour to support writing across the curriculum and/or in the disciplines.
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