Computers and Composition in the Context of a Whole Language Philosophy
A whole language philosophy can guide the use of computers to enhance the teaching of composition and provide cautions against their misuse. A whole language classroom is student-centered. When computers are introduced into a classroom, the technology tends to draw attention to itself, making the machine the center of the lessons, forcing students to learn a new vocabulary, and learn a new way of performing old tasks. In contrast, in a whole language classroom, the computer helps in the curriculum rather than shapes it. Computer-assisted instruction at one time promoted drill-for-skill programs, and recently idea-processors, spell-checkers, and style-checkers, creating on-line versions of five-paragraph essays, focusing attention on error detection. However, a whole language classroom with computers is language rich, looking at language as exciting and dynamic, a means of bringing groups together, fostering collaborative learning and communication between and among discourse communities. (An excerpt from Kathleen Strickland's article "Toward a New Philosophy of Language Learning" is attached.) (Author/RS)
Strickland, J. Computers and Composition in the Context of a Whole Language Philosophy.