In this Book

The Rhetoric of Remediation
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summary
American universities have long professed dismay at the writing proficiency levels of entrants, and the volume of this complaint has been directly correlated to social, political, or economic currents. Many universities, in their rhetoric, have defined high need for remediation as a crisis point in order to garner state funding or to manage admissions. Jane Stanley examines the statements and actions made regarding remediation at the University of California, Berkeley (Cal). Since its inception in 1868, university rhetoric has served to negotiate the tensions between an ethic of access and the assertion of elite status. Great care has been taken to promote the politics of public accessibility, yet in its competition for standing among other institutions, Cal has been publicly critical of the “underpreparedness” of many entrants. Early on, Cal developed programs to teach “Subject A” (Composition) to the vast number of students who lacked basic writing skills. Stanley documents the evolution of the university's “rhetoric of remediation” at key moments in its history, and the recent development of the College Writing Program which combined freshmen composition with Subject A instruction, in an effort to remove the concept of remediation altogether. Setting her discussion within the framework of American higher education, Stanley finds that the rhetorical phenomenon of “embrace-and-disgrace” is not unique to Cal, and her study encourages compositionists to evaluate their own institutional practices and rhetoric of remediation for the benefit of both students and educators.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page
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  1. Copyright
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  1. CONTENTS
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. INTRODUCTION: “To Embrace Every Child of California”
  2. pp. 1-19
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  1. CHAPTER 1: “The Honor of the State”
  2. pp. 20-26
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  1. CHAPTER 2: “The Unfortunate, the Lazy, and the Feeble-Minded”
  2. pp. 27-33
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  1. CHAPTER 3: “They Can Neither Read Nor Write”
  2. pp. 34-48
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  1. CHAPTER 4: “Beautiful but Dumb”
  2. pp. 49-60
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  1. CHAPTER 5: “The Hordes . . . Invade the Campus”
  2. pp. 61-74
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  1. CHAPTER 6: “The Decencies of English”
  2. pp. 75-91
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  1. CHAPTER 7: “The Tides of the Semi-literate”
  2. pp. 92-104
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  1. CHAPTER 8: “Viewed as Disgraceful by Many Scholars”
  2. pp. 105-116
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  1. CHAPTER 9: “The Technically Qualified”
  2. pp. 117-124
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  1. CHAPTER 10: “Bonehead English”
  2. pp. 125-132
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  1. CHAPTER 11: “Below Acceptable Levels”
  2. pp. 133-137
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  1. CONCLUSION: The Disdainful Embrace
  2. pp. 138-142
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  1. NOTES
  2. pp. 143-160
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  1. WORKS CITED
  2. pp. 161-170
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  1. INDEX
  2. pp. 171-180
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