Pixilspeak

Peter Pixil's working hypothesis regarding DoubleThink in a nutshell: The high engagement level of commercial media and digital consumer delights has eclipsed onerous traditional English/Rhetoric Education. I cannot blame the student, either.  You go sit through a couple of your own institution's Comp classes. 

New approaches must be developed to compete with professionally produced, interesting programming.

What will engage two-year college writing students arriving at Composition courses with their learning preferences already established along the lines of

  • social networking's lack of participant accountability (despite its hidden agenda of data-gathering for market targeting).
  • e-news media's  abbreviated content, predetermined editorial slants, and corporate alliances.
  • unreserved acceptance of undocumented sources;  minimal reading; satisfaction with attractive surface textures; and preference for no mental strain in their classes or their lives.

How can the love of depth, craft of knowledge-making, and mastery of writing conventions be remotivated?  The old ruler across the knuckles is out, as is personal humiliation and authoritarianism. So . . . what else is there?

CONTENT

DoubleThink for Two-Year College Writing  (DT) delivers a workshop curriculum for the writing-lab classroom.  It recasts college writing in media modeled on the brevity, memorability, and subconscious appeal loaded into messages used by national advertisers to implant and retain  brand-loyalty for the shampoos, automobiles, and breakfast cereals they sell.  Fill in the blank for a demonstration of their success:

  • Like a good neighbor, ________________ is there.
  • Aren't you glad you use ______________?  Don't you wish everybody did?
  • It's the real thing.  ________________
  • Stir up the _________________.  Soup is good food.

In the curriculum I propose, writing technique and critical thinking skills have been integrated into plain language Workshops across the gamut of college writing assignments—a “new, trimmer body,” neurolinguistically accomodating to all--grounded in metaphor, related mnemonics, and motivated by pairings of technology with technique.   Redundant content diversely modal assures acquisition of core concepts.

METHOD

DoubleThink for Two-Year College Writing is a series of supervised, writing lab workshops.  In classroom segment it draws from student-centered learning strategies like 

  • mid-brain stimulation using "shout-outs" 
  • live instructor modelling of invention, drafting and manuscript formatting with supervised student emulations 
  • thinking on one's feet for credit, using the metaphilosophical criteria of Stephen Pepper's World Hypotheses. 
  • regular pairing of technique with technology 
  • in-class oral text reading with instructor directed, close reading probe
  • induction of cognitive disequalibrium in the classroom to maintain student activation.
  • quasisocial media applications with student pages, composition contest sites, skill-remediation games, and an openness to novelty  will lend a note of wish-fulfillment to the trained-mind lifestyle.  

Non-readers, benighted writers, and twittering thinkers deserve at least one educational brand among the multinational corporations vying for control of their habits--a brand whose end is not financial gain, but a resurrection of the powerful American Thinker, seated high above icons of commerce. 

Note to Workshop Instructors: You’re not just a teacher anymore—you’re an entertainer, a coach, a motivational guru, and a raving, black-bearded pirate, too.

DoubleThink Workshops for Two-Year College Writing

Preface to 2018 Pilot Edition (click cover below) 


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