Deschooling Writing

Reform in teaching of writing must be not only be reinforced by theories of discourse production that is produced in the field of Rhetoric and Composition, rather rhetoric and composition pedagogues must be examined through cultural critique. Since the call to reshape our view of writing has political ramifications as well as theoretical, I will explore Ivan Illich’s views on deschooling society and the ritualization of progress within the university. By focusing on how the ploy for power has influenced the theorization of writing in composition departments, we will see that many of the practices we implement in writing classrooms are founded on ideas that hinder the role writing is meant to have in intellectual pursuits. I will argue that Illich’s radical views on education have become a reality because of the dawn and spread of the internet. His belief that education requires “things, models, peers, and mentors”, as opposed to “schools, certificates, professionals, and classrooms”, is becoming unavoidable in the growth of online educational services and information overload. Nonetheless, we cannot deny that rapidly advancing technology makes it increasingly more difficult to validate teaching archaic forms of written expression. The place composing, discourse production, and/or writing will have in this growing space of learning cannot be assumed. We must develop a view of writing that encourages the meaningful and accurate exchange of words from one consciousnesses to the other. How this will be implemented I do not know, but the necessity cannot be ignored.