Retention and Resistance
Writing Instruction and Students Who Leave
Retention is a vital issue for institutions, but as these students’ stories show, leaving college is often the result of complex and idiosyncratic individual situations that make institutional efforts difficult and ultimately ineffective. An adjustment of institutional and pedagogical objectives is needed to refocus on educating as many students as possible, including those who might leave before graduation.
Much of the pedagogy, curricula, and methodologies of composition studies assume students are preparing for further academic study. Retention and Resistance argues for a new kairotic pedagogy that moves toward an emphasis on the present classroom experience and takes students’ varied experiences into account. Infusing the discourse of retention with three individual student voices, Powell explores the obligation of faculty to participate in designing an institution that educates all students, no matter where they are in their educational journey or how far that journey will go.
‘The questions that emerge from this critical attention and how we answer them have significant implications for the teaching of writing and the field of rhetoric and composition studies at large.’
—Anis Bawarshi, University of Washington
'[T]his is a book that FYW instructors should read.'
—Education Review'The key turn Reichert Powell makes is that of presenting students as active decision makers about their own lives, not passive vessels needing to be filled with institutional knowledge and benefit.'
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