Learning from Giants: Using the Inklings as Writing Mentors

Learning from Giants: Using the Inklings as Writing Mentors Sheryl O’Sullivan Modeling is one of our most potent ways of learning. In our early childhood days, we imitate our parents’ ways of being. When we enter school, we emulate our favorite teachers and remake ourselves regularly to fit in with our peers. We shadow people in young adulthood who do jobs like the ones we hope to do, and we attach ourselves as student teachers, interns, or teaching assistants to people we believe really understand the mysterious act of teaching. Those of us who are writers take this penchant for finding role models a step further. Since the finished products of writers are readily available, we read the works of people who write like we hope to write, studying them carefully for style, organization, beautiful wording, ideas. We encourage our students to do the same thing. Yet we realize that these finished products mask all sorts of fits and starts, known euphemistically as the writing process, to which we can never be privy. Who among us, then, would not jump at the chance to be a fly on the wall of an effective, long-standing writing group of extremely prolific writers as they follow this usually hidden writing http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture Duke University Press

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2009 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1531-4200
eISSN
1533-6255
D.O.I.
10.1215/15314200-2008-024
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Sheryl O’Sullivan Modeling is one of our most potent ways of learning. In our early childhood days, we imitate our parents’ ways of being. When we enter school, we emulate our favorite teachers and remake ourselves regularly to fit in with our peers. We shadow people in young adulthood who do jobs like the ones we hope to do, and we attach ourselves as student teachers, interns, or teaching assistants to people we believe really understand the mysterious act of teaching. Those of us who are writers take this penchant for finding role models a step further. Since the finished products of writers are readily available, we read the works of people who write like we hope to write, studying them carefully for style, organization, beautiful wording, ideas. We encourage our students to do the same thing. Yet we realize that these finished products mask all sorts of fits and starts, known euphemistically as the writing process, to which we can never be privy. Who among us, then, would not jump at the chance to be a fly on the wall of an effective, long-standing writing group of extremely prolific writers as they follow this usually hidden writing

Journal

Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and CultureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2009

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