Writing across the curriculum : an overview of its movement in American colleges and universities.

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Hopper, Carolyn
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Middle Tennessee State University
The Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) movement is rapidly spreading in American colleges and universities. However, writing across the curriculum is not a quick fix for a literacy crisis, nor is it a back-to-basics movement. The basic assumption of the movement is that writing is a central way of learning in all subject areas. The teaching of writing is a responsibility shared by all faculty. The WAC movement implies significant criticism of the pedagogy, the goals, and the educational outcomes of many of our contemporary educational institutions. There are, therefore, many obstacles in implementing a successful writing across the curriculum program. This dissertation examines the concept Maxine Hairston calls the paradigm shift, the importance of considering writing as process rather than product, writing as a way of learning and various modes of writing. It traces the roots of WAC from England, looks at existing WAC programs, examines philosophical and pedagogical implications inherent in WAC and attempts to draw some conclusions about the use of WAC programs at colleges and universities. After reading this analysis, an administrator, department head, or individual instructor should understand what WAC requires of a faculty, student body, and curriculum and be able to determine if WAC will work within a given setting or situation.