Sunday, February 10, 2013

Writing Review on Rethinking Reflection

I am at something of a stuck place with my rewrite of the "rethinking" article, and I believe I need to engage in some rhetorical reflection myself to see if it can help me become unstuck. I am having trouble with the very last section of the article before the conclusion. In this section, at least how I see it now, I need to give a picture of rhetorical reflection in the classroom and a stronger rationale for why it is important. My difficulty is how to condense the classroom picture and not begin to wander off into a completely other article (in fact, I have an entire draft of the What'sit; Howto for rhetorical reflection that goes into more detail on classroom practice). I am already over 7K words. Ack!

It is funny how I have gone multiple times from start to my stopping place, refining the draft. It seems I could go endlessly through these parts refining them, and my revisions from the previous draft are making a difference. But I can't seem to get over this hump. I need so cut the gordian knot somehow. First, I think I need to untangle the knot. What are the conflicting strands that are stymieing me.

Let's see:
  • how can I sum up a picture of classroom practice without it getting too long?
  • more challenging is how can I pull together a condensed rationale that taps into more contemporary scholarship. I love Linda Flower, but I feel like I can't lean only on her.
  • Also, I have some text I have already written that I feel somehow is not leading in the right direction. I believe part of the problem is that I start down its path and reach a dead end. 
OK. What to do about the classroom practice summary. I set up this section well by saying the two things left to do are give a picture of what RR looks like in the classroom and a rationale. What is the bare minimum that I need to do to show classroom practice. These seem like they are important:
--define RR
--describe Writing Reviews and pedagogical placement
--provide and example and illustration
The challenge is doing this in less than a thousand words and in such a way that it doesn't seem too short.

Now about condensing contemporary scholarship. I think the key problem here is that I did some more reading over break and collected some good additional scholarship to add, but I have not gone back through it to pick out what I can use in this article. I think it will make a big difference to fill my leggo box with some pieces I can use and then I will be able to write. One thing I am struggling with is exploding into the areas of invention and heuristics. I need a way to summarize Kathy Pender's article on Invention and its tendrils into Bryan Hawk's ideas on invention. Ah, avoiding getting stuck in the postmodern swamp.

The one additional thing I have thought about that I think I must do is qualify my classroom picture saying that a full description of writing reviews is beyond the scope of this article.

I know also that I will need to reorient my conclusion to reemphasize the basic shift or expansion in our thinking about reflection I am advocating.

Whew! I think this helped. I now see a path forward. I have a game plan for the classroom practice summary, and I know that I need to review some literature before I am ready to get a final draft of the rationale piece.

So doing rhetorical reflection really does help--even me.