Enacting Rhetorical Literacies

The Expository Reading and Writing Curriculum in Theory and Practice

Authored by: Mira-Lisa Katz , Nancy Brynelson , John R. Edlund

Theoretical Models and Processes of Literacy

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138087262
eBook ISBN: 9781315110592
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter analytically describes a promising high school English course, the Expository Reading and Writing Curriculum (ERWC), that effectively integrates multiple theories from the fields of reading comprehension, rhetoric, literacy, and composition to foster college readiness, academic literacy development, and literate identity formation at the high school level. Following a discussion of the policy context that spawned this statewide educational initiative in California, authors describe the curriculum, discuss significant theoretical influences, and explain how the ERWC puts these theories into practice in diverse instructional contexts. The chapter subsequently explains how the ERWC establishes a classroom environment in which the opinions of both students and teachers are actively sought and respected; provides strategic instructional scaffolding that enables students at varying levels of proficiency to more effectively read, think critically about, and compose sophisticated expository texts; integrates literacy pedagogies with concepts and practices from Aristotelian rhetoric to promote principled debates about ideas and texts that both students and teachers find highly engaging; and flexibly supports teachers' development of generative pedagogies that enable students to acquire high-level rhetorical literacies. Blending effective practices based on research in reading comprehension, rhetoric, literacy, and composition, the ERWC supports the development of young people's academic identities and civic literacies and strengthens teachers' capacities to further cultivate the deeply literate habits of mind that students need to be successful in college, career, and community.

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