By casting Houp and Pearsall's textbook Reporting Technical Information (RTI) as a historically significant site for excavating both stasis and change in pedagogical practice, this study identifies and examines struggles for pedagogic dominance in the history of technical writing, focusing particularly on how such struggles may or may not have contributed to an alleged tradition of hyperpragmatism in technical communication pedagogy. A cultural studies approach to investigating such pedagogic struggles leads to examining a broad network of institutional pressures and scholarly exchanges surrounding technical writing instruction, all of which is aimed at gauging hyperpragmatism's genesis and power. Throughout, a number of central themes emerge from this analysis, including the definition of technical writing, rhetorical theory, process pedagogy, the notion of the workplace, information technologies, and ethics instruction, as well as how approaches to all of these, at various points in time, fall along a spectrum of more civic-minded versus more vocationally-minded pedagogy. Ultimately, this cultural study seeks to assess the degree to which RTI embodies the characteristics often associated with hyperpragmatism, as well as contextualize the contributions of technical writing teachers and scholars who, at their varying points in time, were responding to institutional pressures in their teaching.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. March 2012. Major: Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication. Advisor: Bernadette Longo. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 247 pages, appendices A-D.
Anheier, Paul Marcoe.
Stasis, change, and pedagogic struggle in the teaching of technical writing: a cultural study of Houp and Pearsall’s Reporting Technical Information..
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