Analysis of the application of contemporary composition theory in the TEKS writing process

Whitaker, Tonya
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Since 1998, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, often referred to as the TEKS, has served as the blueprint for education in Texas. Teachers are responsible for using the best pedagogical practices to ensure education standards prepare students for life post-graduation—whether it is entering the workforce or pursing higher education. There is much to be said about education in Texas, in particular, its writing instruction. Year after year, students are taught to follow a highly segregated five-step, discursive model for the writing process, value the end product over the process, write discourse centered on one-dimensional modes, and perfect English grammar. Add in state assessments (i.e. the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or STAAR), and we are presented with a dangerous recipe for writing instruction in the state. The purpose of this thesis is to unravel how detrimental or beneficial the Current Traditional Rhetoric (CTR) model of the TEKS is to high school writers in Texas. Hence, this thesis will take the state-approved teaching strategies and compare them with the ideologies of contemporary English composition scholars.

Language, literature and linguistics, Education, Composition theory, Current traditional rhetoric, TEKS, Texas education, Writing process