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"The study of rhetoric traditionally has aimed to equip students with an ability to identify problems and issues, to investigate, to interpret, and to communicate results -- whatever the subject matter. These abilities require higher-level thinking, not just skills; analysis and evaluation, not just observation . . . . The study emphasizes strategies and practice rather than a body of facts and contemplation; thus the study of rhetoric aims for social application. Students are studying rhetoric in a technical communication course even though they may never hear of Aristotle nor study history and theory of rhetoric. Identifying a problem, gathering, interpreting, and arranging information, choosing an appropriate style, and making recommendations, as students learn to do in preparing recommendation reports, proposals, and manuals, are rhetorical acts. In its best tradition, rhetoric insists upon responsible and ethical practice. This is the tradition in which we educate students."
What one might see this as is an attempt to justify a mix between a prescriptive approach to rhetorical application (taught to students) and an adaptive approach. Rude suggests that strategies (adaptive/heuristic) and practice (prescriptive) should be integrated so that students are prepared to make "responsible and ethical" decisions when the time comes to apply this stuff we have learned. Carolyn Rude's approach to education is one that I see Pirsig and Johnson both approving of, but there are differences in strategies towards the education as well as the demonstration of the know vs. know-how of the technical communications education. I will attempt to tackle this paradigm in two parts: Pirsig's p...
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...e-blower." To create a person that offer alternatives to standard dichotomies that are found in our management of power and ethics.
Both Johnson and Pirsig would respond to Rude in similar fashion, one of agreement that both authors' ideas coincide with Rude's and that they make every innovative attempt to pursue the tradition of education. Johnson's path through user-centered design and Pirsig's pursuit of Quality take every step to pave a road for students to utilize a higher level of thinking. A level that gives students an ability to identify problems, interprets them, produce substantial conclusions and communicate them. Advancing this a step produces the conclusion that Pirsig, Johnson and Rude all strive to "educate" students to a point where practical and ethical judgment are utilized by students to affect the world they live and work in.
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