6 Pages


To try to teach students to improve their writing by taking a GWSI course is something like trying to teach people to improve their ping-pong, jacks, volleyball, basketball, field hockey, and so on by attending a course in general ball using. Such a course would of necessity have a problem of content. What kinds of games (and therefore ball-use skills) should one teach? How can one teach ball-using skills unless one also teaches students the games, because the skills have their motive and meaning only in terms of a particular game or games that use them? Such a course would have a problem of rigor because those who truly know how to playa particular game would look askance at the instruction such a course could provide (particularly if the instructor did not herself play all the games with some facility). It would also have a problem of unrealistic expectations, because it would be impossible to teach all-or even a few-ball games in one course. Finally, it would be extremely difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of a course in general ball using because one always evaluates the effectiveness of ball using within a particular game, not in general. Ways of using a ball that work well in one game (e.g., volleyball) would bring disaster in another (such as soccer).