Based on five years of classroom experimentation, The Open
Hand presents a highly practical yet transformational
philosophy of teaching argumentative writing. In his course Arguing
as an Art of Peace, Barry Kroll uses the open hand to represent an
alternative approach to argument, asking students to argue in a way
that promotes harmony rather than divisiveness and avoiding
conventional conflict-based approaches.
Kroll cultivates a bodily investigation of noncombative
argument, offering direct pedagogical strategies anchored in three
modalities of learning-conceptual-procedural, kinesthetic, and
contemplative-and projects, activities, assignments, informal
responses, and final papers for students. Kinesthetic exercises
derived from martial arts and contemplative meditation and
mindfulness practices are key to the approach, with Kroll
specifically using movement as a physical analogy for tactics of
Collaboration, mediation, and empathy are important yet
overlooked values in communicative exchange. This practical,
engaging, and accessible guide for teachers contains clear examples
and compelling discussions of pedagogical strategies that teach
students not only how to write persuasively but also how to deal
with personal conflict in their daily lives.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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