Jay Kirby: “Examining the Power of Pedagogies”

Jay Kirby’s “Examining the power of pedagogies: Historical relationships between economies and pedagogies in the United States and China” asks what has more influence, prevailing economic conditions or technical communication pedagogy? Carolyn Miller tells us we should not only take industry as a guide to our pedagogy, technical communication theory must also contribute to industry. By using Richard Lanham’s theory of an economy of attention, in which rhetorically trained individuals will succeed, Kirby attempts to show how moving toward a study of rhetoric in technical communication coincides with an increase in service-related industries that rely on rhetorical strategies. Kirby frames this in a comparison between the United States and China. While the data prove difficult for clear-cut answers, Kirby shows how an examination fo China in the coming decades might shine more light on the influences between pedagogy and the economy in the United States.

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