By describing the four major pedagogical approaches to teaching composition, Berlin suggests that not all composition classrooms are—or ever will be—the same. His analysis, by outlining the objectives of the writer and noting the corresponding pedagogical approaches employed to facilitate those objectives, reveals which theory places emphasis on independent, creative, and critical thought. Student writers working within the first three models are tasked primarily with the organization of existing truth, rather than with the challenge of uncovering truth.
The Neo-Platonist/Expressionists provide slightly more space for writer discovery; however, they believe truth to be external and unalterable by the writer. By contrast, the New Rhetoric model relies upon the critical thinking of the writer. In this model, truth is relativistic and shaped by the individual; therefore, the application of the theory requires original—critical—thought on part of the writer.
Berlin, James. "Contemporary Composition: The Major Pedagogical Theories." College English 44.8 (December 1982): 765-777.