Paradigms and Paradigm Shifts

Before you begin to look into “The Major Historical Paradigm Shifts” series of infographs, make sure to review two important concepts.

Paradigm: Certain beliefs, standards, and rules shared by a community, discipline, or people in the same field (i.e. science, education, history, etc.). Paradigms are like trends; they come and they go. Just like trends, paradigms demonstrate what ideas, habits, or conventions are popular, and they only last for a certain amount of time until another paradigm comes in. Paradigms, however, in “The Major Historical Paradigm Shifts discuss trends related to writing that occured from the Harvard Influence in 1930’s to the Post-Process Theory in 21st century.

Paradigm Shifts: Out with the old, in with the new. Just like trends, paradigms move onto new paradigms. Shifts occur due to new problems unsolvable by the previous paradigms. Sometimes people do so much research during a particular paradigm that they eventually find a flaw in it. Ultimately, we move in circles from the conventional to the revolutionary: always finding something new, then the new becomes the old, then we discover or create the new again and again and again.

Got it?

The paradigms and shifts included in the “The Major Historical Paradigm Shifts” series are as follows:

Current-Traditional Rhetoric
(the Harvard Influence in 1930’s)

Transition Period: Process Movement
(continues throughout history until the 21st cent.)


(during the time of peace and love in the 60’s and 70’s)

Cognitive Process
(between the 70’s and 80’s)

Critical/Cultural Paradigm
(during Open Admissions Policy in the 80’s and 90’s)

Post-Process Theory
(the 90’s to present-time)

Each paradigm will discuss its major tenets (important points), purposes (ideologies and beliefs during the time), and pedagogy (how to teach them/what it looks like in the classroom). Additional sources are also added at the bottom of each blog post to provide more information about its corresponding paradigm.

– Maxine Hairston’s “The Winds of Change: Thomas Kuhn and the Reovlution in the Teaching of Writing”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s