It's Friday night so I don't have have time to do Hesse or deBoer justice. But this needs to be shouted from the roof tops:
I don’t disagree with most of Hesse’s prescriptions for composition. In particular, when he writes, “Students learn to write by writing, by getting advice and feedback on their writing, and then writing some more,” I want to applaud. Writing is like playing a sport or learning a musical instrument: there is no substitute for repetition. You must practice! Students need to be writing, a lot. I would personally prefer that they be working at much smaller scales than is typical in contemporary composition classrooms, taking apart their own paragraphs, finding what doesn’t work, and rewriting them until they’re polished and strong. But yes, there is simply no substitute for practice, for repetition, in training young writers.
I'll pick up the thread later.