ERIC Number: ED202007
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Notes from the Frontier Journal of a Writing Center Director.
When writing laboratories first opened over 30 years ago, only a few faculty members and administrators had a firm notion of what constituted a writing center, and these notions differed from campus to campus. The pioneers of the discipline had little beyond instinct and imagination to guide them--and a nagging notion that there is one true path to teaching writing competence. Yet, there are a staggering number of methods, theories, and approaches in the composition laboratory discipline. Certainly it is time that members of this discipline pause to take an honest and critical look at the profession and admit that they are still pioneers. Writing center directors have failed to answer even the most basic questions: What is a writing laboratory? and What does one do in a writing laboratory? In view of the confusion and overlap, critics of the writing laboratory have a right to question claims of success, which are often supported with statistics unrelated to students' increased abilities to write. But the future of the laboratory discipline is encouraging, if the history of other disciplines is a valid model. A field of inquiry, like basic writing, goes through an immature stage marked by controversies, but with gradual advances in knowledge, a consensus builds up that shapes the discipline into a genuine intellectual community. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Laboratories
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (32nd, Dallas, TX, March 26-28, 1981).