ERIC Number: ED347567
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
From the Clinic to the Classroom: D. W. Winnicott, James Britton, and the Revolution in Writing Theory.
Recent writing theorists have recommended the use of collaboration and workshop techniques in writing classrooms, and the clinical experience of Donald C. Winnicott lies at the heart of this current thinking about collaborative classrooms. Winnicott's observations of mothers and infants produced a respect for families and a skepticism about the role of the physician. Winnicott's confidence in the patient and his detached observation with minimal interference had an important influence on James Britton. Britton was especially receptive to these new ideas because he valued the importance of fantasy in children's lives. Britton and his colleagues subsequently attempted to stimulate classroom research on how children actually learn to write, developing new methods and innovations. Britton believed in the inherent creativity of children and felt that traditional teaching inhibited student creativity. Thanks to Britton's influence, a whole generation of research-scholars have adapted Winnicott's techniques for the composition classroom. Lucy Calkins' work provides a remarkable example of Winnicott's techniques at work, although she never mentions either Winnicott or Britton. The connections between Calkins and Winnicott, though indirect, suggest a growing consensus among researchers. Even advanced writing programs can benefit from the techniques initiated by Winnicott. In short, numerous researchers have benefitted from Winnicott's influence and techniques, and his continued influence can only improve the current writing classroom environment. (Twenty-nine references are attached.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Britton (James); Composition Theory; Winnicott (Donald W)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992).