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ERIC Number: ED357359
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Social-Constructionist Theory and the Writing Center: A House of Mirrors.
Woolbright, Meg
For those in Composition Studies, Kenneth Brufee's social constructionist notion of collaboration has been touted as a panacea for all educational ills. Andrea Lunsford and Art Young have recently endorsed a social constructionist philosophy for writing centers. Lunsford asserts that the best collaborative model is socially constructed and aims for consensus. It goes deeply against the grain of education in America because it rejects traditional hierarchies, according to Young. An attempt to examine the roles of consensus and resistance in the relationship between student and tutor, and to conform to the model of collaboration that relies on "mastery" and "consensus" reveals a problem with this model, as transcriptions of dialogues between tutor and student illustrate. It does not allow the student to effectively voice her resistance to the authority of the tutor and to develop her own authority as a writer. This silencing of the student's resistance renders her powerless. But on one level, the student and her tutor do reach consensus about a detail of the writing process. A view that privileges resistance, that keeps student and tutor talking about their differences until they find "some common grounds for agreement that are sufficiently complex to be agreeable" (in the words of Kurt Spellmeyer) to both parties would be preferable to pretended mastery and assumed consensus. (SAM)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A