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ERIC Number: ED399538
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Walking the Tightrope: Negotiating between the Ideal and the Practical in the Writing Center, Part 2: The Real.
Rossi, Michael J.
Writing centers have to adapt their philosophies to meet challenges that are unique to individual institutions. Working with faculty in other disciplines inevitably brings changes in what writing centers do, creating a need for some adaptation in the way a center operates--on at least a practical, day-to-day level. The greatest challenge is to find practical means of fostering the growth necessary to achieve the ideal. It is fortuitous that Stephen North's essay (1994) and Muriel Harris' essay (1995) appeared in mailboxes at nearly the same time because while North tries to shake what is left of the comfortable assurance that writing centers know what they are about, Harris looks past the proliferation of things writing centers do to discover their unique function, their valuable contribution to education now and in the longed-for, transcendent future. Among North's major points is that writing centers hamper their own growth by adhering to flawed, idealistic images of themselves. Writing centers, he suggests, are more likely to be coopted by than to change their institutions. In contrast, Harris believes that transforming the institution is part of the writing center's job and goal. These essays suggest that writing center administrators need to become less rigid or less defensive in their advocacy of their ideals. They might begin to do that by talking to those who stand between the theory and the daily demands of the writing center, the tutors. (Contains six references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A