Writing Center History and Scholarship: An Overview Brian Fallon and Rusty Carpenter IWCA Summer Institute 2013 First, let’s talk timelines… Socrates invents Socratic Method c. 469-399 BCE What happened when… Writing Centers at University of Minnesota & State University of Iowa (now University of Iowa) c. 1934 2013 IWCA Summer Institute Quick Activity: In groups, discuss what you already know about writing center history. Here are some questions you may consider: • What events would you add to this timeline? • How would you tell a history of the writing center? • What’s the history of your own writing center? Writing Center History: Evolution, Innovative Heroes, and Multiple Forces Peter Carino’s three models for investigating writing center history: • Evolutionary Model • Dialectical Model • Cultural Model The right mix… Method Site Practitioner/Student Needs and Interests Modern Writing Centers Elizabeth Boquet (1999) Brooklyn College Institute for Training Peer Writing Tutors - Participants The Idea of a Writing Laboratory “I have learned that when writing centers were called writing laboratories, they often thrived, with a lineage going back to the 1890s when laboratory methods of instruction were trumpeted in a wide range of disciplines and at all instruction levels, but particularly in the newly required first-year English composition classes that proliferated nationwide following Harvard University’s creation of ‘English A’ (Brereton).” Neal Lerner • The Idea of a Writing Laboratory. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP. 2009 • “Rejecting the Remedial Brand: The Rise and Fall of the Dartmouth Writing Clinic.” College Composition and Communication 59.1 (2007): 13-35. Important Scholarly and Professional Developments • The Writing Lab Newsletter, Print, 1977 • The Writing Center Journal, Print, 1980 • National Writing Centers Association (NWCA), Constitution Written, 1982 • National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing (NCPTW), 1984 • The Dangling Modifier, Online, Fall 1994 • PeerCentered, Online, 1994/1995 • NWCA, 1st Conference Independent from NCTE or CCCC, 1997 • NWCA becomes International Writing Centers Association, 1999 • Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, Online, Fall 2003 WC Scholarship • Types • Methods • Trends • Technology Types of Scholarship Conceptual Historical Empirical Variety of Methods WC Scholarship Trends • Descriptive Scholarship (Moore) • Epistemological Scholarship (Bruffee) • Angry/Impassioned Scholarship (North “Idea”) • Tutor-focused Scholarship (Kail and Trimbur) • “How to” Scholarship (Harris) • Theory-driven Scholarship (Boquet) • Technology-focused Scholarship (Inman) A History of Technology in the Writing Center “We hope to have a computer terminal this fall. We intend to use it primarily for administrative control and academic accounting purposes (pen and paper are just not fast enough), but it will also be available to develop writing programs (the latter is something of a luxury, since one could equip up to fifteen or more carrel stations for the cost of a terminal, and they would be available at all times).” Richard Mason, “A Response to our Questionnaire,” Writing Lab Newsletter, 1977 Electronic Writing Center Work “It is a call for the entire composition community to coordinate a new mandate for the electronic writing center; to imagine an alternate future for peer tutors and the students that they serve, not by abandoning traditional writing centers but by envisioning them with electronic counterparts” (Coogan, 1999, xvi). Tracing Technology: Milestones in History • Computer classrooms dubbed “writing labs,” 1980 (Carino) • 1984 Writing Lab Directory lists 88/184 centers as having at least one computer (Carino) • Email (asynchronous), 1987/88 (Kinkead) • Purdue OWL, founded 1994 • MUDs and MOOs, 1995 (Jordan-Henley and Maid) • Chat (synchronous), 2005, Denny; Metzer • Virtual Worlds, 2008-2009, UCF, MSU, BGSU • Synchronous Video, 2009-Present Tracing Technology: Milestones in the Literature • Mason, “A Response to our Questionnaire,” Writing Lab Newsletter, 1977 • Veit, “Are Machines the Answer?” WLN, 1979 • Norton and Hansen, “The Potential for Computer-Assisted Instruction in the Writing Lab” Ed. Harris, Tutoring Writing, 1982 • Hobson, Wiring the Writing Center, 1998 • Coogan, Electronic Writing Centers, 1999 • Palmquist, “A Brief History of Computer Support for Writing Centers and Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Programs,” Computers and Composition, 2003 • McKinney. “Geek in the Center.” Writing Lab Newsletter. 2009 • Lee and Carpenter, The Routledge Reader on Writing Centers and New Media, 2013 First post on PeerCentered Blog Discussion Starters • What are your goals for this week? • How do you see these goals aligning with WC history and/or scholarship? • What opportunities do you have to contribute to WC Scholarship/History? • What other questions do you hope to discuss/pose/ask this week?