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Time line of Writing Centers

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John Chrisman

on 17 November 2011

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Transcript of Time line of Writing Centers

Writing Centers: A History University of North Carolina builds a "Composition Condition Laboratory" It focuses specifically on student grammar knowledge- 1940s (Boquet 468-469) With the shift in student body, the "need" for writing centers reemerges (Boquet 472-473) Peer tutors are introduced, which differentiates the writing center from traditional classrooms. Employing peer tutors is fiscally sound, as writing centers are usually underfunded- 1970s (Boquet 474-475) The writing center is an extension of writing courses. Remedial students attend lectures and writing labs to better their writing abilities- 1940s (Boquet 467) 2000s 1980s 1960s 1970s 1950s 1800s Writing "labs" lose their place, and the idea of them exists only as a method of instruction in classrooms. Instructors then focus on the ellimination of errors - 1900s (Boquet 466-467) Several Colleges, throughout the country, have some form of Writing Center. Including FSU and U of F- 1945
(Lerner 3-5) 1900-1940 Colleges across America adopt "open admissions" policies- 1970s (Boquet 475) "Why Johnny Can't Write"- 1975 (Bernard, Mondale 184) Universities begin accepting marginalized students. Until this point, collegiate student bodies have been largely homogenous- 1970s (Boquet 472) WLN's first issue is published in response to a collective need for a national Writing Center Community. This publication later gives the WC an Academic voice- 1971 (Pemberton 22) It becomes apparent that students who struggle in the social context of the classroom need alternate instructional methods (Boquet 474) Title IX ratified promoting women's equal education- 1972 (Anderson 128) Disabled students extended Civil Rights coverage in- 1976 Bernard, Mondale 162) An economic power shift towards Japan and Germany leads to growing concern/criticism of American schools- mid 70s (Cuban 176-177) Fueled by an 1877 Harvard study citing numerous deficiencies in student writing, educators across America take up task of "fixing" composition education, typically focusing on grammar and structural complaints (Boquet 472) Bush Sr. sets a goal of being first on international Math and Science tests by 2000-1989 (Cuban 177) Schools focus on "Americanization" of students, particularly immigrants (Ravitch 63) In response, states up graduation requirements, expand the school year, and begin incentive-based funding for public schools, adapting a corporate business model to public education- 1983 (Bernard, Mondale 187) Negative outcomes in "A Nation at Risk" and comments from President Reagan claim that the nation is in yet another "educational crisis"- 1983 (Bernard, Mondale 185) 1990s Writing centers are still in a state of flux. Negotiating their titles, purpose, staff, clients and pedagogies- 1970s (Nash 2-7) Composition taught in American colleges as far back as 1642 (Crowley 49) American Universities become more research focused, mirroring the German Model- 1874 (Crowley 55) Federal Funding tied to desegregation, which forces the doors to open in many, slow to react, schools-1965 (Bernard, Mondale 148) In her 1964 essay "The Uses of the Unconscious in Composing", Janet Emig emerges as a leader in the process over product revolution. By 1971, process pedagogy is prominent in composition (Crowley 200-201, 205-206) MLA founded-
1890 (Crowley 58) Writing centers are a neutral space for remedial students to "catch up" but also a space that encourages collaboration- 1940s (Boquet 470) The post- open admissions era begins- 1980s (Boquet 475) The WLN shifts from a publication creating connections between centers to a place for scholarly and pedogogical articles (Pemberton 31) "The Idea of a Writing Center" by Steven North defends the place of Writing Centers-1984 (North 63-78) Trimbur begins the dialogue on peer tutoring, questioning the semantics of "peer"- 1987 (Trimbur 288-295) 1988 - Writing Center professionals begin discussing the advantageous positions Writing Centers can fill as nexuses of Writing Across the Curriculum (Barnett & Blumner 401) The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) passed into law as a continuation of "corportate model" education- 2001 Current issues in writing centers: ESL, genre conventions, tutor practices, online tutoring, WAC, effect of terminology, international writing centers, type of tutors, interdisciplinary scholarship Writing center research should help education reconceptualize students in addition to helping students fit their institutions- 2003 (Grimm 41-57) The National Writing Center Association Becomes the International Writing Center Association (IWCA)- 1998 ("IWCA History") After minimalism, centers are more localized, using fewer universal practices 1988-1995 - Post-secondary adminitstrators jump on the WAC pedogogical movement and shift WAC focus to writing centers. Resources cannot meet demands, and writing centers reassess the relationship in the hopes that it can become more of a two-way collaboration (Barnett & Blumner 401-2) The WLN carries over 1000 subscribers and remains one of the primary means of connection between writing centers (Pemberton 22) Minimalism is a popular yet controversial tutoring theory developed to relieve tension between collaboration and plagarism- 1991 (Brooks 219-224) Purdue OWL is launched- 1995 (Harris and Pemberton 521-540) Virtual tutoring starts negotiating its place in writing centers- 1993 (Harris and Pemberton 521-540) Voucher program underway in Wisconsin. President Bush supports it- 1992 (Bernard, Mondale 193) 1999 - WC pros suggest that an effective WAC programs extend beyond the WC into the broad social and educational landscape. They seek to engage professionals at all levels of other disciplines (Barnett & Blumner 402) Psychology movement away from behavioralism- 1940's (Boquet 469) Focus of education becomes more reliant on student interests and motivation, students are seen as primarily responsible for what they know and learn (Boquet 469-470) The "5 paragraph essay" is developed as an attempt to make composition intentionally formulaic. This is designed to reduce the need for individualized instruction (Boquet 472) Cold War Desegregation-1954 Little Rock-1957 "Why Johnny Can't Read"-1955 (Ravitch 69) GI bill puts strain on colleges with larger "nontraditional" student bodies, which leads Barris Mills to develop the idea of Process Pedagogy- 1950s (Crowley 191) Writing centers fall out of favor across country due to an increased emphasis in math and science- 1950s (Boquet 471) Writing labs work with writing in a clinical/scientific manner- 1950 (Moore 3-9)
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