Wednesday, September 23, 2009
In Search of Theory
The Writing Center field is relatively new to me and I'm sure she will show me many more tactics and strategies for consultations and collaborative leaning, but as of now, I have not been satisfied with the way "theories" are being presented. I think my problem is that I have an image/definition in my mind about what a theory is (right or wrong), and it is not matching up to the "theories" within writing center publications for consultants. To me, a theory is far more than a quibble, or a call-to-arms. When I here the word "theory," I think of Kant's "Hypothetical/Categorical Imperatives," Barthes' "Dead Author," Said's "Orientalism," etc. I do not view North's opinion statements and proposals to be theory (this is not to say that it isn't valuable, or unscholarly - just not theory). Of all the readings that our BSU 303 class has examined, I would argue that there is no theory (according to my definition) in any of them thus far- Lisa Ede even mentions this in her article, "Writing as a Social Process" when she asserts that there has been no new theories since Bruffee's Collaborative Learning. Is this true, or is my definition of theory bankrupt? I don't mean to come off as a bully or some idealistic snob. I would just like to find some theory within writing center R&D if it is out there, or else, reconcile the two conflicting definitions of theory.
While I admit I was once intrigued by the prostitute-consultant analogy, not by what Scott Russell had to say about it but by some of the id...