This e-mail message was posted by Neal Lerner to wcenter on April 29, 1998:
I generally agree with what Sharon says below, but there's one sentence that jumps out as central to several topics we've been discussing lately. Sharon talks about the allowing ourselves "to focus on what the student needs to be able to do in order to write better."
So who decides "what the student needs to be able to do"? The tutor, employing Kairos if not chirporactic skills? The writing center director via WC missions and tutor training? The classroom instructor through assignments and expressed (and unexpressed) criteria and expectations? The student, for whom a more perfect text might be the immediate goal? Balancing these various goals (some at odds with each other) seems to me to be a significant dilemma (and fascination) of WC work. And conversations about professional vs. peer tutors and higher-order vs. later-order concerns all involve addressing this dilemma. So how do some of you help your staffs--and yourselves--get at this balance?