Practitioner Inquiry for Praxis and Research: Professionalization vis-a-vis Collaboration in the Writing Center

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Nordstrum, Georganne

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This pilot study details how a Practitioner Inquiry methodology was implemented as both a practice and research heuristic in our center. I explain how I draw from the foundational tenets of Practitioner Inquiry (Nordstrom) to foster collaboration among consultants and between consultants and the director in the running of our center. At the same time, I employ Practitioner Inquiry as a framework to produce Replicable, Aggregable, Data-supported (RAD) research to determine the efficacy of this approach in terms of consultant learning and their professionalization through qualitative and quantitative discourse analysis on consultants’ end-of-semester anonymous evaluations of their experiences working in the center. Recent scholarship points to the potential benefits that working in writing centers facilitates for consultants (Kail et al.), and represents our centers as pedagogical spaces that engender consultant learning and professionalization. This article furthers this work through an empirical investigation of the less examined subtopic of the director-consultant relationship in the context of the administration of the center. In addition, it acts as a case study that illustrates the efficacy of Practitioner Inquiry as a methodology for both practice and research.


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