Stuttering: A Short History of a Curious Disorder

By Marcel E. Wingate | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The orientation of the Iowa school, as with its originator, continues to be more rhetorical and forensic than scientific. In an analogue from a more recent time, Freeman's criticism of cultural determinism, interestingly, can be applied verbatim to the thrust of the Iowa school: "An ideology that, in an actively unscientific way, sought totally to exclude biology from the explanation of human behavior" ( 1983: p. 282).

Freeman's quotation appeared earlier in this book (Chapter 6). The paragraph following that quotation contained five points reflecting the actual historical value of Margaret Mead's report. Inasmuch as those points have similar import in regard to the writings of Wendell Johnson and those of his legatees as well, they bear here.

First, Johnson's writings, as did Mead's, afford an outstanding example of the proselyting potential of doctrine and the distorting power of doctrinal conviction. Second, they point up the circumstantial potency of the Zeitgeist, the "tide in the affairs of men," the accepting--if not eagerly adulating-- atmosphere of the times. Third, even people who ought to know better will help a myth along. Fourth myths quickly acquire juggernaut momentum and easily crush isolated instances of reason or contradiction. Fifth, once a myth has been accepted, much time and effort must be expended to rescind it, particularly when it has been cloistered in an attitude that is impervious to contradictory evidence, rational criticism, and logical analysis.

Some of Johnson's followers, and perhaps some others speaking as apologists, have made the point that his view stimulated a considerable amount of research. This claim overlooks the fact that such research was mounted in regard to a cause Johnson initiated and pursued. The research has not represented inquiry that extends from a foundation of careful observation and objective, unbiased exploration. The bulk of this research has been undertaken to demonstrate, not to investigate; and it continues to be pursued in this vein. 35 Research conducted under such constraints encourages confounding, not understanding.

One must also take note of how the management of stuttering has been influenced. In substantial measure the management of stuttering from this position has continued on the treadmill set in motion by Johnson's view. Unfortunately this condition is most explicit in respect to children -- and their parents -- as is alarmingly represented in the recent flurry of "prevention" assertions, all of which are founded in a melange of presumption, inconsistency, contradiction, and questionable motivation.

Tiffany, well known in the field of audiology, received his doctorate at Iowa in 1951.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Stuttering: A Short History of a Curious Disorder


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 260

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?