Around the Texts of Writing Center Work reveals the conceptual frameworks found in and created by ordinary writing center documents. The values and beliefs underlying course syllabi, policy statements, website copy and comments, assessment plans, promotional flyers, and annual reports critically inform writing center practices, including the vital undertaking of tutor education.
In each chapter, author R. Mark Hall focuses on a particular document. He examines its origins, its use by writing center instructors and tutors, and its engagement with enduring disciplinary challenges in the field of composition, such as tutoring and program assessment. He then analyzes each document in the contexts of the conceptual framework at the heart of its creation and everyday application: activity theory, communities of practice, discourse analysis, reflective practice, and inquiry-based learning.
Around the Texts of Writing Center Work approaches the analysis of writing center documents with an inquiry stance—a call for curiosity and skepticism toward existing and proposed conceptual frameworks—in the hope that the theoretically conscious evaluation and revision of commonplace documents will lead to greater efficacy and more abundant research by writing center administrators and students.
The teacher-student conference is standard in the repertoire of teachers at all levels. Because it's a one-to-one encounter, teachers work hard to make it comfortable; but because it's a pedagogical moment, they hope that learning occurs in the encounter, too. The literature in this area often suggests that a conference is a conversation, but this doesn't account for a teacher's need to use it pedagogically. Laurel Johnson Black's new book explores the conflicting meanings and relations embedded in conferencing and offers a new theoretical understanding of the conference along with practical approaches to conferencing more effectively with students.
Analyzing taped conferences of several different teachers and students, Black considers the influence that power, gender, and culture can have on a conference. She draws on sociolinguistic theory, as well as critical theory in composition and rhetoric, to build an understanding of the writing conference as an encounter somewhere between conversation and the classroom. She finds neither the conversation model nor versions of the master-apprentice model satisfactory. Her approach is humane, student-centered, and progressive, but it does not ignore the valid pedagogical purposes a teacher might have in conferencing. Between Talk and Teaching will be a valuable addition to the professional library of writing teachers and writing program administrators.
The Idea of a Writing Laboratory is a book about possibilities, about teaching and learning to write in ways that can transform both teachers and students.
Author Neal Lerner explores higher education’s rich history of writing instruction in classrooms, writing centers and science laboratories. By tracing the roots of writing and science educators’ recognition that the method of the lab––hands-on student activity—is essential to learning, Lerner offers the hope that the idea of a writing laboratory will be fully realized more than a century after both fields began the experiment.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, writing instructors and science teachers recognized that mass instruction was inadequate for a burgeoning, “non-traditional” student population, and that experimental or laboratory methods could prove to be more effective. Lerner traces the history of writing instruction via laboratory methods and examines its successes and failures through case studies of individual programs and larger reform initatives. Contrasting the University of Minnesota General College Writing Laboratory with the Dartmouth College Writing Clinic, for example, Lerner offers a cautionary tale of the fine line between experimenting with teaching students to write and “curing” the students of the disease of bad writing.
The history of writing within science education also wends its way through Lerner’s engaging work, presenting the pedagogical origins of laboratory methods to offer educators in science in addition to those in writing studies possibilities for long-sought after reform. The Idea of a Writing Laboratory compels readers and writers to “don those white coats and safety glasses and discover what works” and asserts that “teaching writing as an experiment in what is possible, as a way of offering meaning-making opportunities for students no matter the subject matter, is an endeavor worth the struggle.”
Multilingual writers—often graduate students with more content knowledge and broader cultural experience than a monolingual tutor—unbalance the typical tutor/client relationship and pose a unique challenge for the writing center. Multilingual Writers and Writing Centers explores how directors and tutors can better prepare for the growing number of one-to-one conferences with these multilingual writers they will increasingly encounter in the future.
This much-needed addition of second language acquisition (SLA) research and teaching to the literature of writing center pedagogy draws from SLA literature; a body of interviews Rafoth conducted with writing center directors, students, and tutors; and his own decades of experience. Well-grounded in daily writing center practice, the author identifies which concepts and practices directors can borrow from the field of SLA to help tutors respond to the needs of multilingual writers, what directors need to know about these concepts and practices, and how tutoring might change in response to changes in student populations.
Multilingual Writers and Writing Centers is a call to invigorate the preparation of tutors and directors for the negotiation of the complexities of multilingual and multicultural communication.
Noise From The Writing Center
Elizabeth H. Boquet Utah State University Press, 2002 Library of Congress PE1404.B66 2002 | Dewey Decimal 808.0420711
In Noise from the Writing Center, Boquet develops a theory of "noise" and excess as an important element of difference between the pedagogy of writing centers and the academy in general. Addressing administrative issues, Boquet strains against the bean-counting anxiety that seems to drive so much of writing center administration. Pedagogically, she urges a more courageous practice, developed via metaphors of music and improvisation, and argues for "noise," excess, and performance as uniquely appropriate to the education of writers and tutors in the center.
Personal, even irreverent in style, Boquet is also theoretically sophisticated, and she draws from an eclectic range of work in academic and popular culture-from Foucault to Attali to Jimi Hendrix. She includes, as well, the voices of writing center tutors with whom she conducted research, and she finds some of her most inspiring moments in the words and work of those tutors.
Re/Writing the Center illuminates how core writing center pedagogies and institutional arrangements are complicated by the need to create intentional, targeted support for advanced graduate writers. Most writing center tutors are undergraduates, whose lack of familiarity with the genres, preparatory knowledge, and research processes integral to graduate-level writing can leave them underprepared to assist graduate students. Complicating the issue is that many of the graduate students who take advantage of writing center support are international students.
The essays in this volume show how to navigate the divide between traditional writing center theory and practices, developed to support undergraduate writers, and the growing demand for writing centers to meet the needs of advanced graduate writers. Contributors address core assumptions of writing center pedagogy, such as the concept of peers and peer tutoring, the emphasis on one-to-one tutorials, the positioning of tutors as generalists rather than specialists, and even the notion of the writing center as the primary location or center of the tutoring process. Re/Writing the Center offers an imaginative perspective on the benefits writing centers can offer to graduate students and on the new possibilities for inquiry and practice graduate students can inspire in the writing center.
Contributors: Laura Brady, Michelle Cox, Thomas Deans, Paula Gillespie, Mary Glavan, Marilyn Gray, James Holsinger, Elena Kallestinova, Tika Lamsal, Patrick S. Lawrence, Elizabeth Lenaghan, Michael A. Pemberton, Sherry Wynn Perdue, Doug Phillips, Juliann Reineke, Adam Robinson, Steve Simpson, Nathalie Singh-Corcoran, Ashly Bender Smith, Sarah Summers, Molly Tetreault, Joan Turner, Bronwyn T. Williams, Joanna Wolfe
Deaf students are attending mainstream postsecondary institutions in increasing numbers, raising the stakes for the complicated and multifaceted task of tutoring deaf students at these schools. Common tutoring practices used with hearing students do not necessarily work for deaf people. Rebecca Day Babcock researched and wrote Tell Me How It Reads: Tutoring Deaf and Hearing Students in the Writing Center to supply writing instructors an effective set of methods for teaching Deaf and other students how to be better writers.
Babcock’s book is based on the resulting study of tutoring writing in the college context with both deaf and hearing students and their tutors. She describes in detail sessions between deaf students, hearing tutors, and the interpreters that help them communicate, using a variety of English or contact signing rather than ASL in the tutorials. These experiences illustrate the key differences between deaf-hearing and hearing-hearing tutorials and suggest ways to modify tutoring and tutor-training practices accordingly. Although this study describes methods for tutoring deaf students, its focus on students who learn differently can apply to teaching writing to Learning Disabled students, ESL students, and other students with different learning styles. Ultimately, the well-grounded theory analysis within Tell Me How It Reads provides a complete paradigm for tutoring in all writing centers.
Tutoring Matters is the authoritative guide for both the aspiring and seasoned tutor. Using firsthand experiences of over one hundred new and experienced college student tutors, the authors offer techniques for handling tutoring anxieties, teaching strategies, and tips for building relationships.
This new edition has been fully updated to help tutors to engage the interest of their students. In addition, it features practical “tip boxes” that provide quick-reference guidelines on a range of tutoring challenges—from making a connection in your first tutoring session to becoming familiar with your pupil's life and tutoring needs. This new edition also provides practical experience-based tips "from the trenches" about how to tutor math and reading and how to help students develop other academic skills and interests.
Inside each of us is the promise of a tutor. If you've ever taught a child to tie her shoe, or helped a friend with his homework, or even helped a stranger understand a posted sign, you have it in you to empower others through learning. Tutors are allowed to do what teachers and parents are often not able to do. They can be patient, observe, question, support, challenge, and applaud. They can move towards nurturing the true and total intelligence of their tutees. Learning to tutor is simply overcoming fears, sharing and acquiring knowledge, and appreciating the potential and wisdom in each other.
Tutoring Matters is the authoritative manual for both the aspiring and seasoned tutor. Using firsthand experiences of over one hundred new and experienced tutors, this long-awaited guide offers chapters on attitudes and anxieties, teaching techniques, and building relationships. It educates the tutor on how to handle and appreciate social and language differences; how to use other adults -- teachers, administrators, parents, employers -- to a student's advantage; and, when your student or circumstances determine that it's time, how to put a positive and supportive end to the tutor-tutee relationship.
Written by experienced tutors and tutoring educators, Tutoring Matters celebrates -- and provides just the right tools for -- an individualized and successful tutoring relationship and shows just how much you can learn -- about the world and yourself -- through teaching others.
Tutoring Second Language Writers, a complete update of Bruce and Rafoth’s 2009 ESL Writers, is a guide for writing center tutors that addresses the growing need for tutors who are better prepared to work with the increasingly international population of students seeking guidance at the writing center.
Drawing upon philosopher John Dewey’s belief in reflective thinking as a way to help build new knowledge, the book is divided into four parts. Part 1: Actions and Identities is about creating a proactive stance toward language difference, thinking critically about labels, and the mixed feelings students may have about learning English. Part 2: Research Opportunities demonstrates writing center research projects and illustrates methods tutors can use to investigate their questions about writing center work. Part 3: Words and Passages offers four personal stories of inquiry and discovery, and Part 4: Academic Expectations describes some of the challenges tutors face when they try to help writers meet readers’ specific expectations.
Advancing the conversations tutors have with one another and their directors about tutoring second language writers and writing, Tutoring Second Language Writers engages readers with current ideas and issues that highlight the excitement and challenge of working with those who speak English as a second or additional language.
Contributors include Jocelyn Amevuvor, Rebecca Day Babcock, Valerie M. Balester, Shanti Bruce, Frankie Condon, Michelle Cox, Jennifer Craig, Kevin Dvorak, Paula Gillespie, Glenn Hutchinson, Pei-Hsun Emma Liu, Bobbi Olson, Pimyupa W. Praphan, Ben Rafoth, Jose L. Reyes Medina, Guiboke Seong, and Elizabeth (Adelay) Witherite.