"Tutor's Column"

In the latest Writing Lab Newsletter "Tutor's Column" (February, 2005; Volume 29, Number 6), Paula Braun, Courtney Patterson, and Sarah Abst of the University of Toledo write about their experience "post-processing" a session they lead at the last NCPTW/IWCA conference entitled "Talking back to Training Manuals: Real Tutoring in a Post-Process Writing Cetner." The trio's main question of concern was "'How do you determine the line between directivenes and non-directiveness? When do you cross it'" (10)? The answers participants in the workshop provide are frank and explore the problems that non-directive theory can present in a writing center setting. Braun, Patterson, and Abst in presenting the explorations from their workshop hope that it sparks "as lively an exploration in your setting" (10).

In a bonus "Tutor's Column," Kelly Wisecup of the College of the Ozarks reports on an interesting experiment in writing center outreach. The program, entitled "Tutors in the Classroom" (TIC) (11), allowed the tutors to work with students in their classroom setting. The program not only allowed Wisecup to learn about instructor expectations but seemed to allow the tutors to model the benefits of individual consultations to the instructor.


  1. Anonymous7:07 AM

    Hi Clint,

    I just wanted to check in and introduce myself. My name is Leah Jones and I work with Tamara Miles at the Writing and Professional Skills Studio at OC Tech.

    I am very excited to have found a place to discuss Peer Tutoring issues.

    Last week, Tamara and I had our first experience with a reluctant (and slightly hostile) student. The young man saw Tamara first on last Wednesday, then returned to meet with me the next day having made no changes or improvements to his paper.

    He made it clear that he was not pleased with our advice. He was distant and did not make eye contact. His frustration with himself caused tense silences, and I was tempted to ask him to leave. He refused to take notes, and when I offered him a few handouts, he informed me that he had been given handouts the day before. When I required which handouts he received, he replied, "I don't know, I didn't read them."

    Tamara and I both realize that there is more going on in this student's life than problems with his paper, but should we just give up and let him be?

    We have opened a discussion on the Writing Center ListServe about our problems.

    I would be very interested to hear other bad experiences with these types of consultations, and how they were dealt with.

    Thanks so much.

  2. Hi Leah,

    Let me know if you are interested in joining the PeerCentered blog; it certainly would be interesting to hear what you have to say.


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