ERIC Number: ED295190
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Dimensions of Diversity: Peer Tutoring in a Multi-Cultural Setting.
Okawa, Gail Y.
The writing center is a logical setting for assisting the culturally dissonant student. Although the education of ethnic minority youth is one of the major tasks confronting American society and public higher education, teaching methods remain oriented to the values of a predominantly white middle class population. As a result, non-traditional (ethnic minority and working class) students often experience cultural dissonance in the classroom, a dissonance perhaps manifested most acutely when they encounter a writing assignment. Through sensitive peer tutoring and a "hands-off" approach to writing instruction, the writing center helps to empower the non-traditional student, and provides an ideal place for students to begin to cope with the culture of academia. The recruiting and training of tutors, especially peer tutors, are key factors in the development of the writing center. In an environment with culturally diverse writers, peer tutoring develops a different value and dimension. By actively recruiting tutors who reflect the cultural, gender, and class diversity of the student population, and by training all tutors to become sensitive to stereotyping, cultural orientation, and learning styles, the writing center can address the complex experience of non-traditional students and serve a facilitating and liberating function for writers unfamiliar with academic discourse. Writings by clients and tutors at the writing center at the University of Washington reveal the success such a program can yield. (ARH)
Descriptors: Academic Discourse, Cultural Background, Cultural Differences, Cultural Influences, Culture Conflict, Educationally Disadvantaged, Empowerment, Ethnic Groups, Higher Education, Middle Class Culture, Minority Groups, Peer Teaching, Social Differences, Student Characteristics, Tutoring, Writing Instruction, Writing Laboratories
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (39th, St. Louis, MO, March 17-19, 1988).