ERIC Number: ED332185
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Tutoring and Teaching: Continuum, Dichotomy, or Dialectic?
Raines, Helon H.
A writing center serves freshmen and sophomores at Casper Community College in Casper, Wyoming and upper level classes at University of Wyoming/Casper College. The arrangement raises questions about the effectiveness of peer tutoring. Tutors were labeled "writing assistants" and those who came to the center for help were called "writers" or "clients." A dialectical view provides an alternative to the teacher-tutor dichotomy. Such a dialectical approach, which values a tension between traditional and radical pedagogies, may help change perceptions about writing center work. The dialectical image can help clarify, if not eradicate, the apparent contradiction in espousing collaborative methodology and identifying the development of independent learners as a goal. Seven Casper College writing assistants described what they do and how it relates to teaching. They identified differences in atmosphere and authority, contrasting the authoritarian setting of the classroom with the mutual discovery of peer tutoring. Application of the dialectic of learning to the dialectic of teaching and tutoring can keep the two in tension as processes that are recursive, interactive, and changing. Writing educators should strive to create an open-ended story always spinning out reshaped narrative lines working against established narrative lines in an ever-evolving text. (Three notes are included; 19 references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Casper College WY; Collaborative Learning; Dialectical Reasoning; University of Wyoming; Writing Development
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).