ERIC Number: ED373355
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Gender Expectations and Relationships in the Writing Center.
Hunzer, Kathleen M.
Research assessing the effectiveness of writing tutorial programs should consider how gender contributes to dynamics of the student tutor relationship. In "On Becoming a More Effective Tutor," Lil Brannon catalogues different postures that the writing tutor may adopt: some are more friendly, concerned with the student's self-esteem, while others are more directive or assertive. Brannon's approach, however, does not consider how gender might determine a tutor's position on this spectrum. An informal study of 74 students who attended the writing center at West Chester University, however, suggests that gender is most important. Results, which given the limited survey sampling (39 completed questionnaires) are nonconclusive, indicate that students generally prefer tutors of their own gender. Male students prefer the directiveness, assertiveness and analytical style of male tutors; females students prefer the sociability, solicitude and self-expressive tendencies of female tutors. Findings suggest: (1) that writing centers should make sure that both male and female tutors are available; and (2) that perhaps all tutors should be trained to be more "balanced" between male and female traits. Case studies of student opinions about their tutors illustrate the findings. Further research about how tutors react to the above findings, about nonverbal behaviors between males and females, about how the gender relationship between student and tutor might affect the paper grade seems promising. (TB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Tutor Role; West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (45th, Nashville, TN, March 16-19, 1994).