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ERIC Number: ED452548
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Disembodied Spirituality: Conflicts in the Writing Center.
Johnson, Peggy; Mutschelknaus, Mike
Noting that at Saint Mary's University (where the authors teach) the issue of spirituality is in the forefront of education and is seamlessly woven into required courses throughout four years of college in an attempt to "enhance students' spiritual and personal lives," this paper positions writing centers as a place for student inquiries about their spirituality. The paper states that one avenue of spiritual study is through the University's Interdisciplinary Program, a required course sequence intended to address the theme of understanding the human condition--students and faculty in this core curriculum are considered co-learners who value discussion, in-depth analysis, questioning, and critical thinking. It explains that central to these courses are writing assignments that serve the purposes of using writing as a tool for learning as well as helping students learn to write. According to the paper, however, almost 20% of students believe they cannot meet assignment requirements and be true to their own spirituality. The paper reports that writing center faculty notice that conflicts arise when students who do not follow Christian traditions must write about Christian topics and when some traditional students feel they must reveal too much of their souls, as in "too personal" writing. If the writing center is to meet students' needs brought about by the University's expectations of requiring spiritually based courses which emphasize writing, the center must reposition its approach to tutoring: it must move from a traditional format, which focuses on external assignments, to a non-traditional format, which emphasizes the process of learning how to convey internal spirituality to an external audience. It suggests using the "enneagram" (an aid for self-knowledge) as a tutor training strategy for strengthening the tutor/student conference experience through promoting tutor self-knowledge and empathy toward others. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A