ERIC Number: ED534066
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Preparing Writing Centers and Tutors for Literacy Mediation for Working Class Campus-Staff
Oslund, Christy M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan Technological University
This study grew out of the realization that implicit literacy expectations between working class United Auto Workers (UAW) staff and professional class staff were complicating the filling out and filing of a position audit form. Professional class supervisors had designed the form as a measure of fairness, in that each UAW employee on campus was responding to the same set of questions about their work. However, the implicit literacy expectations of supervisors were different from those of many of the employees who were to fill out the form. As a result, questions that were meant to be straightforward to answer were in the eyes of the employees filling out the form, complex. Before coming to the writing center UAW staff had spent months writing out responses to the form; they expressed concerns that their responses still would not meet audience expectations. These writers recognized that they did not yet know exactly what the audience was expecting. The results of this study include a framework for planning writing center sessions that facilitate the acquisition of literacy practices which are new to the user. One important realization from this dissertation is that the social nature of literacy must be kept in the forefront when both planning sessions and when educating tutors to lead these sessions. Literacy scholars such as James Paul Gee, Brian Street, and Shirley Brice Heath are used to show that a person can only know those literacy practices that they have previously acquired. In order to acquire new literacy practices, a person must have social opportunities for hands-on practice and mentoring from someone with experience. The writing center can adapt theory and practices from this dissertation that will facilitate sessions for a range of writers wishing to learn "new" literacy practices. This study also calls for specific changes to writing center tutor education. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.
Descriptors: Working Class, Employees, Adult Education, Adult Educators, Unions, Writing Instruction, Adult Literacy, Workplace Literacy, Staff Development, Nonprofessional Personnel, Professional Personnel, Workplace Learning, Laboratories, Writing (Composition)
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A