Directive versus Non-directiveTutoring Strategies:Can we find common ground? TW 5.2
Jeff Brooks: “Minimalist Tutoring: Making Students Do All The Work” (1991) What problem does he address? Hint (page 169)
Brooks defines this problem: “… faced with students who want us to ‘fix’ their papers as well as our own desire to create ‘perfect’ documents, we often find it easier and more satisfying to take change, to muscle in on the student’s paper, red pen in hand.’ (169)
What are the sources of this problem? “… faced with students who want us to ‘fix’ their papers as well as our own desire to create ‘perfect’ documents, we often find it easier and more satisfying to take change, to muscle in on the student’s paper, red pen in hand.’ (169)
What solutions does Brooks provide? 1. 2. 3. 4.
Brooks’s solutions #1 Clarify our goals: Talk to student as individual Discuss strategies and principles of structure Draw students’ attention to their own work. Offer support and encouragement
Brooks’s solutions #2 Basic Minimalist Tutoring: Sit side-by-side Student closer to paper Have student read aloud
Brooks’s solutions #3 Advanced Minimalist Tutoring: Concentrate on the success in paper Use questions to get student to talk. For ex: “What do you mean buy this?” “Can you show me your thesis’? “What is the reason for point x before point y? Give student a task. Walk away. Return.
Brooks’s solution #4 Defensive Minimalist Tutoring What are the potential drawbacks of this approach?
Important points/strategies to take away “We ought to encourage students to treat their own writing as texts that deserve the same kind of close attention we usually reserve for literary texts.” 170 Strategies for encouraging student ownership and engagement: Questions, tasks, read aloud, seating arrangements. 3. Others?
Problem with Brooks? Limits of defensive tutoring? He writes: “we forget that students write to learn, not to make perfect papers” (170). What is potentially problematic about this point? 3. Other problems:
“A Critique of Pure Tutoring” Linda K Shamoon and Deborah Burns (1995) What do they argue?
Their argument The orthodoxy of minimalist/non-directive tutoring methods limits the work of writing centers
Their evidence It begins with a conflict between their experience/observations and their understanding of research/practices. They reflect on their experience and observations and move to research: master class in music, theories of social constructivism, academic literacy, and discourse communities.
Their conclusion Modeling, demonstration, and other directive methods are useful.
Is their critique of minimalist tutoring accurate? Does Brooks leave an opening for modeling, demonstration, and other directive methods?
Directive & Nondirective Do Overlap! Brooks says writing tutors can: Discuss strategies and principles of structure Brooks says tutoring can: give student a task, walk away, return.
The Task Rutgers Plangere Writing Center Video Demonstrates the overlap between directive and nondirective methods. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic4sX7T5PC4
In class writing What did today’s class and the readings teach you about tutoring?
Shamoon & Burns: Techniques Qualified language “sometimes.” How many times do they use qualified language on page 174? How do they recognize limits on page 186? What does this do to their argument? Analogy: “these sources” of advice for writing tutors- especially advice about minimalist tutoring- become a “bible” (174 ). What are the implications of this comparison? Evidence: Experience, Observation, Research How do handle references to experience/observation/research? (176, 178, 179, 181, 182, 183, 184) Transitions and Signposts (181,182, 183) How do they contribute to the flow of the paper?
In class writing What did today’s class and the readings teach you about writing?