Date of Award

1-10-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Ben Rafoth, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Gian S. Pagnucci, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michele Eodice, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study addresses the current state of peer tutoring in writing by considering the contributions that scholars and tutors have made to our understanding of the intellectual and pedagogical experiences of peer tutors. In order to explore this topic, the study examines the everyday interactions of tutors through three different lenses: the perceived, conceived, and lived experiences of peer tutors. This dissertation argues that the ways that tutoring is perceived and conceived have had the greatest influence in our understanding of peer tutors while the lived experiences of tutors are less likely to be represented in scholarly conversations on writing centers. This dissertation provides a space to bring the lived experiences of tutors into writing center scholarship and to argue for a renewed look at the state of peer tutoring at the college and university level. The study’s contribution is in its call for writing center scholarship to incorporate the lived experiences of tutors. This project offers a model for accomplishing this task, and the participants in this study focus attention on the importance of relationships, how lived experiences of tutors provide rich opportunities to theorize writing center work, and how peer tutors influence epistemology, identity, and production. The major contribution of this dissertation is that it addresses how peer tutors can provide writing center scholars broader perspectives on theory, how peer tutors contribute to teaching and learning, and how they change relationships between students and teachers, and theory and practice.

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