Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Bennett A. Rafoth, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Gian S. Pagnucci, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Sharon K. Deckert, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Richard Kent, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study examines the perceived intellectual and dispositional takeaways for high school alumni who had been peer tutors in their secondary context. The research question which drove this study was, “What abilities, values, and skills do tutors develop from their experience as peer tutors and how, if at all, have they used those abilities, values, and skills in their lives beyond high school?” The findings come from the completed surveys of 63 high school tutor alumni who all tutored at a large, public suburban high school with a diverse population, and who represent a cross-section of the school’s population. The survey was adapted from one made available by the Peer Writing Tutor Alumni Research Project (PWTARP), a national project which seeks to better understand the developmental process of students who engage in the work of peer tutoring during their undergraduate university experience. I collected this data between 2010 and 2013 in my role as the program coordinator and although I knew these tutors very well, their responses were anonymous. Participants named 25 skills, abilities, and values they developed. Participants also indicated, through the survey’s four Likert-scale questions, that they found their tutor experiences were important or influential to their development after high school. This study used the grounded theory method of initial and focused coding for analysis of the data generated by the survey’s open-ended responses. These responses generated 180 pages of text. During the analysis 132 initial codes were applied to 2,231 excerpts from the survey responses. The 132 initial codes were grouped into 34 focused codes. These focused codes were further consolidated into 11 categories that describe the learned skills, innate abilities, and developed values of respondents. These analytic categories are descriptive in nature and constitute the major findings of this study. These categories include writing, reading, collaboration, adaptability, patience, perseverance, confidence, maturity, leadership, bravery, and joie de vivre.

Share

COinS