ISER Publication - Tutoring as transformative work: A phenomenological case study of tutors’ experiences

ID: 1708

look up Dayna DeFeoDayna DeFeo

2014-06-01

Much scholarship about writing centers addresses benefits to students; this article instead explores the gains inherent in tutoring for the tutors themselves. Using a phenomenological methodology, this study analyzes reflective narratives from eight former writing center tutors in order to identify commonalities in their experiences. Although they generally came with a lack of investment in tutoring, these individuals quickly adopted a constructivist paradigm and regarded their work as meaningful. After leaving the discipline, tutors retrospectively identified personal and professional development opportunities, but the data reveal that they did not reflect effectively on their own experiences while tutoring. The authors make recommendations to use reflective practice to shift the tutor training curriculum from one that is utilitarian and methods-focused to one that emphasizes tutors’ professional development broadly and in the context of their unique personal and professional goals.

Suggested Citation:

DeFeo, D. J. & Caparas, F. (2014). Tutoring as transformative work: A phenomenological case study of tutors’ experiences. Journal of the College Reading & Learning Association 44(2), 141-163.