September 4: Vygotsky and Freed Readings

This recording (https://webmail.uis.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://uisapreso1.uis.edu/acmcontent/a8efc9a0-c3ae-4542-8efd-966c4585be35/ENG378_Unspecified_2008-09-04_04-03-PM.htm ) includes a nice discussion about the Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and Stacey Freed's essay. We talked about how can be difficult for tutors to "fill the gap." Freed more specifically discussed the difficulty in separating the subject of the text to tutoring about the writing. What other questions/comments do you have regarding this topic?

5 comments:

Lindsey Perrine said...

Conservative or liberal? What, if either (or both), is the tutor's role?

I suppose I consider myself not just a liberal but a "screaming liberal." I'm very open to almost any and everything, even though I hold steadfast to most of my own beliefs.

Right off the bat this semester, I had a student came in with help on a paper for her "Wrongful Convictions" class. The paper summarized the plight of a man wrongful convicted of rape and robbery. Fortunately, he was eventually exonerated.

While I am in no way a supporter of imprisoning the wrongfully accused (I, in fact, believe that prosecutors who throw the book at someone they know is innocent should serve the same sentence--including death), I am an avid supporter of capital punishment; i got the feeling from the student that this particular class is kind of an anti-death-penalty class (although, I could certainly be wrong).

Whether it is or not, the burning question remains:

Is it appropriate for tutors to voice their personal opinions during a tutoring session? I think that answer is two-fold:

1) Yes, everyone has the right to hold and express his or her opinion.

HOWEVER...

2) I do not feel that a tutor should force his or her view upon the tutee, but rather be open to the other side and help that student expand upon his or her argument.

A tutor is a facilitator of learning, and learning involves examining issues from multiple angles.

- Lindsey

Lindsey Perrine said...

Found grammatical errors in the last post:

Conservative or liberal? What, if either (or both), is the tutor's role?

I suppose I consider myself not just a liberal but a "screaming liberal." I'm very open to almost any and everything, even though I hold steadfast to most of my own beliefs.

Right off the bat this semester, I had a student come in and ask for help on a paper for her "Wrongful Convictions" class. The paper summarized the plight of a man wrongfully convicted of rape and robbery. Fortunately, he was exonerated.

While I am in no way a supporter of imprisoning the wrongfully accused (I, in fact, believe that prosecutors who throw the book at someone they know is innocent should serve the same sentence--including death), I am an avid supporter of capital punishment; I got the feeling from the student that this particular class is kind of an anti-death-penalty class (although, I could certainly be wrong).

Whether it is or not, the burning question remains:

Is it appropriate for tutors to voice their personal opinions during a tutoring session? I think that answer is two-fold:

1) Yes, everyone has the right to hold and express his or her opinion.

HOWEVER...

2) I do not feel that a tutor should force his or her view upon the tutee, but rather be open to the other side and help that student expand upon his or her argument.

A tutor is a facilitator of learning, and learning involves examining issues from multiple angles.

- Lindsey

Kelly said...

I believe the tutor's role isn't to discuss their own personal beliefs unless it is in an effort to play "devil's advocate" to help strengthen the tutee's argument within their paper. Too often it is hard enough of a task for a student to even ask for the help of a tutor but especially they don't want to sit there and hear someone else's opinions that aren't helping improve their paper any.

So in conclusion, I feel like its okay to express your point of view if it's beneficial to the tutee's paper, otherwise, keep your opinions for a more appropriate time.

Nick Teeter said...

I think it is important for the tutor to play devil's advocate in certain situations. However, it is imperative that the tutor not overstate their moral standpoints in order to avoid making the student feel insecure about their paper. Giving the student a new light on the subject may help them analyze with more scrutiny when they proof read their paper. It can also aid tremendously if the paper is intended to be un-bias and they have neglected to do so. But again, it is not appropriate for the tutor to over-step the boundaries and label a paper "wrong" because of said stand points.

stephen spainhour said...

re: the burning question

In the context of the particular session, would voicing your opinion help or harm a tutoring session? I do see the merit in pointing out that the writer's view will not be universal, and keeping that in mind while composing will improve an argument.

However, strongly held views have a way of emotionally overriding other matters. A disagreement could turn a tutoring session into an unwanted debate, and the student's writing isn't aided. Even strong agreement on controversial matters an be detrimental by obscuring opposing sides.

State your opinion if asked. Attempting to stay out of the argument will probably help you do your job as tutor.

-Steve