From Silos to Synergies: Institutional Contexts for Writing Fellows
MetadataShow full item record
Spigelman and Grobman describe the Writing Center (WC) as an “obvious parent” of classroombased writing tutoring, with WAC as the implied other parent (5). Such a lineage produces writing fellows (WFs) able to work with their peers “on location,” to borrow Spigelman and Grobman’s title. This elegant family tree assumes—and requires—shared parenting beyond the birth of the WF program, but unfortunately, even at small colleges the parents too frequently live apart, occupying different spaces with little interaction and sometimes a little territoriality. WFs raised in isolation by one or the other develop in very different ways. WC tutor training doesn’t necessarily prepare students for the group work of embedded tutoring (Nicolas), WAC training may be too genre-focused (Russell and Yañez; Gladstein) and, like SI, is more concerned with content than with writing (Hafer). But a more significant difference is in the relationship of WFs to faculty, which reflects the divergent ideologies of WAC and WCs. In the WC student-centered model, the WF works primarily with students and their writing, supporting the faculty member and occasionally attending class; in the WAC writing-centered model, WFs work with students on their writing, but also with faculty as they develop those writing assignments, playing an essential role in student and faculty development. Such differences may place WFs trained in WAC theory and those with WC training “at odds” with each other (Martins and Wolf).