Too Confident Or Not Confident Enough?: A Quantitative Snapshot of Writing Tutors' Writing and Tutoring Self-Efficacies
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When writing center administrators (WCAs) consider educating tutors, they do so with a range of perspectives in mind. Tutors need to first be confident in both their tutoring and writing abilities. However, new tutors must also be able to put themselves in the perspective of a struggling student writer who they may work with in a tutoring session. In this article, we conceptualize this issue dealing with self-efficacy or “people’s beliefs in their abilities to produce given attainments” (Bandura 307). Research has begun to explore this topic (Nowacek and Hughes), but has not specifically called this “self-efficacy.” Composition research has a long history of examining self-efficacy, but little research has explored tutors’ self-efficacy. This research has not examined the relationship between tutoring and writing self-efficacies, nor has previously research considered how tutoring experience may impact selfefficacy. To extend this conversation, we developed and administered a survey to writing center tutors across the US to answer the following research questions: What are tutors’ writing and tutoring self-efficacies? Do tutors’ writing and tutoring selfefficacies correlate? Do experienced tutors have different writing and tutoring self-efficacies than new tutors? Results indicated that tutors had high writing and tutoring self-efficacies (mean scores were from 80-100), but the range varied pretty significantly (ranges for writing were 40-100 and ranges for tutoring were 49-100). Writing and tutoring self-efficacy scores were strongly correlated (r=.815 and p =.001). Finally, tutoring self-efficacy and tutoring experience were weakly correlated (r=.186 and p =.025). These results suggest that tutoring and writing self-efficacies inform one another and that tutors have different experiences with developing self-efficacy with their tutoring and writing, which suggests that tutoring and writing self-efficacy is very individualized.