Mapping the Meaning of "Help": Tutor Training and the Sense of Self-Efficacy




Auten, Janet Gebhart

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A writing-center director explains how the concept of "self-efficacy" helps define successful strategies and objectives for both writing consultants and student writers. “I don’t feel like we accomplished anything.” With a frown of frustration, one of our writing consultants[1] — let’s call her Amy — sank wearily into the chair beside my desk to chat about the session she had just had. “He seemed overwhelmed, and after a while I felt that way too. I tried to get him to talk about his ideas, but he just kept saying he was a bad writer and couldn’t do papers.” I pointed out that after 45 minutes with Amy, the student seemed more positive and left expressing gratitude. But Amy sighed, “I can’t see how I helped him at all.”

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