Date of Graduation

Fall 2016

Degree

Master of Arts in Writing

Department

English

Committee Chair

Margaret Weaver

Keywords

peerness, community, hierarchy, expectations, perceptions, tutor, basic writing, peer tutoring, social context

Subject Categories

Creative Writing

Abstract

This study analyzed students' perceptions of community construction within the English 100 classroom and university at large as well as analyzed the instructor's role as a "tutor" and the impact this has on students' perceptions of community within the classroom. Composition theorist Kenneth Bruffee proposes that one solution for creating community for basic writers, those students least prepared for the college composition classroom, is peer tutoring. The traditional classroom has not worked for basic writers because it lacks a sense of community. The goal is to change the social context for learning and make it less hierarchical. Given the nature of English 100's institutional structure at Missouri State University, the role of the instructor is different; the course is graded pass/no pass based on a committee's evaluation of each student's end-of-semester portfolio. Because the ENG 100 instructor does not determine the grade, the institutional structure places the instructor into a different role in the class--a role that more closely resembles a tutor. Because the course better lends to a tutor model of education, this study found that this shift in the teacher's role does enhance students' perceptions of community within the classroom and the larger university but further research is necessary to analyze the larger impact of this shift in the role of the instructor.

Copyright

© Jennifer Nicole Collins

Open Access

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