Safe Spaces and Brave Pedagogy in Tutor Training Guides

Emily Standridge

        The Peer Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, Fall 2017

At the request of the tutors, my writing center acquired a “Safe Space” sticker on our entry door in Fall 2014. While I had explored the possibility of such a designation for the tutors, it felt wrong to do so without their consent. They approached me about the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) program in an important moment of advocacy from my tutors for “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies” (“Safe Space,” 2016). They requested the sticker to welcome this vulnerable population, helping them know the writing center was “where individuals could take a needed break from the endless efforts to educate, debate, and advocate on behalf of a marginalized group or identity” and a “public space where [those groups] could feel as safe as [they] did in private” (Zheng, 2016). This felt especially important as most of the tutors, as well as I, were white, cis-gendered, middle class people.

But I also silenced an internal voice insisting that the act of placing that stick on our door would exclude people from our services. Given our location in East Texas, there are so many students who are decidedly not “queer-friendly.” While I had made it a goal to at least expose students to alternate points of view about sexuality and posting the sticker seemed an easy way to do this, I worried that giving a respite to one group of students, who certainly deserved protection, might exclude other students who, no matter their beliefs, deserve the help that our writing center offers. Even if we disagree with their stance on these important and pressing issues, those whom we disagree with can and should be welcomed to our services.

I also worried that we might be missing out on an opportunity to work toward to larger goals of social justice, which the GLSEN and “Safe Space” movements are a part of, if those students are excluded. If we are to change minds, we must interact and show the humanity of those being othered. If a “Safe Space” reputation keeps those who disagree with those ideals out of the writing center, then an important chance to open minds to new ways of thinking is missed.

Then I went back to the idea that LGBTQ+ students need safety even more given our location. I was stuck in the loop of “safety”—for one group to be safe, another must be unsafe. As those with institutional and societal privilege, we should support those groups who are un-safe. But we should not do that at the cost of educating those not in the group.

As I turned to the literature, my respite when engaging with ideological struggles like this one, I realized what was at stake was the issue first posed by E. Boquet (2008) when she asked “Is the writing center…primarily a space, a ‘laundry’ where work is dropped off and picked up, where students are brushed off and cleaned up? Or is it primarily a temporality, an interaction between people over time, in which the nature of the interaction is determined not by site but by method?” (p. 42). Are we looking at the location where people meet or the way people discuss things wherever they meet when discussing issues of social justice? I have always sided with the writing center as a “method” or “temporality” rather than a location. I wanted my writing center to be a place where ideas can be tested and explored, a temporality for exploring writing and other issues, instead of simply a place where one walks in and “feels comfortable.”

I rely hugely on J. Grutsch McKinney’s (2005) idea that “space” is hard to theorize, especially in writing centers. Grutsch McKinney notes that while many writing centers aim for a “homey” feel, tutors are students have all kinds of “homes” and many of them are neither welcoming not safe. What feels like home is neither consistent for all people nor is it necessarily good. When focusing only on what a space looks or feels like, we run the risk of being far less inclusive than we aim to be. I wanted a method, a pedagogy, that enacted what the sticker was trying to imply about our location. I learned I was seeking of “brave” pedagogy rather than a “safe space.”

Or course I turned to the literature of writing centers again to find this pedagogy. But as I reviewed the “guides” I regularly use in tutor training, searching for this pedagogy, I realized that the guides were lacking in a comprehensive vision of this pedagogy. I will argue in the rest of this paper that the most popular of the “guides” new tutors work with the idea of a “safe space” but without a “brave pedagogy.” The Longman Guide to Writing Center Theory and Practice does enact the most elements of the “brave pedagogy” that is an important counterpart to that “safe space” idea.

Tutoring Guides

Three commonly used tutor training texts, A Tutor’s Guide: Helping Writers One to One edited by Ben Rafoth, The Longman Guide to Writing Center Theory and Practice edited by Robert Barnett and Jacob Blumner, and The Oxford Guide for Writing Tutors: Practice and Research written and edited by Lauren Fitzgerald and Melissa Ianetta, are regularly used in my writing center with new tutors and when more experienced tutors have questions about their tutoring practice. These texts make up the core of many tutor training curricula.

Originally appearing in 2000 and having a second edition in 2005, A Tutor’s Guide is the oldest of the instructional materials under discussion. The goal of Rafoth’s text is to “take everyday events in tutoring sessions and connect them to theory and good practice” while “open[ing] the door to some of the professional conversation that surrounds writing center practice” (ix). This text is the most tutor-focused, with the most “concrete suggestions, things to try, and problems to think about” when leading a tutorial (ix). The chapters, all from different contributors, look at approaches to tutorials from “Setting the Agenda for the Next Thirty Minutes” through “Can You Proofread This?” There are also chapters exploring approaches to the different classes a tutee may be enrolled in, such as “Business and Technical Writing,” creative writing, and “Advanced Classes.” Different ways of writing in a more general sense are explored as well (i.e. analytic writing and genre writing). Several chapters are focused on how a tutor could deal with the “issues” the tutee may bring to the tutorial; there are three chapters on the emotional “issues” that might arise in a tutorial and two chapters on cultural “issues” that might be pertinent to tutorials. Finally, there are chapters on the nuances of online tutoring that change writing tutorials.

Unlike the other two texts, A Tutor’s Guide is completely original works; while one chapter notes that it was originally conceived of as a presentation for a national conference, the chapters were not written as journal articles originally. The authors of these chapters are the same as those in the other texts in many cases, but the tone is less “professional” and more “conversational.” The chapters are shorter, with less theory and more practical advice. There is less empirical research used as well.

The Longman Guide originally appeared in 2008 and is an exploration of the relationship between theory and practice in the area of writing centers. Editors Barnett and Blumner’s goal is “inviting the reader to be an active participant” in creating theory and practice in writing centers rather than the concrete guide that Rafoth’s text set out to be. To support this, each chapter is a previously published article selected to “’speak’ to each other in some way” about one of the seven topics: “A History of Writing Centers;” “The Idea of a Writing Center;” “Defining the Writing Center’s Place;” “The Process of Tutoring;” “Welcoming Diversity;” “Writing Centers and Writing Across the Curriculum;” “Beyond the Physical Space.”

The text covers many of the same areas of interest as A Tutor’s Guide. The “Process of Tutoring” section even has a “Setting the Agenda” chapter just like Rafoth does. The text also considers some of the emotional issues that students might express in a tutorial, again like Rafoth. In addition to that, there are several chapters dealing with the ideological background of various tutoring approaches. It has more space devoted to a broader look at the cultural issues that might arise between the tutor and tutee. The “Beyond the Physical Spaces” section also looks at technology and the writing tutorial. This text adds historical and ideological groundings that Rafoth leaves out. It also considers more administrative concerns and the ideological location for the writing center within the university at large. As previously mentioned, the texts share many authors, but the texts in the Longman Guide are all re-publications of journal articles, lending them a more professional and scholarly tone. The chapters tend to be longer with more formal literature reviews. While not all are empirical studies, there are data-driven and research based selections among the chapters. All of this adds an air of “professionalism” that A Tutor’s Guide does not have.

The Oxford Guide for Writing Tutors is much newer than the other two texts. It was published in 2016 and contains sections on background of tutoring writing, a “Tutor’s Handbook,” information on research in writing centers and then a section with previously published journal articles on a variety of topics. Aside from being significantly more recent, The Oxford Guide’s main addition to the field is a focus on the methods and ideologies of research that a tutor could employ in the writing center. This focus is seen a section entitled “Research Methods for Writing Tutors.” Within this section, topics of history of the writing center, theoretical lenses used in writing center work, and methods of tutoring are covered through the kinds of research discussed as well as reasons and methods for completing research in those areas. The articles re-published in this text are all research based and mostly empirical. This change in the articles included reflects the recent change to supporting RAD research in writing center studies. The articles selected cover a wide variety of issues within writing center studies.

All of the texts are potentially useful to writing tutors and writing center administrators. A Tutor’s Guide is more easily digestible by a new tutor who has little formal guidance or training. The Longman Guide offers a comprehensive glimpse of writing center studies that can be accessed by students of all levels with more hands-on assistance from a professor or director. The Oxford Guide balances the needs of the tutor without formal guidance and the tutor looking to explore writing center issues in depth through empirical study. There is no “right” or “wrong” choice in a text. All three of the texts have elements that encourage writing centers to be safe spaces, but only the Longman Guide offers a view of a what a brave pedagogy might look like.

Safe Spaces

The notion of a “safe space” is more than just the sticker my tutors encouraged me to put on our door and it is more than a LGBTQ+ issue, even though that was the main area of concern for my tutors. “Safe spaces” are actually designated to provide shelter for those facing any kind social justice issue, including those related to gender, race, sexuality, and class strife. People like Zheng, quoted above, see safe spaces as literal locations, havens of like-minded people. In a safe space, people are aware of the issues faced and are sympathetic and empathetic, even if they are not facing the same issue as those who are being sheltered.

A safe space, though, was conceptualized as more than simply a protected location. C. Quinan (2016) described the original model as “spaces where students can ask critically minded questions and express their opinions on controversial topics” (p. 361), calling it the “type of teaching and learning we think we should strive for” (p. 362). Her definition of “safe space” in these terms highlights that it is a “method” more than a “location.” The goal of this method, then, is a reflective engagement with “oppression and social injustice, including homophobia and racism, with the goal of creating social change and new ways of relating to one another” (p. 363).

All of the texts follow focus on raising awareness about potential differences among tutors and tutees. Most notably, each text deals with students whose first language is not English. A Tutor’s Guide has two chapters, “Crossing Cultures with International ESL Writers: The Tutor as Contact Zone Contact Person” and “Recent Developments in Assisting ESL Writers;” The Longman Guide has three chapters “‘Whispers of Coming and Going’: Lessons from Fannie,” “Rethinking Writing Center Conferencing Strategies for the ESL Writer,” and “Cultural Diversity in the Writing Center: Defining Ourselves and our Challenges” relating to this population; and The Oxford Guide has the subsection “Tutoring Across Language and Culture Differences” and the articles “Creating Third Space: ESL Tutoring and Cultural Mediation” and “Bridging the Gap: Essential Issues to Address in Recurring Writing Center Appointments with Chinese ELL Students” dealing with nonnative English speaking students. The goal of these chapters is overtly creating understanding as to how students from different language backgrounds learn and how tutors can relate to them more effectively. In this sense, then, the texts do have some aim at “safe” methods.

In addition to “safe” considerations for those of different cultures, the texts explore (somewhat) more familiar differences: those of gender and ability. The Oxford Guide explores gender dynamics within the tutorial in “Identity and Tutoring Strategies” and “It’s Not What You Say, But How You Say It (and to Whom): Accommodating Gender in the Writing Conference.” These chapters focus on raising awareness of how gender can influence a tutorial even without one’s knowledge. In the Longman Guide “Learning Disabilities and the Writing Center,” and in The Oxford Guide, “Tutoring Across Physical and Learning Differences” and “Access for All: The Role of Dis/Ability in Multiliteracy Centers” appear. These chapters point to methods and ideological considerations that are targeted toward those with learning or physical disabilities.

All of these selections emphasize presenting information that may not be familiar to the tutors and make those potentially foreign ideas familiar. The tutor is not made to look foolish or oblivious to the needs of any of these populations. The tone in these sections is very matter-of-fact and adaptations are seen as part of the tutoring process. The texts are thus emphasizing respect for what the tutee brings to the tutorial rather than an “othering” of difference. This raising of awareness is a common strategy for the creation of safe spaces.

A Tutor’s Guide takes discussion of difference even further than the other two texts in their “Complicating Matters” section of each chapter. Placed at the end of each chapter, the “Complicating Matters” section “raises counterarguments and explores some of the complexities of learning to write, including reasons why best practices don’t always pan out” (p. ix). Even when the chapter is about a “different” population, further difference is explored in these sections, making the idea that all issues are complicated and tutors should adapt to the needs of the tutee even more cemented in the reader’s mind. Tutors reading these sections will ideally realize that failures or deviations from what is expected are the norm. It is not an indication of the tutor or tutees’ skills; rather, these deviations are the result of difference among people. The Longman Guide and The Oxford Guide do far less to normalize these kinds of complications.

Many “safe space” scholars, though, point out that the idea of safety is flawed. Quinan points out that “’safe space’ [can be] a convenient cover for not discussing certain topics” that are too intense (363). T. Wise (2004) further argues that the problem with places that are safe is that “the importance of safety is almost always really about making white people feel safe.” He goes on to say that when people encourage safe spaces, they are “hoping that whites will participate more honestly if only the can be guaranteed that black people won’t attack them for their ignorance.” The stated goal of a safe space may be to erase the feeling of persecution and increase feelings of empathy among all people, but the practice is about making those who are already safe feel better about not having empathy for others. I think the goal of having a safe space is an admirable one, and I do not want this paper to lapse into arguments about the goals and execution of safe spaces. Rather, I want to point to the fact that there are problems when one stops one’s thinking with just ideas of safety.

The tutor guides participate in this trend by placing so much of the burden on the student while excusing the tutor from much of the critical self-reflection that is necessary for true “safe” work. For instance, in the chapter “Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers” in A Tutor’s Guide, in the chapter, “background reasons” for failed sessions are discussed. In each of the situations discussed “a student is not responding to the tutor’s efforts;” the tutor is doing what is right and the student is not. There is little to no consideration of what the tutor might be doing to put the student off; the student is simply “not responding.” Similar trends emerge with “Tutoring Emotionally Charged Session” in A Tutor’s Guide. Even when the tutor is taught to empathize, there is still an underlying idea of “us versus them” or “tutor versus tutee.”

A similar pattern is seen as the guides discuss ESL students. While many issues relating to nonnative English speaking students are covered, the tutor is almost universally depicted as native speaking. The tutor must adjust style to meet the needs of the student, but the tutor’s position is assumed as that of a native speaker. Little attention is given to how the tutor’s language background might be complex and how that would impact the tutorial. The Oxford Guide does have a subsection of a chapter asking “What is Your Language Background,” but it is only about a page long. This section notes that “this knowledge [of another language] will serve you well as you help writers who are working to improve their English” and to “help other tutors” work more effectively (119). But most of the information in this section is aimed at those with “very limited or no experience learning another language” (119). The strategies mentioned in this section are geared toward those tutors, not the ones with a more diverse background. Even when the tutor portrayed is from a non-dominant group, exploration of the complexity of that position is minimal. For instance in “Whispers of Coming and Going,” seen in The Longman Guide features a black tutor who struggled with Standard Edited English because of her fluency with African American Vernacular English. But this tutor engages her “trouble” student as if she never had any language issues of her own. The tutor is thus put in the comfortable position of knowing what is going on, even when they could have been asked to really reflect on their identities instead. DiPardo even comments on how little self-reflection the tutor engages in when she should be able to better relate to the student because of her language background.

The texts recognize the need to educate tutors about the issues, whether they are emotional, cultural, or other, but they portray the issues in a very one-sided manner. They provide information without asking for the kind of knowledgeable self-reflection that really asks tutors to engage in the work that is symbolized by the safe space sticker—the hard, uncomfortable, risky work of ending prejudice and inequality.

Brave Spaces and Brave Pedagogies

B. Arao And K. Clemens’s (2013) “From Safe Space to Brave Spaces,” “argue that authentic learning about social justice often requires the very qualities of risk, difficulty, and controversy that are defined as incompatible with safety” (p. 139). Their focus on methods that can be used to create “genuine dialogue regarding these challenging and controversial topics” resonates (p. 142). They note that “by revising our framework to emphasize the need for courage rather than the illusion of safety, we better position ourselves to accomplish our learning goals and more accurately reflect the nature of genuine dialogue regarding these challenging and controversial topics” (pp. 141-2).

While they coined the important term “brave space,” Arao and Clemens are not the first to have argued that “safety” is a poor metaphor for working with controversial issues. bell hooks (1994) discussed how the “safe” classroom is often imagined as one where “the professor lectures to a group of students who respond only when called on,” noting that truly excellent class are the ones that are “radically unsafe” because tough topics are discussed honestly (p. 39). R. Boostrom (1998) also discusses how “safe” is really code for “comfortable” for the teacher (p. 401). He argues that classes must move away from the idea of “safety” in order to avoid “drain[ing] from classroom life every impulse toward critical reflection” (p. 406) and that “we have to be brave…to be ‘vulnerable and exposed’… very unsafe” in order to really embrace learning about and through difficult topics where difference among the parties involved comes into play (p. 406).

Boostrom (1998) also discusses how “safe space” is a metaphor and that “to use a metaphor is not a way of doing teaching” (p. 397). Much like the issue of space versus method Boquet discusses in writing center history, Boostrom notes that thinking about safe space does not necessarily mean thinking about how to create such a space. This is a flaw in all formulations of safe space. Arao and Clemens, though, do discuss methods of creating brave spaces, though. While their discussion of how to create brave spaces is not a fully fleshed out “brave pedagogy,” their article does move in that direction.

Arao and Clemens elaborate on their “rules” for “brave discussions”:

  • Discuss controversy with civility.
  • Own your intentions and your impact rather than hiding behind good intentions when an impact is harmful.
  • Challenge controversial issues when one is ready to do so, but recognize within that having a choice to interact with controversial issues represents a privilege not all people have .
  • Be mindful of all participants in the conversation .
  • Note the difference between making an ideological challenge to a person’s belief and making a personal attack on that person (p. 141-2).

A brave pedagogy would be one that enacts these elements. A brave pedagogy would make sure controversies arise and that participants are prepared but not forced into discussions of those controversies. It would enact methods of engaging with that controversy in civil ways. This pedagogy would look at privilege and consider how it impacts how one works with others. It would emphasize how people working with such controversial issues should be treated.

All of the guides examined here have some element of brave pedagogy within them. They all present a multitude of contributing reasons for any issue raised. There are many emotional contributors in a “bad” tutorial, seen in A Tutor’s Guide, for instance. While they skew toward blaming the student, the discussion is not just “the student is bad.” Many causes and ways to work with each cause are discussed. There are many “lens” for research to understand a tutorial presented in The Oxford Guide. Each lens looks at a different kind of issue and presents was that lens can solve a problem. The Longman Guide, though, is the one that most fully enacts a brave pedagogy.

The Longman Guide Enacting Brave Pedagogy

An essential difference between The Longman Guide and A Tutor’s Guide and The Oxford Guide is authorial or editorial intervention. In short, the editors of The Longman Guide stay out of the way, letting their choices engage the readers while other texts do not. Fitzgerald and Ianetta directly intervene in The Oxford Guide in their first chapters exploring the methods and issues of tutoring. While both The Longman Guide and A Tutor’s Guide both rely solely on chapters written by others, Rafoth solicited chapters to be written specifically for his text. Those chapters follow a specific pattern, including the “Complicating Matters” and “Further Reading” sections at the end of each chapters. Barnett and Blumner, the editors of The Longman Guide, have less than 2 pages introducing each section, but they do not alter or comment between each of the texts they include. While none of the editors are absent, the feeling of The Longman Guide is much more a collection of independent articles rather than an “approved method of tutoring.” This difference allows The Longman Guide to be braver: It forces the editors to enact a civil approach to all controversies because there is no mechanism for mediating the texts and to allow readers to take on the issues as they are ready since each idea stands on its own but by presenting the issue letting the reader know ignoring it is at their own risk; more fully fleshed out perspectives on the issues must be presented because only the articles can speak; it even includes chapters specifically focusing on ideological issues so that the idea of ways of thinking rather than personal beliefs are challenged. The text is not a perfect vehicle for Arao and Clemens’s vision of brave pedagogy, but The Longman Guide does work at it more than the other texts.

One of the most important patterns The Longman Guide, specifically the section “The Process of Tutoring: Connecting Theory and Practice,” enacts is allowing the reader to enter into issues as they are ready. For instance, the articles “Minimalist Tutoring: Making Students Do All the Work,” “A Critique of Pure Tutoring,” and “Look Back and Say ‘So What’: The Limitations of the Generalist Tutor” concern the directive-nondirective tutoring debate. “Minimalist Tutoring” argues for a tutoring method that encourages the student to contribute more knowledge and answers than the tutor. “A Critique of Pure Tutoring” argues that methods which allow the tutor to model the kinds of writing and writing behaviors that the student should or could employ are the strongest. These two articles are often presented as counterpoints to each other, the ends of the nondirective and directive continuum. Readers of these chapters are thus prepared for the two poles of the debates about minimalist tutoring. But presenting these poles is not enough to be “brave.” If just these poles are presented, readers are almost forced to choose a side, which is not what brave pedagogy is about. Adding in “Look Back and Say ‘So What’” shows that there is no “right” answer. Including the complicating questions seen in “Look Back and Say ‘So What’” allows readers to choose when and how to enter the controversy, choosing when they will engage. The Longman Guide shows this pattern repeatedly. It is seen when considering the role of the tutor as “peer” or “expert,” the role of the writing center within larger university structures, and the organization and practices of online tutoring. Multiple perspectives are given on the history of writing centers despite the fact that most of them work from the same artifacts or narratives. This pattern is even seen in the presentation of ideologies supporting writing center work. Especially telling is the inclusion of “Maintaining Our Balance: Walking the Tightrope of Competing Epistemologies” which has the main claim that writing centers work with and through multiple epistemologies in their very nature.

This method of presenting several views on an issue, creating the notion of a broad continua of perspectives is “brave” on several levels. First, it contributes to the idea of “discussing controversy with civility.” If only two ends of the continuum were presented, each side could become entrenched and inflexible. Having the broader view of more than two perspectives allows readers to see what all must be considered as they enter into an issue. The multitude of perspectives also shows that one can be passionate about the issue, as many of the contributors certainly are, without being inconsiderate of others. The choices of the articles to include also underlines this approach; Barnett and Blumner are careful not to choose overly polarizing articles. As mentioned above, the method of including multiple perspectives also allows the reader to enter into a conversation as they are ready to: each article stands on its own, so the reader can choose where to start in order to best suit their current understanding of the issue. As they read further, they can expand their views accordingly and enter into the debate when they feel ready. This method does not allow for the understanding that not engaging in an issue in certainly a privileged stance, but an instructor or writing center director with a social justice focus could certainly help with that portion of a brave pedagogy.

While there is no language dealing specifically with civility or privilege, The Longman Guide indeed enacts awareness of those issues in its brave pedagogy. It presents readings dealing with power and authority, looking at power dynamics within tutorials. These chapters include “Peer Tutoring and the ‘Conversation of Mankind’” and “Peer Tutoring: A Contradiction in Terms?” They do more than just raise awareness of privilege, as the other texts do. They ask readers to be mindful of their privilege by putting them in conversation with historical looks at writing centers and the role they have played seen in the section “A History of Writing Centers,” as well as the section “Defining the Writing Center’s Place.” By having all of these discussions in one text, the reader must consider what to engage with and how to do that.

Finally, The Longman Guide has selected articles that are careful about how they talk about students. While some of the articles lapse into language blaming a student for all the issues that might arise in a tutorial, the majority are very neutral. Neither a student nor a tutor is “blamed” when something has gone wrong. Problems are simply presented along with multiple solutions. This approach really enacts the “treat others well” that is part of the brave pedagogy.

One issue of brave pedagogy that is not mentioned specifically by Arao and Clemens, but that is an important part of being “brave” is being self-reflective and considering how one fits into multiple communities and power structures. Naming those communities, power structures, and identities and their privileges and challenges is an important part of being “brave.” The Longman Guide includes a section about “multiple cultures in the writing center,” but does less than the other two texts to have tutors examine where they belong and how they fit into existing power structures. This section, unlike other discussed, does not present multiple views on an issue; there is one chapter about cultural studies, two about ESL students, one about learning disabilities, and one about diversity as a challenge for writing centers. This approach does not seem particularly “brave,” especially when compared to how “brave” the rest of the text is.

I do see, though, more consideration of power issues across the sections of The Longman Guide. Barnett and Blumner include chapters that explore epistemologies and why they are used at all (“Maintaining Our Balance”), explorations of campus relationships that involve important power dynamics (“What should the Relationship between the Writing Center and the Writing Program Be,” “Perceptions, Realities, and Possibilities,” and “The Writing Center’s Role in the Writing across the Curriculum Program”), and the chapters on “diversity” discussed in the previous paragraph. The inclusion of these chapters exploring power dynamics reflect a “brave” concern with how tutors and writing centers more broadly participate in power relationships that are challenging. It is only a short step from these discussions to discussions of power in personal relationships. It is disappointing that they do not ask students to look more closely at their interpersonal power dynamics, as most “brave” approaches do, but they are not ignoring the issue as it might seem at first glance.


The fact that we cannot create a “safe place” for all students should not deter us from trying. The best way to create that space, though, is through texts and tutors that are brave—that face the challenges of the modern world’s race, gender, class, and sexuality issues and deal with them deftly, always remembering the humanity of those involved. While there are elements of any text that make it a good choice for tutor training, the best choice, the bravest choice, is the Longman Guide to Writing Center Theory and Practice.

About the Author

Dr. Emily Standridge is an Assistant Professor and Writing Center Director at the University of Texas Tyler. Her research focuses on writing pedagogy, in the writing center and in the first-year composition classroom.


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