Making sense of resistance in an afterschool tutoring program: Learning from volunteer writing tutors
Journal: Writing & Pedagogy
The term resistance has been an evolving concept in literacy and composition studies. While much has been studied in terms of student resistance in high schools, first-year composition classrooms, and in university writing centers, little is known about how resistance occurs in afterschool tutoring programs between volunteer writing tutors and their tutees. Using an ethnographic case study approach, this paper examines how three adult volunteer writing tutors made sense of resistance in working with their adolescent tutees in an urban tutoring program. The findings showed that tutor attitudes, values, and reactions shaped their experience of resistance in a variety of ways including a) misreading tutee signals of engagement; b) masking expectations of cultural and linguistic compliance within a discourse of resistance; and c) embracing resistance as a bridge to tutor growth. The author uses these findings to inform current conceptions of student resistance and compliance and to provide implication for volunteer tutor training.
Author: Robert A. Kohls
Ferris, D. (2007). Preparing teachers to respond to student writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 16, 165–193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2007.07.003
Field, J. and Olafson, L. (1999). Understanding resistance in students at risk. Canadian Journal of Education/Review canadienne de l’education, 24(1), 70–75. https://doi.org/10.2307/1585772
Fletcher, D. (2001). Tutors’ deals and practices. Journal of Basic Writing, 20(1), 64–76.
France, A. (1996). Resistance. In P. Heilker and P. Vandenberg (Eds), Keywords in Composition Studies, 206–208. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton.
Giroux, H. (1988). Teachers as Intellectuals: Toward a Critical Pedagogy of Learning. West Port, CN: Bergin & Garvey.
Goffman, E. (1961). Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates. New Yor: Anchor.
Goffman, E. (1963). Stigma: Notes on the Management of the Spoiled Identity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Goldstein, L.M. (2005). Teacher written commentary in second language writing classrooms. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. https://www.press.umich.edu/6737
Gordon, B. (2008). Requiring first year writing classes to visit the writing center: Bad attitudes or positive results? Teaching English in the Two Year College, 36(2), 154–163.
Helmer, M. (1994). Writing Students: Composition Testimonials and Representation of Students. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Isaac, M. L. (2012). ‘I hate group work!’ Social loafers, indignant peers, and the drama of the classroom. The English Journal, 101(4), 83–89.
Ivanič, R. (1998). Writing and Identity: The Discoursal Construction of Identity in Academic Writing. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/swll.5
Kanno, Y. and Stuart, C. (2011). Learning to become a second language teacher: Identities-in-practice. Modern Language Journal, 95(2), 236–252. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2011.01178.x
Kinloch. V. (2000). Power, politics, and pedagogies: Re-imaging students’ rights to their own language through democratic engagement. In J. C. Scott, D.Y. Straker, D.Y., and L. Katz (Eds), Affirming Students’ Rights to their own Language: Bridging Language Policies and Pedagogical Practices, 85–98. New Yor: Routledge.
Kohls, R. and Wilson, J. (2012). Tutoring adolescents in literacy: A thematic synthesis of published research. In A. Cumming (Ed.). Adolescent Literacies in a Multicultural Context, 23–35. New Yor: Routledge.
Kohls, R. A. (2016). Tutoring writing, transmitting culture: Investigating tutors’ and students’ beliefs about good writing and a writer’s voice in an afterschool literacy program (Order No. 10139179). Available from Dissertations & Theses @ University of Toronto; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.
Kopelson, K. (2003). Rhetoric on the edge of cunning: Or, the performance of neutrality (re)considered as a composition pedagogy for student resistance. College Composition and Communication, 55(1), 115–146. https://doi.org/10.2307/3594203
Lanham, R. (2007). Style: An anti-textbook. (2nd edition). Philadelphia, PA: Paul Dry Books.
Lassonde, C. (2006). ‘You oughta have my life!’: The story of Jamie, a resistant writer. Support for Learning, 21(3), 135–140. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9604.2006.00419.x
Lauria, M. and Miron, L. (2005). Chapter 1: Introduction: Sites of identity construction and resistance. Counterpoints, Vol 86. Urban schools: The New Social Spaces of Resistance, 1–11.
Liu, Pei-Hsun E. and Tannacito, D. (2013). Resistance by L2 writers: The role of racial and language ideology in imagined community and identity investment. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22, 355–373.
Marchisan, M. and Alber, S. (2001). The write way: Tips for teaching the writing process for resistant writer. Intervention in School and Clinic, 36(3), 154–162. https://doi.org/10.1177/105345120103600304
Marx, S. (2006). Revealing the Invisible: Confronting Passive Racism in Teacher Education. New Yorhttps://doi.org/10.4324/9780203961537: Routledge.
McLaren, P. (1989). Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education. New Yor: Longman.
McBee Orzulak, M. J. (2013). Gatekeepers and guides: Preparing future writing teachers to negotiate standard language ideology. Teaching/Writing: The Journal of Writing Teacher Education, 2(10), 12–21.
Miles, M. and Huberman, A. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ochs, E. and Schieffelin, B. (2014). The theory of language socialization. In A. Duranti, E. Ochs, and B. Schieffelin (Eds), Handbook of Language Socialization, 1–21. Malden, MA: John Wiley and Sons. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444342901.ch1
Park, I. (2014). Stepwise advice negotiation in writing centre peer tutoring. Language & Education, 28(4), 362–382. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2013.873805
Park, I. (2017). Questioning as advice resistance. Classroom Discourse, 8(3), 253–270. https://doi.org/10.1080/19463014.2017.1307125
Piorkowski, J. and Scheurer, E. (2000). ‘It’s the way they talk to you’: Increasing agency in basic writers through a social context of care. Journal of Basic Writing, 19(2), 72–92.
Pratt, M.L. (1991). Arts of the contact zone. Profession, 1, 33–40.
Severino, C. (2009). Avoiding appropriation. In S. Bruce and B. Raforth (Eds), ESL writers: A guide for writing tutors (pp. 51–65). Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook.
Smitherman, G. (2000). Talkin’ that Talk: Language, Culture, and Education in African America. New Yorhttps://doi.org/10.4324/9780203254394: Routlege.
Sommers, N. (2013). Responding to student writing. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins. https://www.jstor.org/stable/357622
Sue, D.W., Capodilupo, C., Torino, G., Bucceri, J., Holder, A., Nadal, K., and Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial miscroaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist, 62(4), 271–286.
Sue, D.W., Rivera, D. Capodilupo, C., Lin, A., Torino, G. (2010). Racial dialogues and white trainee fears: Implications for education and training. Cultural diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16(2), 206–214.
Toshalis, E. (2015). Make me! Understanding and Engaging Student Resistance in School. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Trimbur, J. (2001). ‘Resistance as a tragic trope.’ Insurrections: Approaches to resistance in composition studies. In A. Greenbaum (Ed.), 3–15. Albany, NY: State University of New York.
Van de Kleut, G. and White, C. (2010). Teaching, learning, and resistance. Language Arts, 87(6), 447–456.
Vetter, A., Reynolds, J., Beane, H. Roquemore, K. Rorrer, A., and Shepherd-Allred, K. (2012). Reframing resistance in the English classroom. The English Journal, 102(2), 114–121.
Waring, H. Z. (2005). Peer tutoring in a graduate writing centre: Identity expertise, and advice resisting. Applied Linguistics, 26(2), 141–168. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amh041
Weaver, M. (2001). Resistance is anything but futile: Some more thoughts on writing conference summaries. The Writing Center Journal, 21(2), 35–56.
Wilson, J. S. (2013). The role of social relationships in the writing of multilingual adolescents. In L.C. de Oliveira and T. Silva (Eds), L2 Writing in Secondary Classrooms: Student Experiences, Academic Issues, and Teacher Education, 87–104. New Yor: Routledge.
Wilson, J. (2017). The role of social networks and social support in the writing and college planning of multilingual urban adolescents. In C. Ortmeier Hooper and T. Ruecker (Eds), Linguistically Diverse Immigrant and Resident Writers, 63–81. New Yorhttps://doi.org/10.4324/9781315647449-6: Routledge.
Zimmerman, J. (2006). Why some teachers resist change and what principals can do about it. NASSAP Bulletin 90(3), 238-249. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192636506291521