Adapting Writing Center Pedagogy for Composition Classrooms: A Metacognitive Approach
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While a writing center tutor may view her role as a coach, a commentator, and a counselor, the tutor actually serves as scaffolding, a temporary, supportive replacement of the processes more experienced writers can manage alone without a tutor, namely, the metacognitive processes of self-assessing, self-monitoring, and self-motivating. Metacognition then becomes the essential factor in adapting writing center practices into the composition classroom. By re-conceptualizing the three roles of a writing center tutor and re-visioning the classroom into a more “pure” learning space, tutor-teachers improve students’ writing skills, increase their engagement, and redirect students’ focus toward the writing process rather than the grade. To demonstrate the efficacy of this adapted writing center approach in the composition classroom, I created an authentic, challenging project in which the pre-project activities, task design, work process, and reflection assignment enact my proposed theory. By adopting this approach, tutor-teachers ultimately empower students and design compositional tasks that act as a catalyst for transforming the way students understand themselves as writers and as students.