Our Ethos

Appreciative tutoring borrows from the framework of Appreciative Inquiry, coined by David Cooperrider, and widely applied to academic advising. Bloom and Archer’s 2002 article “Incorporating Appreciative Inquiry into Academic Advising” in The Mentor argues that more intensive advising would produce successful results. Since then, this idea has spread to tutor pedagogy, on the theory that tutors’ efficacy would be heightened with these strategies in mind.

The Writing Center’s 2021 cohort has generated the following tenets as the pillars of our tutoring philosophy:

  1. Disarm – Creating rapport, peer-ship
    1. Offer friendliness and appreciate shared concerns: How do you feel about your writing? How are you handling work, school, and family?
    2. Build a no-judgment zone.
    3. Share something new you discovered, ask students what new thing they’ve encountered.
  1. Discover – Finding out the main issue in relation to their work as well as life
    1. Root out the cause of anxiety or struggle with writing – is it focus, environmental stress, financial burden, fear, no computer or internet, too many distractions?
    2. Learn a little bit about the student as a person, their culture and expectations, their history with school, with New York, with college
    3. Share things you/they have been successful at and relate it to ways they can develop/improve their writing – Oh wow! You can draw? How did you get so good at it? Practice? Yeah it takes lots of hours, just like writing!
  1. Dream – Excitement, visualizing big and little goals!
    1. Explore and dialogue about their hopes, ideas, dreams or life trajectory
    2. Help students to articulate their big goals, then work backwards to define what it would take to get to the big goals.
    3. Establish with them their motivation, and build up their self-esteem.
  1. Design – Plan, organize
    1. Brainstorm the structure and plan to move toward success.
    2. Promote discipline and good study habits.
    3. Encourage the skill sets they need to succeed and remind them that small wins add up to success.
  1. Deliver – Follow through, show up
    1. Advocate trying and not giving up.
    2. Encourage attendance and submitting consistently throughout the whole term, not sporadically.
    3. Demystify that professors want the perfect assignment (Profs just want to see students improve from one assignment to the next).
  1. Don’t Settle – Keep high standards
    1. Challenge students
    2. Call them out when they slack
    3. Students want to do the tough work


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?