Minimalist Tutoring: Making The Student Do All The Work

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The journey to help students become independent writers begins by teaching them how to ask themselves the right questions. Students may come to tutoring expecting their essay to be proof read; a worst-case scenario discussed in the article Minimalist Tutoring: Making the Student Do All the Work by Jeff Brooks of Seattle Pacific University, a scenario where the tutor allows themselves to become an editor and the student becomes reliant upon the tutor (41). Accordingly, a tutor must tread carefully to not take control of the student’s paper; it is easy to tell a student their mistakes and how to fix it, but this doesn’t help them understand their mistake or how to fix it on their own. One way to avoid this conundrum is by using an adapted version of the Socratic Method. The Socratic Method is a form on teaching where the teacher asks questions of the student until a suitable answer is found. The Socratic Method in its pure form is unsuitable for goals of a writing and reading center, because of its aggressive nature, the notion that there is …show more content…
The Socratic Method’s goal is different as the article (RE)Examining the Socratic Method: A Lesson in Tutoring by Gary Jaeger of Vanderbilt University states, “If we offer our questions and promptings with the aim of helping our clients see the best versions of their own arguments…” Thusly, illustrating that the Socratic Method has a different goal than the tutor; it is used to lead a person to a correct answer, instead of improving that person’s answer. There are circumstances where there is a definitive right answer, such as with grammar, MLA, or citing sources, and while these are important elements of an essay, they shouldn’t be the focus point of tutoring. The focus of tutoring is creating an independent writer who knows how to ask themselves the right