Graduation Date

Spring 2018

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in English, Composition Studies & Pedagogy

Committee Chair Name

Lisa Tremain

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Nikola Hobbel

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Writing center theory has not always emphasized critical pedagogy as part of writing center pedagogy. However, with scholars’ applications of critical lenses such as postmodernism and postcolonialism to critique writing center practice, critical pedagogy has found its way into writing center practices. Self-critical awareness is one key element of critical pedagogy, and through the dialogic application of critical pedagogy in writing center sessions, students can be made aware of the hegemonic nature of academic discourse and why institution and discipline-valued writing is expected over other kinds of writing. Because critical pedagogy has value in writing center contexts, both for the writing tutor and tutee, for this project I analyzed five writing center tutor training handbooks to examine how and/or whether critical pedagogy is emphasized in tutor training. One handbook is a mass-marketed text while the other four are institution-specific texts representative to their particular writing center. I used five search terms for textual analyses to detect explicit or implicit references to critical pedagogy: critical pedagogy, critical, pedagogy, philosophy, andtheory.My findings strongly suggest that critical pedagogy is not adequately stressed in writing center tutor training handbooks, even though multiple writing center scholars have called attention for the need to implement critical pedagogy in writing center pedagogy. As a result of the discrepancy between writing center theory and critical pedagogical theory application in writing center pedagogy, I argue that critical pedagogy should be emphasized and made explicit in writing center tutor training curricula, including tutor training handbooks.

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