Reflections on Remediation

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/01/21/freshmen

The linked article’s title is great for a start, but what I’m troubled by is the buried survey results on tutoring and what they call “remedial work.” I’m perfectly willing to admit that tutoring can rise to the level of remedial work, but why do we need to attached such an emotionally charged word as “remedial” to what  amounts to learning support?

My campus’ learning center embraces what I think is a healthier attitude toward learning support in the development of its tutoring and Supplemental Instruction (SI) programs. I suspect most university campus do the same, but here tutors and SI instructors aren’t simply finding remedies to educational ailments afflicting students who come to the center. They practice approaches that bridge gaps between learning styles and teaching styles. Similarly, our writing center isn’t simply a place to go have your paper spell-checked. To our writing center, good writing is good thinking and they want to be involved to provide support to students from the beginning–whether it’s brainstorming a paper’s topic or identifying the appropriate citation style, the writing center aims to support the student in a learner-centered way.

Maybe I’m wrong, but the article seemed to stigmatize the idea of learning support…and it bugged me.

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About Art

I'm the Director of Academic Advising at Quincy College. I'm hoping this can be a place to express the occasional thought that may mean something to someone. . .we'll see. I'm also a musician--I play the string bass in primarily the jazz and classical idioms (though I love many kinds of music and have played everything from folk and bluegrass to new wave and hard rock). And, as an Italian-American, I love good food and good wine. . .basically,don't be surprised by posts on any of the topics mentioned above ;)
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