Facilitative Conferencing

In order to conduct a conference in a facilitative manner, based on current Writing Center pedagogy, the consultant must keep one key idea in mind: The overall purpose of the conference is to improve the writer and their style, rather than the specific narrative. Consultants need to look beyond a student's particular project and instead address the thought process by which they pruduced that particular narrative. At times, therefore, it will be the consultant's responsibility to forgo simple errors in grammar and mechanics and instead look at the larger global issues of content and organization.

Finally, the consultants who desire to work with students in a facilitative manner should learn to make "suggestions" rather simply telling the writer what to do. This places the consultant in the position of a collaborator and ally, rather than an authority figure.

The Do's and Don'ts of Conferencing provide more detailed information regarding the effective implimentation of the facilitative style into portfolio consultations

This information was complied from Stephen North's article "The Idea of a Writing Center" and Richard Straub's article entitled "The Concept to Control in Teacher Response: Defining the Varieties of 'Directive' and 'Facilitative' commentary."


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