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I believe that assistance should be given
in as many areas of the curriculum as
your support systems/staff can bear.
Student needs are campus-specific
so it's hard to dictate what is important
in all learning centers.

Linda Blatt, Director
Center for Academic Excellence
Associate Professor of English
Central College
812 University
Pella, IA 50219
(641) 628-5209
Fax: (641) 628-5316
mailto:[log in to unmask]
"Formal education will earn you a living; self-education
makes you a fortune."

-----Original Message-----
From: James Valkenburg [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2000 10:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Social Sciences Tutoring

Larry,

    Academic support should be available to everyone across the curriculum.
In my estimation, tutoring in the Social Sciences and Humanities is as
difficult as tutoring Math or Science.  When I began my trek to
administration as a "lowly" tutor of Humanities and Social Science, I always
tried to help students learn how to learn while we worked on content.  After
twenty years in the business, I have found only more evidence
that both content and study/learning skills are essential to help students.
It's hard to isolate "causes" of a student's difficulty with content.  Who's
to say what "The" most important course should be.

    I'll offer a closely related topic -- Learning Styles and What the heck
to do with them.  Many instructors are opposed to the concept of identifying
learning styles since, to them, there are many other content related issues
that are more important -- the lack of basic reading skills, for instance.
Others contend that telling a student his/her learning style will turn them
off to using other modes of learning and possibly
disregard other important basic skills issues.  What I try to do is show
students that while they have a preferred learning style, they should try to
link that style to others to help them remember AND access information at a
later date.  I try not to dwell on preferred styles alone.  [I also tell
them that the instructor also has a preferred style and that as students
they should try to accommodate that style as much as
possible.]

Larry Arrington wrote:

> I'd like to know if there are any strong opinions or observations
regarding the need / usefulness of Social Sciences tutors (Psych, Soc, Hist,
etc.) in a college learning center environment.  It seems that some people
believe that assistance for students in these courses is mainly study skills
/ writing related vs. actual content area....while others feel that the
material / concepts need to be addressed for some students.
>
> Larry Arrington
> Director of Learning Assistance Lab
> MCCC - Blue Bell, PA
> [log in to unmask]