The Non-Directive Directive?

a lightbulb in a thought bubble.

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

Apologies for this week's blog post title. Like many other people across the globe, I was utterly absorbed by the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery last night and am still recovering. 

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the place of directive versus non-directive tutoring in writing center consultations. As it has been with every other Praxis editor, I began my time at the UWC as a consultant. Though my days are now full of article proofs, lengthy e-mail chains about proper MLA formatting, and conference-related considerations (such as IWCA in November), I once spent my time working with students one-on-one, helping them to improve their writing projects and processes however I could. Oftentimes, I felt constrained by the core writing center principle of non-directive guidance; a good deal of recent writing center research deals with this point of tension and its relationship to both language acquisition and identity politics (e.g. Horner et al., Canagarajah, etc.). We have even published some excellent work on these topics and similar intersections of theory and practice, such as Beatrice Mendez Newman's piece on tutoring translingual writers

Indeed, it seems as though our field is experiencing something of a sea change when it comes to balancing tried-and-true principles with an increased awareness of the populations our centers serve. So, with that in mind, what struggles have YOU experienced when trying to balance a non-directive tutoring approach with the exigencies presented by different student populations and assignment types? Feel free to chime in below, in the comments section. 

A Bullpen Bulletin: New Schedule, New Editor, New Submissions Policy

Face front, true believers!

Alejandro here, with a few items of interest for our loyal readers:

  1. Starting this semester, AXIS is running on a new publication schedule. We will have a new post live every other Monday.
  2. Our first fresh post will be an interview with none other than my new co-editor, Sarah Riddick. There's nothing quite like a brief, entirely textual introduction to publicize the new blood in the Praxis office. Keep your eyes peeled for that in the near future!
  3. Last, but certainly not least: we here at the AXIS blog are instituting an open submissions policy EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. Do you have something to say about writing centers? Are you keen on upsetting the applecart of writing center theory? Have you got an inspiring, educational, or harrowing tutoring anecdote to share with an audience of fellow tutors and writing center professionals? Send us a line at, either in the form of a 100-word blog post pitch or a 400- to 500-word blog post draft. This is a fantastic opportunity for undergraduates, graduate students, and professional scholars alike to nab a snazzy web publication and share their work with an interested audience of writing center workers.

That's all from me for now, folks. In the meantime, enjoy the new semester, stay out of the heat, and keep those pencils sharpened.