Mentoring in the Writing Café: Identity, Belonging and Ownership

Christie Pritchard

Abstract


The historical legacy of the coffeehouse, the predecessor to the café, is rooted in a culture of community, collaboration and social activity. In January 2014, the Learning Development team at Plymouth University opened the Writing Café; a developmental, creative space that offers the potential to reframe their work and provides the opportunity to work in partnership with students. Along with serving great coffee and locally sourced food, conversations and activities in the café provide a space for students and staff to meet and discuss writing practices and gain support from the Learning Development team and trained student Writing Mentors. This paper reports on a small-scale action research project undertaken to investigate to what extent the Writing Mentors benefitted from being partners in this project; as co-designers, advisors, writing mentors, baristas and more.


Keywords


Identity; writing centres; academic literacies; writing cafe; peer mentoring; students as partners, student support.

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ISSN: 1759-667X