Ryan Roderick

Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Dylan Dryer

Second Committee Member

Charlsye Diaz

Third Committee Member

Susan Bennett-Armistead


This study investigates the constructs of literacy that are produced through "learner-centered" one-on-one adult literacy tutoring. It presents a theoretical overview of adult literacy education imperatives and their relationships with the concept of multi-literacies, as set forth by James Gee (1989) and the New London Group (2000). Learner-centered approaches to tutoring are then examined within the context of multi-literacies and their complex interaction with the community. Results of an ethnographic study of a local literacy tutor training program that trains tutors to work one-on-one with adults show that constructs of literacy and multi-literacies were both present in the structures and practices of the training program, and that these inconsistent constructs of literacy corresponded with tutors' own inconsistent approaches to tutoring following their completion of the training. Finally, an overview of trainees' experience with tutor training is presented, and recommendations are made to improve effectiveness and accessibility of adult literacy tutor training at the local adult literacy organization that was the subject of this study.