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Peer Tutoring, Anyone?

Okay, we have heard about tutoring centers, one-on-one tutoring and online tutoring, but students can also be tutors. Peer tutoring is about training students to assist younger students or students of the same age in academic lessons.

There are studies conducted that showed that peer tutoring can improve academic learning and understanding among students compared with teacher instruction. It showed its benefits whether it is in small groups or part of the class. Peer tutoring can be used in different subject areas and showed significant results in mathematics, reading, spelling, comprehension and writing.

The reason why peer tutoring can be successful is that students feel more comfortable with each other. They interact with each other more openly and also help in improving self-confidence and self-efficacy. Aside from this, peer tutoring also allows both parties, the tutors and the students, to widen their academic knowledge. They would be able to support and promote development for both parties.

In peer tutoring, tutors would be able to earn a salary and at the same time provide assistance to their friends. Tutors would also be able to have a deeper understanding of the subject and topic they would be teaching.

In one-on-one peer tutoring, both parties would be meeting at least once a week, so that they would be able to fit tutoring to their class schedules. Schools that would have peer tutoring programs would usually have the sessions outside the classroom but still inside the school property.

Another kind of peer tutoring is the class-wide. Since there are a lot of students inside a classroom, teacher find it difficult to focus and help each student. The class-wide program pairs every student with each other. They would be given lessons and one student is asked to tutor the other student while the other one will answer the questions about the topic.

The reason why class-wide peer tutoring works is that student are more comfortable asking questions to a classmate than to a teacher. Most students would fear asking questions because they are afraid of getting embarrassed. Peer tutoring would also allow students to be resolved of their confusion immediately, since they could ask their partner right away.

If you think that peer tutoring would work for you child, how would you be able to ask or look for one? The place to go is the student counselling or guidance counselling office and ask if they would have peer tutoring programs.

Parents should make their children attending peer tutoring be aware that it is important to attend sessions and avoid being late. Aside from that, it is also important that students would be attending their regular classes. Tutoring sessions are not intended to be substitute for missed classes. It’s a refresher and troubleshooting class. Meaning, things that you are unable to understand in regular class are made clear in tutoring sessions.

If your child wants to be a peer tutor, then all you child has to do is inquire about it in guidance and student affairs offices. Most of the times, student who would like to be a peer tutor needs a faculty member endorsement and are required to attend training sessions.

Peer tutors would also have to learn giving positive feedback. It is encouraged that tutors praise their charges especially if they are making progress or correct answers. If the tutee is experiencing problems understanding, then provide time for the tutee to practice and at the same time correct the mistakes without sounding patronizing.

But peer tutoring is not always picture-perfect. There are times when tutor and tutee cannot work well together or sometimes techniques and style of teaching learned in training is not effective for everybody. Technique for teaching effectively would be developed during the sessions. What needs to be remembered is that peer tutoring cannot replace regular classroom instruction, but this can be a great form of supplemental education.


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