|Tutoring (IAE - IBE - UNESCO, 36 p.)|
Specify tutoring method, provide training and access to materials.
Reviews of research on tutoring consistently find that more structured methods in which tutors receive training tend to yield better outcomes (Cohen, Kulik & Kulik, 1982; Sharpley & Sharpley, 1981; Topping & Ehly, 1998).
A clear procedure for tutoring needs to be specified. This can be generic (to be applied to any materials of the pairs choice). Or it might be based on, and structured by, some special materials the pair are given. If the method is to be applied to a wide range of materials, it is important to specify even more exactly what the tutor is to do (Topping, 2000b). For a first attempt, use of a packaged method that has already been proved effective is recommended (see Chapters 5 to 7).
Even if tutoring is not based on given structured materials, pairs will still need access to some materials from which to choose (e.g. a collection of reading books). In developing countries, access to materials can be a big problem in some places.
· Specify tutoring method. Be very clear about what good tutoring would look like. Perhaps use a packaged technique? Consider general or specific tutoring skills, or some of both? Structured by specific materials, or not?
· Training. Train tutors and tutees together if possible. Tell them what to do. Then demonstrate what they have to do. Then give them a written and/or graphic reminder of what they have to do (to keep). Then have them immediately practice the tutoring method. Materials will be needed for practice. Observe and check whether they are doing it well. Give extra praise and coaching as needed.
· Train in general tutoring skills. For example, how to establish a comfortable relationship; how to present tasks; how to give clear explanations; how to ask questions; how to demonstrate skills; how to prompt or lead tutees into imitating skills; how to check on performance; how to give feedback and praise; how to identify consistent patterns of error; how to keep progress records.
· Train in specific tutoring skills. As specifically relevant to your tutoring method and/or materials.
· Contracting. You might wish to have tutors and tutees sign some form of contract. This sets out the details of their agreement to work together.
· Access to materials. These might be special materials that are specific to a tutoring programme. Or they might be regular classroom materials. Or materials publicly available (e.g. from a public library or downloaded from the Internet). If tutoring is based on homework set by a teacher, the school is likely to provide the materials. Sometimes the materials are specially made. They can be produced by pairs themselves, or by volunteers or administrative staff under guidance. Pairs need to be able to obtain new materials before every tutoring session. Access must be frequent, quick and easy. Does the pair know what difficulty level to choose? What sequence to follow? How do they know?