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Dear Reader, Teaching has been a time honored tradition for hundreds of years. Whether you want to pursue a career in teaching or you wish to volunteer your time as a teacher, it is important to learn key techniques which can improve your teaching abilities. Without the right tools and information, it could take you years and cost you a...
Dear Reader, Teaching has been a time honored tradition for hundreds of years. Whether you want to pursue a career in teaching or you wish to volunteer your time as a teacher, it is important to learn key techniques which can improve your teaching abilities. Without the right tools and information, it could take you years and cost you a small fortune to discover the secrets to teaching. Instead of spending a fortune on so-called experts or knocking yourself out with the old trial and error method, there is an easier way to be the teacher you have always dreamed of. Now theres good news .... I wont deny that there are a ton of books out there on teaching. Unfortunately the problem with most books on the subject of teaching is that they are either filled with plenty of promises and no solid techniques and strategies to back up those promises or they contain only one or two pieces of useful information and not a comprehensive look at everything you need to know to succeed in teaching. Introducing The Teachers Guide! Teachers Guide breaks the mold of all the other teaching books and manuals you have heard and read about. It presents solid, proven steps to help you learn how to be the teacher youve always wanted. Sounds too good to be true? Its not and I can prove it with Teachers Guide! But, first a word of introduction. My name is Dan. A few years ago I found myself in a situation not too different from your own. Like almost everyone else, I longed to be a better teacher, but I had no idea where to start! None of the books I had read on teaching had been able to solve my problem. Some of them were so mired down in fancy words and technicalities that it was a miracle I ever got past the first chapter! Others might have passed on a helpful hint or two, but did not solve my problems. Thats when it hit me! If I couldnt find a comprehensive guide on teaching, then why not create my own? I was tired of flipping back and forth through tons of books for the few bits of information that could help me; but I reasoned that if I put all those little tidbits of info together then I might actually be able to begin understanding the secrets to teaching. The next morning I furiously began to read through all of the teaching books that I had purchased over the past three years and take down the pertinent notes. I didnt stop there either. I swallowed my pride and enlisted the help of people that I knew who had been personally successful in teaching. It took awhile to sort through all of the information I had gathered and compile the notes I received from the experts I consulted, but when I was finished I sat back and was completely stunned. Right here in front of me was the information that I had been seeking all along! From the notes I had taken from several articles on the subject of teaching, as well as my own experiments, I had comprised a comprehensive compendium on the subject of teaching. I sat back in stunned amazement! It was all there! The Work of the Teacher How to Stimulate Thinking The Importance of Play in Education Classroom Lessons The Importance of Individual Differences How to Cultivate Moral Attitudes Then I decided to try an experiment and put all of my hard work to the test. The next morning I awoke with new determination. This time I would not fail! Suddenly, I was excited! I absolutely could not believe the difference. Suddenly it was all so clear! I could easily implement proven strategies without having to wade through a mountain of fancy words and difficult to understand terms. What happened next was nothing short of amazing! These strategies not only worked, but the results were completely astonishing. As my success with teaching grew, I started to feel guilty. I knew there were a lot more people out there who wanted the same solutions I had found. Somehow, it just didnt seem right to keep it to myself. One night as I made some changes to my book, I wondered how many other people might have the same problem? After all, if I couldnt find a decent comprehensive teaching manual, what were the chances anyone else could? Given the tremendous success I had encountered using my manual; I was sure that other people could take the same easy to read and understands strategies and achieve success as well. Right now youre probably thinking, Yeah, right. Theres a ton of teaching books out there. What makes you and your book so different? I wont deny for a minute that there are some good teaching books out there-after all Ive read most of them, if not all of them. The difference, however; is that my book blows all the others out of the water because it doesnt just focus on one area of the game. You get everything you need to understand how to teach successfully. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is left out. All the fundamentals are there. And thats just a small taste of what you will get when you order the Teachers Guide Absolutely everything anyone would ever need to learn how to successfully teach is contained within this impressive work. Okay, Im sold, but whats this incredible resource going to cost me? When I first began to think about putting my manual on the market, my first thought was to create a seminar where people could actually get the benefits in a hands-on way. I know not everyone loves to read, so that seemed to be a great solution. But, I quickly realized how time consuming that would be for everyone so instead, I decided I wanted as many people as possible to reap the benefits of this fabulous manual. So, Im willing to slash the cost just so you can take advantage of the incredible information within Teachers Guide.
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Monday, 15 May 2017

Peer Tutoring: 8 Best Strategies that aid students’ academic improvement

What is peer tutoring/teaching?
In the simplest form of the word, peer teaching is a method by which one student instructs another student in material on which the first is an expert and the second is a novice. 

It is a concept that can be traced back to Aristotle’s use ofarchons, or student leaders
Research has proven its effectiveness among school children, on the area of academic improvement. Schools and teachers are encouraged to employ it as a strategy to maximize their efforts in improving the academic lots of their pupils/students.

Forms of Peer Tutoring
Goodlad and Hurst (1989) and Topping (1998) note that academic peer tutoring at the college level takes many different forms: 

 Surrogate teaching, common at larger universities, involves giving older students, often graduates or advanced undergraduates, some or all of the teaching responsibility for undergraduate courses. 

b. Proctoring programs
 involve one-on-one tutoring by students who are slightly ahead of other students, or who have successfully demonstrated proficiency with the material in the recent past. 

c. Cooperative learning
 divides classmates into small groups, with each person in the group responsible for teaching others, and each contributing a unique piece to the group performance on a task. 

d. Reciprocal peer tutoring (RPT), a more specific version of cooperative learning, groups classmates into pairs to tutor each other.

The Criticism

Despite its popularity, peer teaching has come under considerable scrutiny in recent years. Some of the most serious points raised among its foremost antagonists are as follows:

1.     Lazy teachers employing it as a tool to relinquish their primary duties;

2.     The peer tutors (student teachers) not being experts in the field as to teach appropriately as to meet the needs of special children;

3.     Feeling of inferiority by the children taught by others, which goes to inhibit learning.

All are valid points for sure. But, as is the case with most educational strategies, the boons outweigh the burdens if it is implemented correctly. Below are a few suggestions for employing peer teaching in your own classroom.

Strategies that Work in Peer Teaching

1. Be sure your tutors are trained.
Existing research identifies adequate tutor training as an essential component of peer tutoring programs.

For instance, qualified students meeting a minimum grade requirement and demonstrating high citizenship must complete an application process and obtain approval from their teachers before being paired with struggling students. The program advisor then matches tutors to students based on who seems to be a good match academically and socially. Tutors receive quality training in effective ways to work with their tutees.

2. Use a reward system.
You can make a difference in peer tutoring program by integrating a reward system for students to encourage participation and on-task behavior. During the sessions, the teacher could supervise all activities and pass out raffle tickets to students exhibiting good tutoring or on-task behavior. Students would write their names on earned  tickets and placed them in a collection throughout each week. At the end of each week, the teacher would draw several names of students who could each choose a small prize from a box of inexpensive toys.

3. Emphasize confidentiality, positive reinforcement, and adequate response time.
Here, the peer tutors are taught to demonstrate three important things during any given tutoring session: confidentiality, positive reinforcement, and adequate response time when asking questions. The training process also instructed tutors on explaining directions, designing work for extra practice, watching for and correcting mistakes, and providing positive feedback and encouragement.

4. Choose the learning exercise and the appropriate vehicle for it.
Simply placing students in groups or pairs and telling them to “work together” is not going to automatically yield results. You must consciously orchestrate the learning exercise and choose the appropriate vehicle for it. Only then will students in fact engage in peer learning and reap the benefits of peer teaching.

5. Use group strategies:
To facilitate successful peer learning, teachers may choose from an array of strategies:
·                     Buzz Groups: A large group of students is subdivided into smaller groups of 4–5 students to consider the issues surrounding a problem. After about 20 minutes of discussion, one member of each sub-group presents the findings of the sub-group to the whole group.

·                     Affinity Groups: Groups of 4–5 students are each assigned particular tasks to work on outside of formal contact time. At the next formal meeting with the teacher, the sub-group, or a group representative, presents the sub-group’s findings to the whole tutorial group.

·                     Solution and Critic Groups: One sub-group is assigned a discussion topic for a tutorial and the other groups constitute “critics” who observe, offer comments and evaluate the sub-group’s presentation.

·                     “Teach-Write-Discuss”: At the end of a unit of instruction, students have to answer short questions and justify their answers. After working on the questions individually, students compare their answers with each other’s. A whole-class discussion subsequently examines the array of answers that still seem justifiable and the reasons for their validity.

6.. Teach instructional scaffolding.
To reap the benefits of peer teaching, tutees must reach a point when they are practicing a new task on their own. Tutors can help prepare students for independent demonstration by providing instructional scaffolding, a method by which the tutor gradually reduces her influence on a tutee’s comprehension. After all, this is your ultimate target.

7. Explain directive versus nondirective tutoring.
A tutor who engages in directive tutoring becomes a surrogate teacher, taking the role of an authority and imparting knowledge. The tutor who takes the non-directive approach is more of a facilitator, helping the student draw out the knowledge he already possesses. Under the directive approach, the tutor imparts knowledge on the tutee and explains or tells the tutee what he should think about a given topic. Under the non-directive approach, the tutor draws knowledge out of the tutee, asking open-ended questions to help the student come to his own conclusions about the topic. Both are valid methods, but different levels of each should be used with different students and in different scenarios.

8. Explain how to provide feedback.
Positive verbal feedback: Teach your tutors the importance of positive verbal feedback. Prompt students to come up with a list of standard statements which they feel may be positively reinforcing. They also need to be taught how much positive feedback to give. Giving feedback after each and every response can take too much time and diminish its effect. Teach tutors to give genuine praise after every third or fourth correct response and after particularly difficult problems. Make sure to have them practice.

Corrective feedback: Teach your tutors how to respond when an incorrect answer is given. When an incorrect answer is given, the tutor should promptly give and explain the correct answer or draw the correct answer out of the tutee without being critical of the tutee, and then give the tutee an opportunity to repeat the correct answer.

If the foregoing strategies are rightly put in place, both the teacher, the students and the entire educational community stand to benefit maximally.

Benefits of Peer Tutoring
The main benefits of peer teaching include, but are not limited to, the following:

·                     Students receive more time for individualized learning.

·                     Direct interaction between students promotes active learning.

·                     Peer teachers reinforce their own learning by instructing others.

·                     Students feel more comfortable and open when interacting with a peer.

·                     Peers and students share a similar discourse, allowing for greater understanding.

·                     Peer teaching is a financially efficient alternative to hiring more staff members.

·                     Teachers receive more time to focus on the next lesson.

Research also indicates that peer learning activities typically yield the following results for both tutor and tutee: 

·                     team-building spirit and more supportive relationships; 

·                     greater psychological well-being; 

·                     social competence; 

·                     communication skills and self-esteem; 

·                     higher achievement and greater productivity in terms of enhanced learning outcomes.


It should be noted that the majority of peer-tutoring programs for students are intended to complement, not substitute for, regular classroom instruction. Tutoring should never be a substitute for professional teaching. An ideal learning atmosphere is as a rich blend of peer and adult instructional strategies.

Excerpts from the work of Open Colleges

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