EduReviewerOnline TutoringPeer Tutoring: What Is It? Is it Good? Pros & Cons
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Peer Tutoring: What Is It? Is it Good? Pros & Cons

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For so many years, tutoring has been a huge part of learning. It enables students to get individualized attention to help improve their comprehension, confidence, and skills both in and out of the classroom. With this, it is easier to overcome academic challenges and become independent.

However, lately, a new form of tutoring has emerged, and this is called Peer tutoring.

This provides a fresh perspective on the concept of tutoring, and no matter what angle you look from, the benefits of this method seem limitless. When students teach each other, comprehension comes easily because the teacher is someone of a similar age.

It is easier to get your point across or ask daunting questions that would normally be difficult to ask an older teacher. To know more about this method of tutoring, read below:

What is Peer Tutoring?

This is a teaching approach where students are employed as tutors for other students. This model is used in academic, social, or even behavioral settings.

Typically, a student with high grades is usually paired with one who is struggling academically. There are different models of peer tutoring, and here’s how they work:

  • Class-wide Peer Tutoring

This method involves sectionalizing the whole class into groups of two or five as a maximum. These groups must contain students of differing academic abilities, and anyone can assume the tutor or tutee status.

  • Cross-Age Peer Tutoring

An older student is assigned as a tutor to a younger student, and their positions do not change. The older student remains the tutor while the younger student remains the tutee.

  • Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS)

In this model, the teacher peers two students in the same group. They don’t necessarily need to have differing ability levels, but the sole aim is to help each other in different subjects where one is doing better than the other. The role of tutor and tutee can also change here depending on the subject being taught.

  • Reciprocal Peer Tutoring

So many questions on “what is reciprocal peer tutoring” have gone around, and seeing as it is a popular model, that is understandable. This method involves peering two or more students together, and they alternate the roles of tutor and tutee. Each student can prepare instructional materials to help them understand the subject better.

What Is Peer Tutoring In Special Education?

This is a strategy where high-performing students are paired with a student who has disabilities and cannot learn at a regular pace. This method has proven to be beneficial for both parties as it helps boost their academic achievements. This also answers the question of “what is peer tutoring in high school.”

What Are The Advantages of Peer Tutoring?

Now that the question of “what is the definition of peer tutoring?” has been answered, it’s time to look at the advantages of this concept and how it helps students in education. Here are a few benefits:

Improved Attitude To Learning

Being taught by peers breaks down the usual barrier facing some pupils. They see their fellow students as colleagues and are free to ask more questions, make small talk, and be themselves during lessons.

Personalized Learning

As students age, they start to need more attention, and this peer tutoring provides them with the one-on-one teaching they need. With this, the tutor gives the tutee enough time and attention, ensuring that all learning areas are covered and that comprehension and understanding are assured.

Higher Achievements

For low-performing students, being personally engaged with the tutor can help them become better academically.

Also read: Tutor vs Teacher: What’s the difference?

Why? Peer tutoring allows for individualized assistance, which means there is ample time to discuss areas where a student is struggling. Because learning is personalized, the tutor has enough time to explain these topics very extensively.

Confidence

As a tutor, you gain confidence and a better grasp of the subject you’ve been paired to teach. Phil Collins said, “In learning, you will teach, and in teaching, you will learn.” When you repeatedly talk about a particular subject in the process of explaining it to another, you will become better at it. It’s simply the law.

What Are The Disadvantages?

Parents Resistance

Some parents do not simply believe that another student can teach their kid properly. Although this argument is a little typical, it is not unfounded.

As a guardian paying serious tuition and other fees, they might wonder why their kid is being tutored by other students and would kick against it. They won’t be the first to do this, which is one big disadvantage of peer tutoring.

Student May Not Pay Attention

Simply because this is an arrangement between peers, it is obvious why attention may not be on academic activities most of the time. There are many fun things to talk about: like what happened during lunch hour or about that teacher that tripped down the stairs. Focusing attention on what matters might be a little difficult.

Lack of Social Development

Since they are meeting with one student all the time, the tutee may not have ample space to develop themselves socially. They have no time to meet and interact with other tutors, which can adversely affect the results the whole concept is aiming for.

Also read: Why is Tutoring Important?

Scheduling Difficulties

Finding time to do this might be extremely difficult, especially during school hours. This problem becomes even more glaring when the tutee is a student with low academic ability. There might be a little resistance on the tutee’s part when it comes to tutoring in public because such a child would be scared of stigmatization or of everyone knowing they are struggling with their academics.

How Effective Is Peer Tutoring?

Overall, peer tutoring is thoroughly effective in helping low-performing students master a particular subject. It helps students:

  • Make more progress than they would leave;
  • It has a great educational aspect and helps in improving memory retention;
  • It helps to increase social, and behavior skills as students are made to interact and communicate with their peer;
  • It creates a deep sense of responsibility in the tutor;
  • It inspires confidence;
  • It improves the motivation to study for both the tutor and tutee.

As effective as this is, the benefits become unrivaled when it does not replace whole class interaction. Every student still needs to be a part of the class and have regular interactions with the teacher. The relationship between a student and teacher can not be replaced.

According to Brad Henry, “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imaginations, and instill a love for learning.”

Peer tutoring is only meant as a supporting technique to a teacher-student relationship.

How Much Does It Cost?

There are certain cost commitments required to effectively imbibe the peer tutoring program into a school. Money will be spent on purchasing peer-to-peer tutoring materials, hiring extra staff to help students settle into their roles, and professional developments.

In most schools, peer tutoring is free and comes without any additional costs.

However, if a student is asked to pay, the costs are really low, only reaching about $20 to $30 per year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why Choose Peer Tutoring?

A: If you’re a student who is shy and reserved, then peer tutoring is good for you. Another student will only teach you, and depending on the model used, the tutor would be your peer. It is easier to have normal conversations and ask questions than to be tutored by a teacher.

Q: What Are The Most Frequently Used Peer Tutoring Models?

A: There are several models, but the most frequently used are: reciprocating peer tutoring and peer-assisted learning strategies.

Conclusion

Peer tutoring is a great innovation and packs a lot of benefits for both the tutor and tutee. For this concept to be more effective, however, the school should educate the tutor on professional methods of passing information in ways that will benefit the tutee and help increase their academic achievements. If you don’t have such an option in your school, you might try hiring a tutor at one of the best private tutor companies online.

Images are taken from Unsplash

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