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CEM Curriculum, Evaluation and Management Centre PUBLICATION NUMBER 21 PEER AND CROSS-AGE TUTORING

By H E Mitzel, J H Best and W Rabinowitz (eds


The term peer tutoring (PT) has been applied to various activities. The common threads are the use of peers, that is, others of similar status and situation, and tutoring, which implies individualized attention to a learner, the tutee. Individual tuition, a class size of one, has always been prized. Members of the aristocracy were usually educated by personal tutors, and even today, if a student wishes to excel or catch up, a private tutor is often seen as the answer. If this widely held belief in the effectiveness of one-to-one tutoring were correct and schools wished to provide every student with a personal tutor, on occasion, the only feasible approach in terms of costs would be to use students as the tutors. But are students effective tutors? There is an increasing body of evidence that they are and that, moreover, the tutors themselves may benefit from having to tutor. The claims for positive outcomes extend beyond the cognitive and into other domains, such as attitudes toward self and others. The evidence for cognitive and non-cognitive benefits is reviewed separately. These reviews are followed by consideration of some important issues emerging from the research literature. Cognitive Benefits The learning outcomes of PT have been widely researched, primarily in the basic-skill area

Year: 2008
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