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Peer Tutor Training
Transcript of Peer Tutor Training
9:30-9:45 Policies and Procedures
9:45-10:30 The Role of the Tutor
10:45-11:15 The Tutoring Cycle
11:15-12:00 Tutoring with the Brain
1:00-1:30 Learning Styles Inventory
1:30-2:15 Critical Thinking and Probing Questions
2:30-3:00 Working with Students with Disabilities
3:00-3:30 Q&A and Assessment Benefits Peer Tutor Training The Role of the Tutor Thank you! Q & A Critical Thinking and Probing Questions (from R. Paul’s Critical Thinking: How to Prepare Students for a Rapidly Changing World) The Tutoring Cycle from The Master Tutor: A Guidebook for More Effective Tutoring by Ross MacDonald The Natural Human Learning Process Tutoring with the Brain Learning Styles Inventory How do you learn best? Agenda Academic Support Icebreaker Policies and Procedures What is Jot down your answers to the following questions and then turn to the person next to you and share your ideas. What do you feel are the most important characteristics of a good tutor?
Who will benefit by your being a tutor? How so?
Describe any past experiences you have had with tutoring either as a tutor or a student. What made them positive or negative?
Describe any worries or concerns you might have about being a tutor.
In your own words, define the ultimate goal of tutoring.
What do you personally hope to achieve by being a tutor? Forms
personal info update
posting of schedules
time sheet Entering Payroll What is Tutoring is an age-old practice. The dictionary describes a tutor as a person who works with individuals, or in some cases small groups, to improve performance in a particular subject. The purpose of tutoring is to help students help themselves, or to assist or guide them to the point at which they become an independent learner, and thus no longer need a tutor. Content knowledge is an essential ingredient for a tutor; however, to be truly effective, a tutor must combine content knowledge with empathy , honesty and humor. Empathy requires a tutor to "read" the emotional states, attitudes and perceptions of their students. Empathy is the ability to see others from their personal frame of reference, and to communicate this understanding to the person involved. In order for tutors to establish a supportive relationship with their students, tutors must be open and honest. Students are often reluctant to talk with a stranger about their academic problems. If a tutor is perceived as genuine and having a strong desire to listen, students will be more willing to open up and discuss their problems. Humor can also play an important part in a tutoring session. Humor can reduce tension. Shared laughter is a powerful way to reinforce learning. Humor can set students at ease and increase rapport. Humor can also be used to compliment, to guide or to provide negative feedback in a positive manner. In addition, a successful tutor demonstrates a caring, professional attitude. Caring consists of being organized for the tutoring session, being punctual, establishing a learning relationship with the student, developing unique teaching strategies, and becoming familiar with the learning process. Ultimately, tutoring is sharing yourself with another student in a way that makes a difference in both your lives. There are many benefits for the tutor:
Heightens sense of competency/adequacy in conforming to new role
Encourages higher levels of thinking
Permits more advanced students to study below-level material without embarrassment
Increases motivation to learn
Increases ability to manage own learning and study strategies
Increases subject specific knowledge
Increases related general knowledge
Increases understanding of subject area
Improves attitude toward subject area
Provides more of a connection with peers and professors and a sense of campus community
Funding for college There are many benefits to the college:
Increases opportunity to reinforce instruction
Increases positive student interaction
Enhances measurable positive changes in attitude towards teaching/learning for the participants
Improves educational climate
Encourages acceptance of diversity
Provides cost-effective opportunities and funding for student workers on campus
Increases student retention and graduation rates There are also many benefits to the students who receive tutoring:
Offers a more individualized, systematic, structured learning experience
Provides greater congruence between teacher and learner and a closer role model
Improves academic performance and personal growth
Improves attitude toward subject area
Generates stronger effects than other individualized teaching strategies
Motivates self-paced and self-directed learning
Provides intensive practice for students who need it
Presents the material in a different way, which may coincide more closely with the student's learning style
Improves self-esteem and confidence Characteristics of Good Tutors
Intelligence alone does not indicate success as a tutor, but what kind of person and what kind of student you are does. It takes a certain kind of person to be a good tutor.
Some of the characteristics noticeable in good tutors are:
A positive outlook: the belief that things can be changed through action
A desire to help others: the willingness to become involved with people firsthand and in depth
Empathy: the ability to feel what another person is feeling and act accordingly
An even disposition: patience, gentleness, understanding and fairness
An open mind: a willingness to accept other people and their point of view
Initiative: the ability to see what needs to be done and to do it
Enthusiasm: a liking for your subject and a wish to share it with others
Reliability as a worker: punctual, dependable, steady Summary of What Students Need from Tutoring:
acceptance that everyone makes mistakes
applications/reasons for learning
connections between new material and prior knowledge
"The Big Picture"
familiarity with the language of the discipline
wait time from the student to think of the answer to a question that has been asked
help distinguishing relevant from irrelevant information
techniques for: time management, test-taking, relaxing, studying, note-taking, organizing, representing and remembering concepts and their relationships Let's Brainstorm! In a small group of no more than four, take a few minutes and brainstorm ways that tutors are like teachers and ways that tutoring is different from teaching. Use a Venn diagram to record your ideas (this is a great way to help students compare and contrast information in a visual way). It is important to realize the difference between tutorial and teaching roles. Tutoring should be a two-way communication, unlike an instructor lecturing to a student, which is a one-way communication. So, where tutoring differs from teaching, its advantages begin. The goal of the two-way communication is to provide the student with the opportunity to discover his or her most appropriate method of organizing and assimilating a body of material. The methods discovered should not be limited to the material covered in any one section of the course. Therefore, your function is to provide assistance that leads to independent learning by students. The tutor's role is primarily that of a facilitator, helping the student discover his or her own methods, abilities, and ultimately, academic success. Tutoring is NOT:
A substitute for class attendance
A replacement for individual study
A painless and magical process by which one acquires knowledge and skill
A magic cure for someone who has already blown 33% or more of a course grade
Remedial- tutoring is preparative and proactive Tutoring works best when:
the student has prepared for the tutoring session by completing required reading and homework problems
the student takes primary responsibility for what he or she doesn't know and comes to the session with an agenda of questions
the tutor helps the student to organize and assimilate material
the tutor is a facilitator, not a mere dispenser of information
the tutoring consists of two-way communication
the tutor explains the "why" behind the "what" To summarize, the student must retain the primary responsibility for learning. If the tutor assumes too much responsibility, the student will be denied the reward of feeling involved in his or her own academic success, which is a major motivating factor for continued learning. Your goal will be to facilitate the discovery of learning strategies that can serve your student not only in the present course but also in the future. Your most readily available study strategy is the one that enabled you to be successful. You will be able to supplement your own experience with the information you will receive today in training. Tutor Goals (what you should do):
Help students to understand course content
Increase students’ ability to learn on their own and become self-sufficient
Help students identify and understand their learning strengths and weaknesses
Help students improve their study, reading, writing, math, and/or other academic skills
Encourage and support students
Encourage communication and positive student/instructor relationships
Provide materials and practice skills students can use outside the tutoring session
Encourage students to come to tutoring early (as opposed to waiting until the day before their assignments are due or when there is a test the next day)
Refer students to other appropriate campus resources when necessary Limits of the Tutor Role (what you shouldn’t do):
Be a teacher- you shouldn't try to teach or re-teach the material
Be a personal counselor—make referrals to other resources on campus if the student is struggling with issues other than what’s within the course
Be an editor for student papers or give advice on take-home tests
Give answers to questions on homework—in other words, doing the student’s work
Work outside your comfort level—if you don’t know the answer to something, don’t guess; tell the student to ask his or her instructor or discuss how to find the information.
Work beyond your scheduled time period or change your schedule without permission
Side with the student against an instructor—e.g. never disagree with a grade given by the instructor or say negative things about an instructor)
Anticipate what an instructor may want—if you’re unsure of the instructor’s expectations, have the student discuss the assignment with the instructor to get clarification)
Suggest a possible grade—never estimate a grade for a student, even by implication
Leave a mess in the tutoring area or act unprofessionally Promote independent learning in those you tutor by doing the following:
Leading the students to find the answer (be the facilitator) rather than doing their writing or homework for them
Allowing the students to hold the pencil and fix their own error
Saying “no” to proofreading (but yes to pointing out common errors and allowing them to find other similar errors on their own within the paper or homework or referring them to the Writing Center)
Facilitating insight into the learning process and NOT saying, “Let me show you how to do it,” but rather “How would YOU start?”
Learning NOT to say, “Here’s the information,” but rather “Where do you think you could get that information?”
Connecting new information to things the student already knows
Helping educate the students you tutor about success producing study skills and memory techniques
Helping students break large assignments into manageable tasks
Learning about learning styles and assisting students who may have a variety of learning styles and possible learning disabilities Provide a student perspective on learning and academic success by doing the following:
Sharing your insights from having already taken a specific course or even a specific instructor (but avoid undermining the instructor and his or her teaching style, work load, course expectations, or grading style)
Sharing learning strategies that work for you
Being a positive student role model of how to study and learn Model professionalism by:
Showing up on time, prepared with any materials you will need
Giving the student your full attention (no texting or taking phone calls during a session)
Showing consideration to other students and staff
Cleaning up after session and requiring students to do the same
Acting in a professional manner at all times while tutoring (no yelling, cursing, horseplay, etc.)
Honoring confidentiality (keeping student information private)
Turning in your time sheet and sign-ins on time and contacting a supervisor if you need to miss a session or change your schedule and when you have questions or concerns Motivate students by:
Giving appropriate affirmation when the student makes progress and/or accomplishes something
Not giving false praise or false hope
Being patient through the students’ difficulties and encouraging him or her to continue working
Respecting individual differences
Creating an atmosphere of comfort and safety for the student you’re tutoring
Assisting students from diverse cultures in a sensitive way that shows acceptance of differences What is one thing you will do to set a positive climate for your tutoring sessions?
Jane comes to you for tutoring for her History class. When you ask her what she would like to work on during the session (Step 2), she replies "Everything! I have always sucked at History!" What would you do?
Who should identify the tasks to be done in a tutoring session? Who should decide how the time in a tutoring session is divided?
In your own words, explain what Step 4 is and why it is so important.
Explain the differences between Step 7 and Step 8.
Why is it important not to skip steps 10-12?
How will you respond when a student insists on talking about personal problems during tutoring instead of doing the work that you've planned? Think of one thing you're good at that you learned to do outside school. It could be a sport, a hobby, an art, a people skill, or something around the house. It could be something you used to do or you do now. It could be anything. Everybody's good at something and EVERYONE must have something in order to participate in the next part of the training! Now, think back to before you knew how to do it. Write down how you started learning it and then how you got from not knowing how to do it to being good at it. What happened at the beginning of learning your new skill? Then, what happened next? Next, get together with 2 or 3 other people and:
say what you're good at
tell each other how you got good at it
see whether there is anything similar in how you all got to be good at your different specialties
be prepared to report back to the group in a few minutes You are all natural-born learners. You were born with a brain that knows how to learn, and most people learn by pretty much the same process of about 4-6 stages. Rita Smilkstein calls this the Natural Human Learning Process (NHLP). Now, let's look at how to tutor based on this process... Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 THE BRAIN’S CONSTRUCTIVE
LEARNING PROCESS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Students from different cultures have different experiences and learn different things, grow different neural networks.
However, we all learn by the same brain-based natural-learning process.
When both tutors and tutees have this metacognitive knowledge—of their different neural networks (knowledge) and, yet, their similar natural learning process—they are able to work together more successfully. IMPLICATIONS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 If students haven’t had the opportunity to grow the foundation dendrites for a new topic or skill, they don’t have the basis from which to grow—on which to connect and construct—the dendrites for the higher levels of skill and knowledge.
Should we judge them as incapable or of less intelligence or talent and throw them and their potential away because they never had that opportunity? IMPLICATIONS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 IMPLICATIONS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 HOW THE BRAIN LEARNS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007
When learners feel unconfident or anxious, certain chemicals flow into the synapses to shut them down: “Danger! No time to think! Just run away!” This is the flight reaction. Students mistakenly think they have a poor memory, but it is their emotions that are sabotaging them.
When learners feel interested and confident, different chemicals flow into the synapses that make them work quickly and well: “I can handle this.” This is the fight reaction. EMOTIONS AFFECT LEARNING CHARACTERISTICS OF LEARNERS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 When learners have all this invaluable metacognitive knowledge, they are empowered to be self-responsible and to have self-efficacy.
When tutors have this knowledge, they can better help their tutees become the natural, motivated, successful learners they are born to be. ESSENTIAL TRUTHS
ABOUT LEARNING AND TEACHING Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 When students self-evaluate how much their dendrites have grown, they see that they are in control of their learning.
They know their learning, their ceiling level, their neural network, increases as they put in more time and effort. STUDENTS AS EMPOWERED, ENGAGED, SUCCESSFUL LEARNERS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 After this, the tutor might want to add something—and the students will be eager to hear and discuss it. USING THE NATURAL LEARNING PROCESS FOR ACTIVE, STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 For initial (maybe all) lessons, tutees should first be invited to do their own thinking and doing and then share and discuss what they thought or did with the tutor.
The tutor can now see what might be missing. When a prerequisite, preliminary foundation of dendrites is missing, the tutee needs to grow that foundation (through practice) in order to be able to move up to understand the higher level of skill and knowledge. USING THE NATURAL LEARNING PROCESS FOR ACTIVE, STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 As a learner goes through the stages of this natural learning process, the learner’s brain constructs its neural networks from the lowest twig up.
Thus, the first lesson must help a tutee make a connection to a twig already there, to something already known. THE BRAIN’S CONSTRUCTIVE
LEARNING PROCESS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Learning is all about empowerment.
The brain is our survival organ. It is born to learn, is impelled to learn.
The brain produces endorphins, the pleasure hormone, when it is learning.
What if we had a way to help tutees, in any subject, be the motivated, engaged, natural learners they are born to be? STUDENTS AS EMPOWERED, ENGAGED,
SUCCESSFUL LEARNERS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 The brain starts all learning from where it is and constructs the new from there.
The seven magic words that are the mating call of the brain are, “See if you can figure this out.”
When these magic words are implicit or explicit in any lesson, the brain says, “I want to do that!” and the learner is motivated, engaged, and empowered.
ABOUT LEARNING AND TEACHING Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Like twigs on a tree that can grow only from a twig or branch that is already there, dendrites can grow only from a dendrite that is already there--from something the learner already knows.
Like branches growing on a tree, learning is constructed, higher and higher, skill and understanding increasing. THE BRAIN’S CONSTRUCTIVE LEARNING PROCESS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 You learn what you practice. Practice is making mistakes, correcting mistakes, learning from them, and trying over, again and again. Making and learning from mistakes is a natural and necessary part of learning.
You learn what you practice because, when you are practicing, your brain is growing new fibers (dendrites) and connecting them (at synapses). Learning creates the synaptic connections. The result is knowledge and skill constructed in our brain. This IS what learning is!
But learning takes time because you need time to grow and connect dendrites. If you don't use it, you lose it. Dendrites and synapses can begin to disappear if you don't use them (practice). HOW THE BRAIN LEARNS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007
We learn through those stages because this is how the brain learns-- by constructing knowledge through sequential stages.
Your brain was born to learn, loves to learn, and knows how to learn. THE NATURAL
LEARNING PROCESS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 STAGE 1: Motivation/watch, have to, shown, interest
STAGE 2: Start to Practice/practice, trial & error, ask ?’s
STAGE 3: Advanced Practice/practice, lessons, read, confidence
STAGE 4: Skillfulness/some success, enjoyment, sharing
STAGE 5: Refinement/improvement, natural, pleasure, creative
STAGE 6: Mastery/teach, recognition, higher challenges THE NATURAL LEARNING STAGES
(COMPRESSED IN 4 STAGES OR EXPANDED IN 6 STAGES) Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007
Over 7,000 people—from 2nd graders to graduate students to educators—have reported how they learned to be good at something outside school.
Every group, without exception, has reported the same sequence of stages by which they learned. NATURAL LEARNING PROCESS: CLASSROOM/FIELD RESEARCH
Rita Smilkstein, Ph. D.
www.borntolearn.net TUTORING WITH THE BRAIN-BASED NATURAL HUMAN LEARNING PROCESS Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Learning and Grading Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 Copyright Rita Smilkstein 2007 As we learn (as we experience, practice, process), specific dendrites grow so that specific neurons connect at specific synapses to create larger and more-complex specific neural networks.
These networks are what we know.
The more we grow, the more we know, i.e., our ceiling level rises. THE BRAIN’S CONSTRUCTIVE
LEARNING PROCESS How does the description of the natural human learning process compare to the learning process you described for your specialty? After you've completed the learning styles inventory in your training manual, discuss the following questions with a small group.
What learning style did your inventory indicate is your strongest? Were you surprised by your results?
Describe a time in your past that you have learned successfully using the style indicated as your strongest. Or describe a time when you had trouble in a class that was taught using a different learning style.
What are some strategies that fit your learning style that you could use in your sessions to help students learn more effectively?
What are some strategies for two styles other than your own that you will try to incorporate in your tutoring sessions in order to engage students with different learning styles?
Joe, an art student who also plays basketball regularly, comes to you for tutoring for his Sociology class. He says, "I just don't get it! The teacher lectures the whole class, and I listen, but then I don't remember it on the tests!" What would you do to help Joe succeed? What is critical thinking?
What are three ways you can encourage critical thinking in your tutoring sessions?
There are several different types of probing questions. Name them and indicate which type you will probably use most often in your tutoring session. Why?
Give an example of how you might handle a wrong answer from a student in a tutoring session. Working with Students with Disabilities What is a learning disability? (in your own words)
What are some of the characteristics of a student with a learning disability?
Which of the strategies from the handout do you think you would be most likely to use? Why?
What suggestions for the classroom can you give to a student who has a learning disability?
If you had a student who you believed might have a disability (based on his or her behavior or progress in tutoring), what would you do? How will you explain your role as tutor to the students in your sessions? If you were a student, what would you expect from a tutor during a tutoring session?
What does a tutoring session look like?
Why is it important to break a tutoring session down into planned parts?
What will you need to prepare for your sessions and what will you need to actually conduct your sessions? Learning Styles
“There are many theories that address how people learn; these theories include Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory, the Dunn and Dunn Learning Model, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. Each theory approaches learning in a unique way, but one thing they all acknowledge is that all people learn in different ways and it is good to know your preferred learning style. By becoming familiar with learning style theory, you will be able to recognize your students' optimal learning style and you will be able to make suggestions on how they can take advantage of their natural skills and inclinations as well as address and compensate for any weaknesses in order to help them study more effectively. This will also help you become a better learner and a better tutor" (pbs.works.com). Each neuron has thousands of dendrites (like tree branches and twigs--“dendrite” means “tree-like”) which receive chemical-electrical messages from other neurons’ axons across the synapses.
Specific neural networks, which might include as many as 10,000 neurons, are what we know and can do. Students who have had the opportunity to construct a foundation of the specific prerequisite dendrites for a specific skill or subject—or for school learning in general—will be able to catch on in class. They will be the A or B students.
Students without this opportunity, even though capable and intelligent, won’t be able to catch on as easily and quickly. They will be the F, D, or C students. For example, to find out what a tutee already knows about the skill or concept, ask, “What do you know about . . . .?”
Or give the tutee a problem to solve or a task to do that requires some knowledge of the skill or concept.
Then you will know what the tutee knows and doesn’t know and you will know where to start—sometimes higher or lower than the tutee or instructor thought. & Are there any other note-taking or study strategies that have worked well for you?