Peer tutoring

Who likes peer tutoring? Google “peer tutoring” and you’ll see dozens of upbeat images like this one.

The Math Curmudgeon, who usually hits the nail on the head, certainly hits the nail on the head in the opening to his recent post, an opening that he calls an “admin fantasy”:

Peer Tutoring is great. All the best teachers set it up in their classrooms. Research says it raises achievement. After all, studies prove that “Teaching something is the best way to learn it.”

Fantasy, indeed. Perhaps the Curmudgeon shouldn’t have labeled it as such; then we would have been forced to think about whether it’s satire!

Here’s his to-the-point reaction:

I personally hate it. I’ve hated it since 7th grade when teachers started “encouraging” me to tutor other kids. I hated it in high school because I always got paired up with kids I didn’t like or who resented that I was smarter than they were. Call me selfish? Tough shit; I was a teenager. It was NOT MY JOB. Teenagers have enough stress in their lives.Telling them they’re responsible for some meathead’s education? Oh, yeah, that is a *great idea*.

I won’t require anyone to do it. EVER.
Purely voluntary, “working together”? Absolutely.
Homework club? Bring it on.
Labs? I’ll encourage collaboration but if a student wants to go it alone, I won’t stop them.

Not exactly where I stand, but close enough.

Categories: Teaching & Learning