February 26, 2009

Highly effective tutors: how do they do it? (2)

In Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count I came across interesting research on effective tutoring by researcher Mark Lepper. Lepper describes highly effective tutoring using five Cs:
  1. You foster a sense of control in the student, making the student feel that she has command of the material
  2. You challenge the student -but at a level of difficulty that is within the student's capability.
  3. You instill confidence in the student, by maximizing success (expressing confidence in the student, assuring the student that the problem she just solved was a difficult one) and by minimizing failure (providing excuses for mistakes and emphasizing the part of the problem the student got right.
  4. You foster curiosity by using Socratic methods (asking leading questions) and by linking the problem to other problems the students has seen that appear on the surface to be different.
  5. You contextualize by placing the problem in a real-world context or in a context from a movie or TV show.

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