Benefits Of Peer Tutoring

The traditional teaching model involves a teacher and students, where the teacher is often an older adult compared to the students. While it is an accepted tutoring model, one cannot say that this is the only accurate teaching method.

Nowadays, with so many innovative methods and techniques at our disposal when it comes to teaching, an alternative and practical teaching model is peer tutoring. The age difference or life status/position between the teacher and the student is absent.

So What Exactly Does Peer Tutoring Entail?

In this context, “peer” describes a relationship between two or more people in which neither party has authority over the other. This does not come only from an age difference but social position. For example, students in the same class are peers.

In most cases, the peer teacher is at the same or similar academic level as the other students, but they have more knowledge about the subject, which gives them an upper hand among their “peers.”

Ideally, a peer teacher has vast knowledge, experience, and a better or even advanced level of understanding compared to their peers, which puts them in a higher position when it comes to the subject matter at hand.

Are There Different Types Of Peer Tutoring?

Yes, there are many models of peer tutoring which can be fashioned and tailored as per your needs. Some of the most common models are:

  • Peer Assisted Learning Strategies
  • Cross-Age Peer Tutoring
  • Classwide Peer Tutoring
  • Same Age Peer Tutoring
  • Reciprocal Peer Tutoring

Does Peer Tutoring Even Help?

Although a relatively new concept in education, peer tutoring is becoming an effective method of imparting knowledge to students while also helping build their overall character and attitude toward learning.

The best part is that peer tutoring not only helps the students who are eager to learn, but also the peer teacher because they also spend time with their peers, learning and discussing new things in all the sessions.

Advantages Of Peer Tutoring For The Students:

  • All students have a space where they can learn how to work in small groups
  • Facilitates problem-solving skills and critical thinking among students
  • It helps enhance their communication skills
  • Boosts self-confidence
  • Promotes better understanding of subject matter

Advantages Of Peer Tutoring For The Peer Tutor:

  • Boost self-reliance and confidence
  • Learn on the job
  • Enhance leadership qualities
  • Receive financial and academic laurels
  • Valuable experience for an impressive resume

What Are The Benefits Of Peer Tutoring?

It Can Help Build Students’ Confidence:

It is no surprise that we are more relaxed when we are among our peers and without an authority figure like a traditional teacher. When your learning environment is such an open space, it boosts your confidence to ask questions and voice your opinions.

Make Better Connections:

Unlike the relationship between a traditional teacher and a student, the relationship between peers is much more informal, making it easy for both parties to connect, relate to, and motivate each other.

Facilitate A More Positive Attitude Toward Learning:

Changing the traditional way of learning can open new ventures and paths for students, which puts education and studying in a good light. They are more engaged with the teacher since it’s one of their peers. At the same time, the more relaxed and friendly environment helps them open up more to new possibilities, like asking important questions and discussing their opinions.

It Engages The Students:

Since peer tutoring happens in small groups, it creates a dynamic environment with just a handful of students per group, thus making it easier for the peer teacher to engage the whole group. This, in turn, facilitates a cooperative type of learning where each student helps the other. In this type of learning environment, it is more likely that the students retain the information better for longer.

This also leads to improved and increased productivity among all the students, which is always a plus for tutoring.

Improved Academic Achievement:

Implementing innovative ways of imparting education to students help them learn their subject matter better, resulting in better overall class performance. Although many factors can affect a student’s academic performance, incorporating new and out-of-the-box learning methods, such as peer tutoring, is definitely an added bonus to a student’s achievement level.

Reinforce Learning:

When we talk about the benefits of peer tutoring, it’s not just related to the peers who receive tutoring. It also benefits the peer teacher because it helps them learn more as they explore each subject and try to grow in the journey of learning new things.

Are There Any Cons To Peer Tutoring?

As with any other teaching method and technique, there are also a few disadvantages to this peer tutoring model.

An Amateur Teacher:

Since the entire idea of this peer tutoring model is that a student acts as the teacher in a given scenario, likely, they will not be as well educated or qualified as a real, traditional teacher, which then brings the disadvantage of not having enough experience of knowledge about certain subject matters.

Time Commitment And Conflicting Schedules:

Peer tutoring involves a lot of behind-the-scenes administrative work, like initiating the program and keeping track of the tutors and how to match each tutor with which students, etc., which takes up time in the administrative field.

On the other hand, it also takes up the tutor’s time because they, also being students who live on the same timetable for regular classes at the same time, have to find the time to gather study material and employ different methods to teach their peers.

Student Resistance:

Some students might not like the idea of one of their peers having command over the subject matter or the group. While it is a pleasant thought to think that all peers get along and that they are happy to learn from one another, when the dynamic changes and there is more emphasis placed on one of the peers, it might bring resentful thoughts to the minds of those students who are somewhat competitive academically.

Isaac Abernathy
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Isaac Abernathy

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