Today’s article features Laura Dougherty, a recent contributor to the Peer Tutoring Resource Center’s ( PTRC ) research library, who donated a report based on her findings from using peer tutoring techniques in her science class . The report was written while she was a teacher at Glasgow Middle School VA, where she had also implemented a schoolwide peer tutoring program.
Laura Dougherty currently teaches 8th grade Physical Science at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, VA and still employs peer tutoring strategies in full capacity. She has also implemented a cross-age tutoring program at the school.
This article is based on Dougherty’s responses to the questions we asked about her approach to peer tutoring in the classroom.
Peer Tutoring Sessions
Tutoring takes place during additional time allotted for enrichment or remediation. The tutor and tutee find a location in the classroom that is conducive to the activities that they will be completing. Often times it may be a missing or upcoming assignment that needs to be completed. According to Dougherty, tutees enjoy studying and practicing concepts with their tutors.
Peer Tutor Training
Peer tutors are given direct instruction regarding what is expected of them. Training also includes modeling, role playing as well as on-the-job training structured around hands-on instruction and providing immediate feedback.
Peer Tutoring Program Challenges
Finding tutor-tutee matches can sometimes be challenging. A reassigning of student pairs is sometimes necessary to ensure tutor-tutee duos with the best rapport work together. Also, additional tutor training is sometimes necessary in order to achieve desired outcomes from tutoring sessions.
Word of Advice
For a teacher who is interested in implementing peer tutoring for the first time, Dougherty says “it is really important to understand your population and their needs prior to beginning the program. Select tutors who are dedicated, will maintain confidentiality and will respond well to the training.”
The Peer Tutoring Resource Center is powered by the contributions of educators who lend their time, resources and expertise to support our mission of providing valuable content for anyone interested in peer tutoring in the k-12 setting. Special thanks to Laura Dougherty for sharing her peer tutoring practices and report with the PTRC.