What are the advantages and disadvantages of peer tutoring? (+7 strategies)
In this blogpost, we shall look at the advantages and disadvantages of peer tutoring. We will also be examining what peer tutoring actually is and describe some of the strategies that can be used to improve the process. This effective strategy has been used to improve the learning process as well as increase the effectiveness of the classroom environment for teaching.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of peer tutoring?
The advantages and disadvantages of peer tutoring are:
- Advantage: Increased academic achievement
- Disadvantage: It takes up a lot of time
- Advantage: It promotes personal development
- Disadvantage: Students may require persuading
- Advantage: Improves the attitude towards learning
- Disadvantage: Student-teacher relationships may be weakened
- Advantage: It increases the student engagement
- Disadvantage: It may not always be feasible
- Advantage: Students can receive individual attention
Through peer-tutoring, the atmosphere in the classroom can be improved and thus can lead to better learning. It not only encourages the sharing of information and resources between students but also improves the retention of knowledge. Peer tutoring not only improves learning of academic concepts but also life skills. The pros and cons of peer tutoring are described in detail:
Advantage: Increased academic achievement
Through peer tutoring, students can learn academic concepts and topics easily and efficiently. In this method, the students learn more about the concept by teaching it to another classmate. Since they are expected to teach, they view the concept from multiple angles and also access different resources, thus enriching their learning.
Disadvantage: It takes up a lot of time
Peer tutoring is highly beneficial to the classroom. However, it can take up a lot of time to get the process going. Teachers or instructors need to also spend extra time in creating the pairs of complementary students and instructing them about the process. It additionally requires continuous monitoring and supervision, thus proving to be a costly method.
Advantage: It promotes personal development
Through peer tutoring, students don’t only learn about academic concepts but also important life skills that help in their personal growth. The tutors develop higher self-confidence and self-esteem. They also improve their oral communication skills while giving them a better sense of purpose. In this manner, peer tutoring can not only turn out better students, but better humans.
Disadvantage: Students may require persuading
Peer tutoring, though quite effective, is not easily accepted by students. And even if the students are easily persuaded, teachers may face another obstacle in the form of parents. They might require visual proof of the effectiveness of this method and thus may not instantly agree. Reluctant students can lead to a collapse of the method itself, as they will not actively participate.
Advantage: Improves the attitude towards learning
Even though many students are keen to learn, there are many more which view learning as a chore and thus detest it. Peer tutoring has been found to improve the attitude towards learning among the tutors and tutees alike. Since, the tutors learn the concept and apply it by helping someone else, they connect more with the subject.
Disadvantage: Student-teacher relationships may be weakened
Sometimes, peer tutoring can lead to a weakening of the student-teacher relationship. Here, the teacher initiates and facilitates the process by giving instructions and tips. Other than that, they might not be able to closely interact with their students. And thus, this can lead to communication gaps between the students and their teachers or educators.
Advantage: It increases the student engagement
Students can easily disengage when the learning is a passive process. A common occurrence in conventional classrooms is students resorting to daydreaming or engaging in some other activity. This is mainly as they don’t feel engaged and thus don’t participate. Peer tutoring can help increase the student engagement levels as they learn and teach at the same time.
Disadvantage: It may not always be feasible
Peer tutoring may not always be possible and feasible in every classroom. Even in classrooms that have previously used this method, there still may be times when peer tutoring simply cannot happen for the lack of the right students. Peer tutoring requires proper scheduling and time management. When this is not present, it can lead to a disruption in the process.
Advantage: Students can receive individual attention
A major disadvantage in conventional classrooms is the lack of individual attention for the students. Many students require personal attention to help them grasp concepts and also solve problems along the way. This is a great strength of peer tutoring. Through this method, students can easily get the required individual attention to learn and develop their skills.
What is peer tutoring?
Peer tutoring is a learning approach where the students teach other academic concepts and theories. This is in contrast to traditional or conventional classrooms, where the teacher or instructors teaches all the students. Though this is a good approach, it still has many loopholes and gaps which peer tutoring can easily fill.
In peer tutoring, there is a student who takes on the role of the tutor and another (or others depending on the needs of the class) who takes on the role of the tutee. The tutor may be an older student or someone who shows special knowledge or skills for that particular concept. The tutor then teaches the tutee, thereby improving the process of learning for both the roles of students.
Strategies to improve peer tutoring
Peer tutoring can be tricky to effectively implement in the classroom. In order to improve the process of peer tutoring, you can use the following strategies:
- You can encourage role-reversals in the peer-tutoring process. This process itself is called Reciprocal Peer Tutoring and through this both the students learn more about the concept.
- Fill in the blanks wherever necessary. This is especially for students who are stuck in their content. Teachers can fill in the gaps which have been left out and then ask the tutor to continue.
- Working with another class can also expose the students to new personalities and resources. They can also improve their collaboration and teamwork skills in this manner.
- Use think-pair-share activities in the peer tutoring process. The students can first learn the concept by themselves and then go on to peer tutoring. Through this, both individual and group learning is encouraged.
- Teach tutors the right way to give feedback. They can give positive feedback which can be used to motivate the tutee. They can also give corrective feedback to fix errors and correct mistakes.
- Giving appropriate rewards and incentives to the students. This increases their engagement and participation in the learning process.
- Role-play can also be a great technique to use in peer-tutoring. In this case, the students can take turns to act out scenes related to the concept or topic and thus learn from it better.
In this blogpost, we have looked at the advantages and disadvantages of peer tutoring. We have also examined what peer tutoring actually is and described some of the strategies that can be used to improve the process in the classroom.
Frequently asked questions: (What are the advantages and disadvantages of peer tutoring?)
What are the advantages of peer teaching?
Through peer teaching, students can gain a lot of benefits. Some of the advantages of peer teaching are:
- It can lead to more personalized or individualized learning in the students
- It can improve students engagement and student participation in the learning process
- Peer teaching changes the attitude towards learning and makes them eager to learn and study new concepts and topics
- It increases academic achievements in both tutors and tutees
- Peer teaching can also improve oral communication and non-verbal communication skills
- It can teach students the importance of collaboration and teamwork in the classroom
- Peer teaching positively influences self-esteem and self-confidence in students
What are the disadvantages of online tutoring?
Online tutoring, though highly popular and effective for learning, can have its share of disadvantages. Some of these disadvantages are as follows:
Issues related to technology
Since online tutoring is done through a digital platform using an internet connection, it is highly dependent on the hardware and software a student uses. It also requires a strong and stable internet connection which might not be available for everyone everywhere. When students do not have the right technological resources, it can lead to problems in the tutoring itself.
Students can get easily distracted
Online tutoring gives students the advantage of being able to learn from anywhere. However, it can also lead to many distractions in terms of the improper physical environment. Students may not be able to control many of these features, and neither can the teacher do anything about it. These distractions may hamper the process of learning.
Students might not be motivated
Since the students and the teacher are not in the physical presence of each other, the student may decrease their engagement and participation. This can lead to a failure of learning itself. The student also may not take their work seriously and can lose their motivation. The tutor does not have any control of these circumstances and thus is quite helpless.
What are the disadvantages of private tuition?
Though many students and parents opt for private tutors to improve academic achievement, private tuition can have its many disadvantages. Some of these disadvantages are:
Private tutors are expensive
While private tutors can help students learn better by giving them individualized and personal attention, they are generally very expensive. Parents have to spend for private tutors in addition to the public schooling as well as other expenses. All these put together, it can become a huge amount which parents might not be willing to shell out.
The tutor might not be certified
Bringing in a private tutor who has the right qualifications, expertise and certifications is an assurance that parents and students require. However, some tutors may lie on their resume and thus not carry the required certifications. This can definitely lead to a lesser quality of teaching and the student may also be placed at risk.
The student and tutor might not match
This happens more often than not. The tutor is well qualified and has the required certifications. The student is also highly motivated and willing to engage in the learning process. However, the personalities and the working styles of the student and the tutor might simply not match. Coercing students to work with this tutor can have a counter effect in their learning process.
It cuts into play and recreation time
Private tutoring requires the investment of money as well as extra time. This, however, can lead to a decrease in the amount of time available for play and other recreational activities. Since these activities are highly important for personal growth, it can become a major problem.
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