expert tutors

What does an expert individual tutor do? What is their role?
Amy’s advice on mentoring alongside.  [from ch 4 of a be you book (facilitating curiosities) – starting p 78.]thoughts on an assumed expert in the room and being usefully preoccupied – ecosystem of mentors.and of course – Krishnamurti on teachers et al.


below from 2009 – from this wiki site

wieman (video) on effective teaching practices, those that allow students to develop their own understanding, by
“thinking hard about a subject and then monitoring and guiding that thinking.”

here is how our group piloted the idea last year – 2010

“class” time (which is no longer bound by walls or geography)
1) beginning questions/connections

2) play/game time

3) reflect/assess time

4) repeat

The pedagogical principles he ultimately distilled include: employing an *expert individual tutor (avg of class with expert individual tutors – 98%) to motivate, pose questions to and interact with students; and probing “where students are starting from and connect with them,” finding ways to have students challenge, explain and critique each other, with feedback from the tutor.

description of an *expert individual tutor:
1) large amt of role goes into motivation
2) gives very little praise – and it’s always about the process – not the person
3) looks carefully to understand in detail what kids don’t know so they can be specific in feedback
4) almost never “tells” students anything – more asking – with strategically directed questions
5) most talking is students
6) let students make mistakes (redirections come from more questions so students can correct self)
7) it’s not enough for students to solve a problem – big bang comes from reflecting/assessing on the result/self

true assessment is an ongoing process with constant feedback via Michael Wesch

role of expert tutor….
1. to motivate look to worldmegan for motivation
2. to know of and make connections (to students current thinking/knowledge)and to know what their brain is capable of :
is cognitive load taken into account for students?
no – every time you get a new term – the brain has to work on that – (so limit new terms//new ideas) 7 limit
experts don’t feel it or appreciate it – just giving words give a load – sketch on the board would be easier to take in (dan roam)

purposes of groups (again not bound by geography):
1) learn from explaining things
2) a lot of times misunderstandings come from minor details that others may catch
but expert tutor needs to clear up major misunderstandings
3. to increase student activity not giving info – it’s guiding thinking – fostering action
4. to improve student reflection
1) questions are challenging
2) student to student discussion before answering
3) timely specific feedback (some from other students – but beyond that – teacher listen to discussions – bring out points of confusion)
absolutely need to measure what students are learning (research shows that what we are using now isn’t working well for that) so first work on assessment tools
wieman isn’t the only one talking about this idea he terms “expert individual tutor,” but his description of it really resonated with me.
in disrupting class, clayton christensen has the most clear cut plan i’ve heard for making it happen at school through the use of web base instruction. because one-size doesn’t fit all. and technology is allowing us the ability to tailor to suit each kid.
{that link is currently broken, try this one to another video if still broken, as well as this product description, and this wikipedia description of disruptive technology.}
clayton also writes – 80% of the typical teacher’s time is now spent in monolithic acitivity – preparing to teach, actually teaching, and testing an entire class. far less than 20% is available to help students individually….instead of spending most of their time delivering one-size-fits-all lessons year after year, teachers can spend much more of their time facilitating students as they work in their personal learning networks.dave eggers in 4 min on the difference one-on-one makes.the *flow csikszentmihalyi and goleman have penned – sounds like what willingham touched on in ch 1 and what feynman calls the pleasure of finding things out. does that sound right – or am i missing something? flow comes from losing self-consciousness because you are so engaged?difference of passion and flowerica mcwilliams suggested 21st cent teaching skill – to be usefully ignorant…. knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do.
earl’s stop message
excellent read on – why no lecture
great post by peter pappas – i would guess there’s more
are we innovating – or the opposite – check out this video
how do we have to behave to create real value – to create authentic value – umair
engage – from ben grey
i quit i think by john taylor gatto – standardized tests
tweaked from wesch – how to run class
more on flow
findings that the brain is much more similar to muscles than previously thought – the brain needs: strenuous extended use
after 15 min lecture – 10% retention after 2 days practice – 90% retentionno matter what you do in classroom – brain doesn’t have enough time to build the muscle – so need challenging, authentic hw geared to expert thinking, need 24/7 experience of learning… less emphasis on how we do class now.. more emphasis on personalizing learning spaces for optimal learningexpert student will have:
1) factual knowledge
2) organizational structure
3) monitor own thoughts
so – needs more than just knowledge



in search of expert tutors – 2010