International Bureau of Education
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Content Section

Tutoring (Educational Practices 5)

Tutoring can be defined as people who are not professional teachers helping and supporting the learning of others in an interactive, purposeful and systematic way. It is most usually done on a one-to-one basis, in a pair.

Tutors can be parents or other adult carers, brothers and sisters, other members of the family, other learners from the peer group, and various kinds of volunteers. Children as young as 5-years-old have learned to tutor effectively. Everyone can be a tutor—everybody can help somebody with something. In helping others to learn, tutors often learn themselves.

Ten research-based ‘Principles’ for effective tutoring are given and discussed in this booklet. The principles are of three types:

  • General principles of how to tutor  — for tutors;
  • Principles of how to tutor reading, writing and mathematics — for tutors; and
  • Principles of how to organize tutoring  — for teachers and organizers of tutoring.