- What are the critical qualities for tutors in this program?
- How will the program recruit and select tutors to ensure a diverse cohort?
- How will the program recruit and select tutors to ensure they have the necessary skills?
- What expectations and processes will be set for tutors to ensure effectiveness and safety?
- How will the program train and support tutors?
- How will the training incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion?
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Model Dimensions Review
See Model Dimensions or click below to see considerations specific to Tutors.
Which type of tutor will you be working with?
Teachers: Certified classroom teachers provide tutoring. Research provides evidence that teachers are the most effective type of tutor, but also the most costly.
Paraprofessionals: School staff members, master’s or doctoral students, service program fellows (e.g., AmeriCorps fellows), or community organization staff provide tutoring. This group of tutors can be as effective as teachers when the tutors receive adequate training.
Volunteers: Unpaid volunteers provide tutoring. Programs using these tutors display positive average effect sizes on student learning outcomes, but the effects vary widely and tend to be consistently smaller than those seen in programs relying on teachers or paraprofessionals.
College Students: Students who volunteer, are paid through work study and/or receive class credit provide tutoring. Programs using these tutors display positive average effect sizes on student learning outcomes, but the effects vary widely and tend to be consistently smaller effects than those seen in programs relying on teachers or paraprofessionals.
Private Tutors: Individuals who operate (or are employed by) for-profit or non-profit tutoring organizations provide tutoring. There is little rigorous research on the impact of these programs.
Families: Almost all family-focused tutoring programs involve parents acting as tutors. These programs typically provide parents with training and materials to tutor their child in their own home. Well-designed parent tutoring interventions appear to be about as effective as volunteer-based efforts, but the quality and implementation varies widely across initiatives.
Peers: Students tutor other students at their own grade level or those in grades below them. Peer tutoring programs have displayed an effect size similar to volunteer-based efforts.
Guidance when considering Tutor Type
Factor in Tutor Type when making other decisions about Model Dimensions within your program design.
Dosage: Any decision about tutor type will influence the dosage a program can provide. For example, if the tutor type is unpaid volunteers, it may be more challenging to require any given volunteer to serve 5 days a week when not getting paid, meaning that either dosage or consistency must be sacrificed.
Student-Tutor Ratio: If the tutor type is teachers or paraprofessionals, small groups become more feasible, as these tutors often already have skills (or have more time to be trained) in leading small-group instruction. For other tutor types, if the student-tutor ratio is greater than one-on-one, the program must provide additional facilitation and behavior management training to tutors.
Tutor Recruitment & Selection: Any decision about tutor type and tutor responsibilities will necessarily determine both the program's strategy for tutor recruitment and selection, and the depth of training that the program must provide.
Tutor Support: The less pedagogical training a tutor has, the more support they will need. If the tutor type is not teachers or paraprofessionals, the program must invest more resources into tutor support, oversight, coaching and performance management, especially if assigning greater responsibilities to tutors.
Tutor Training: The less pedagogical training a tutor already has, and the greater the responsibilities of the tutor role, the more training the tutor will need. If the tutor type is teachers or paraprofessionals, generally they will have previous training in pedagogy; thus, the program will likely only need to provide training on its own specific program requirements such as session structure or specific curriculum used. If a tutor is a college student or family member, for example, the program cannot expect them to come in already trained on pedagogy, and so will need to provide both general knowledge on effective instruction and program specific training.