What Is Tutoring?
Tutoring is probably one of the oldest teaching methods. In ancient Greece, in the time of Plato and Socrates, the children of the wealthy were educated individually or in small groups by masters or tutors. During the Middle Ages the children of nobles and the wealthy continued receiving their education from tutors. When more formalized educational institutions became available, teachers started teaching, but tutors continued to play an important role in the learning process.
Today tutoring programs are widely available to students through their schools, churches, and community agencies as well as private tutorial services. Today, students at all levels receive tutoring to help them to master reading, math, chemistry, and physics. Nowadays a student may even get a tutor who will prepare him or her for high stakes tests such as the SAT or GRE.
The dictionary defines a tutor as a person who gives individual, or is some cases a small group, instruction. I am not satisfied with the definition. I would add that the purpose of tutoring is to help students help themselves, and to assist or guide them to the point at which they become independent learners, and thus no longer need a tutor.
Tutoring programs produce improvements in reading achievement.
Tutoring can lead to improvements in self-confidence about reading, motivation for reading, and behavior, both among tutees and among peer or cross-age tutors.