Finding common ground important for effective tutoring

Finding out what pupils and tutors have in common can help to boost attendance at one-to-one or small group tutoring sessions, a research review has found.

The results are from one of a number of “nimble randomised controlled trials” that were run with Tuition Partners operating under the government’s National Tutoring Programme (NTP) in 2021/21.

The intervention asked tutors and pupils to take short online surveys to identify what they have in common. Pupils and tutors answered quick-fire questions about their personal interests, hobbies, and values.

For example, one question asked participants to choose from a list of major sporting events which one they would most like to attend. Another asked whether laughter, loyalty or listening is most important for a friendship.

Tutors and pupils received instant feedback on their similarities and, crucially, tutors received reminders of their similarities with their pupils for the next five weeks, including suggested conversation prompts.

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