Our tutoring methods are based heavily upon Socratic and Dialectic teaching styles.
We've always stood by two simple but indispensable principles of personal education
Making Learning A Conversation
Learning becomes much more engaging when students are given the freedom to dialogue, ask questions, and give their opinion.
In conversational lessons the focus shifts away from whether or not a student produces the right or wrong answers to a given question, but instead to a focus on a holistic understanding of the concepts behind answers and many of the common missteps in learning new material.
Teaching Students to Teach Others What They've Learned
When students can confidently teach a new concept or idea back to us in their own words, we are certain that we have done our job.
Asking students to teach back what they've learned not only further cements their understanding of concepts, but also provides tutors with valuable insights into how their students think and how they've interpreted the lesson. Knowing exactly which concepts a student does not understand, or misunderstands, allows us to target problem areas and teach where knowledge is lacking.
The Nuts & Bolts Of Our Approach
What do we mean when we say we utilize socratic and dialectic teaching styles?
It means we start our lessons with two fundamental questions in mind. What does our student already know? and how can we test this knowledge and guide their thinking in the correct understanding of new concepts?
In our lessons we do our best not to give away the answers. Instead, we ask students questions that will stretch their knowledge of the concepts they already know and how this knowledge can be applied within the context of newly learned material. If a student's answers to our questions indicate they don't understand a concept, we praise them for the correct aspects of their responses and then proceed to graciously correct their understanding of the concept at hand.
Learning is a process and we want our students to engage with the material they are learning. We want them to know that mistakes and wrong answers are nothing to be ashamed of but instead opportunities to learn and improve.
If you'd like a more formal explanation of theses teaching styles please see the links below.
The structure of a Typical Lesson
(Assuming a 1.5 hr session length)
-5 mins spent discussing what lesson materials a student would like help with and determining end goals for the session.
Teaching / Lesson Discussion
-45 to 50 mins spent teaching and discussing requested concepts.
-5 minutes: Students can chat with their tutor, get up and walk around, stretch, or relax.
Review of Lesson Concepts / Homework
-20 mins reviewing the concepts covered during the lesson and having students teach back their final understanding of the concepts that were taught.
-5 mins spent assigning homework for students. (Homework is very light, limited to the assignment of no more than 3-4 problems)
Parent and Student Feedback
- The last 5 mins of each lesson are reserved for providing feedback to parents and students about what was covered in the lesson, their student's understanding of lesson concepts, and what can be done outside of tutoring to improve academic performance.