There are so many different ways that people learn. It isn’t one size fits all. Additionally, a student’s style of retaining information might change based on the subject or topic area. What teachers and the student’s themselves need to remember is that no matter what method they use, it’s important to understand how they learn best, in order to be most effective.
A teacher’s approach in the classroom will most likely be one of four methods: auditory, visual, kinesthetic, or reading and writing. Because they are teaching the material to a class of 20 to 30 students, they often only have time to explain the subject matter using one of the four. However, it is important to remember that not every student will retain the information best based on the approach taken.
Some students can just listen to their teacher’s lecture, and they get it right away. If a student learns best with this approach, then the appropriate studying strategy with a peer tutor may be to just talk it out. That can look like a discussion of how a math problem is solved by verbally expressing and explaining it step by step.
There are also students who learn visually. This means they do best when observing the information. That might be either through writing out their notes and using color coding or creating diagrams. In essence, the student makes a connection between the concept and what they see.
These students learn better by actually doing. They enjoy learning by experiencing, role playing, simulations, and examples. It is a more hands on approach. A subject area where this method works well is science. Usually, students can grasp the concept by doing experiments and labs rather than just reading about it.
A student who learns best through the reading/writing method enjoys reading about the topic and writing out their notes. It may require some extra time because the actual text is more effective than anything they see.
It is easy to see why it may take some students longer to understand material based on the method they were taught. This is where peer tutoring can become most effective.
Learning Styles and Peer Tutoring
When considering all these different styles, it becomes extremely difficult for a teacher to explain material using each one. This may mean that some students will get it, depending on the teacher’s approach, and others won’t.
It’s important for students to know what works for them so that the peer tutor can explain the material most effectively to their way of learning. This can help save them time and often prevent frustration. By incorporating a peer tutoring program, the student can receive individualized learning based on their particular style and thereby be more successful in the classroom.