A few weeks ago, I spoke with Ludo Millar on the Qualified Tutor Podcast about my knowledge-rich tutoring approach. Qualified Tutor is a brilliant UK organisation with a mission to raise the status and value of tutoring as a profession by establishing professional standards through sharing our best practices, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in that. It was a great conversation, and I hope you’ll give it a listen at one of the links below:
Here are a few of the ideas I discussed in the episode:
- Reading, writing, and thinking are inextricably connected; when we build one, we’re really building all three.
- A good education enables students to read and understand a text in detail, think about it and form their own opinion, and express that opinion in a way that can be understood by others – in short, we should be teaching students to read carefully, write clearly, and think deeply.
- The best way to develop those capabilities isn’t through isolated skills instruction; it’s by giving opportunities to practice them in the context of building knowledge.
- To see the benefits of the huge amount of knowledge we have access to now, at least some of that knowledge needs to actually be in your brain, where you can think about it, make connections, and apply it in new ways.
- Students like learning new knowledge! Lessons about how people lived in ancient Mesopotamia will always be more fun than lessons about paragraph structure – and the former will probably result in better paragraphs, too.
- Learning new facts gives students an immediate sense of progress, which maintains motivation through the slower process of improving literacy.
All this is discussed in more detail in the episode, along with my thoughts on how to do knowledge-rich tutoring effectively, and where I see Scholar’s Atelier going next. To get you started, here’s a short clip where I explain what I mean by knowledge-rich tutoring:
Ready for more? Here are those links again: