|Synergy is the national peer-reviewed online journal of the Association for the Tutoring Profession published annually in the fall and spring. The primary mission of the journal is to provide an avenue for scholarship and discussion, which furthers the knowledge of learning processes, tutoring practice, and the administration of tutoring services.|
|A Purposeful Pause: The Role of Active Reflection in Learning|
Cora M Dzubak, Ph.D.
Given the frequency of standardized testing in our schools, one might question the impact of “teaching to the test” on the overall learning of a student. Whether this might be detrimental to the developing brain and knowledge base of students is troublesome. One concern stems from what is known about information processing and what is neurologically needed to store information in long term memory. It can be said with confidence that for many students the classroom strategies used when “teaching to the test” do not result in information being processed at a deep enough level to remain permanently in memory. The remainder of this article addresses the need for intentional reflection to enhance learning. Students should be provided an opportunity to pause and to consciously recall information, integrate it, and draw analyses and conclusions from it. Learning requires critical thinking that enables the neurologic connections among new bits of information with knowledge that is already in memory, consolidating it into concepts, and retrieving it at a later time. This process depends on the use of reflection as a purposeful learning strategy.
|Adult Learning Theories and Tutoring Susan Mucha
Adults continue to change biologically, psychologically, intellectually, and cognitively throughout their adult years, and they continue to develop and learn throughout their lives. Adults have a grand reservoir of experiences that they can continue to build on and use as a resource for learning. It is important to take adult learning theories into consideration when tutoring adult students in the tutoring center of a college or university. By utilizing the various adult learning theories in a tutoring session, tutors may be able to more effectively assist the adult learners that they are working with and may understand certain behaviors and characteristics of the adult learners.
Effects of Work Experiences for Academic Peer Educators
Sally A. Lipsky, Ph.D., Malika Kapadia
This study examined outcomes for paid peer educators who worked as Supplemental Instruction leaders or walk-in tutors in an academic support center at a large public university. The investigators employed qualitative research methodology; thirteen experienced peer educators participated in one of three focus groups. Findings indicated that the peer educators strengthened intellectual, personal, and professional skills. The authors concluded that measuring learning outcomes for peer educators is a valuable component in the assessment and accountability of postsecondary academic support programs. Results reinforced the importance of thorough, formal training for academic peer educators.