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Tutoring and Learning: Keeping in Step. David Wood Learning Sciences Research Institute: University of Nottingham. My task today. Outline tutoring theory with some illustrative evidence Outline research on children’s regulation of their own learning environment

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Tutoring and Learning: Keeping in Step

David Wood

Learning Sciences Research Institute: University of Nottingham


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My task today

  • Outline tutoring theory with some illustrative evidence

  • Outline research on children’s regulation of their own learning environment

  • Fit together work on tutoring and learning to understand how and when these may move out of step

  • Or, it takes Two to Tutor.


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From scaffolding to contingent tutoring

  • Engage or trap the learner in relevant activity

  • Focus attention by shielding from distraction

  • Highlight critical but neglected features of environment and activity

  • Simplify by reducing scope for next action

  • Remind learner of previous experiences

  • Model through demonstration

  • Maintain engagement though encouragement and feedback

  • Move on and forward


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From scaffolding to contingent tutoring

TUTORING AS CONTINGENT SUPPORT FOR LEARNING

  • INSTRUCTIONAL CONTINGENCY (HOW)

  • TEMPORAL CONTINGENCY (WHEN)

  • DOMAIN CONTINGENCY (WHAT)


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Demonstrators, Talkers, Swingers and Angels

  • Instructional Contingency

    • Showing and demonstrating

    • Asking and telling

    • Asking then showing

    • Adapt tutorial tactics in response to learner reactions


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Contingent support for Learning

  • Levels of helping

    • 1 General verbal intervention

    • 2 Specific verbal intervention

    • 3 (2) plus non-verbal indicators

    • 4 Prepares for next action

    • 5 Demonstrates action

  • Similar categories for verbal interactions


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    Dynamics of contingent instructional support

    • Offer (more specific) help immediately in response to learner difficulties

    • Offer less help after a learner accomplishment


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    Instructional contingency

    • Overall goal: negotiate manageable challenges, and fade support as quickly as possible.

    • If you could see and hear an angel, you would know an awful lot about the learner.


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    Assessment and Tutoring

    • DYNAMIC ASSESSMENT – ANNE BROWN AND HER COLLEAGUES

      • COLLABORATIVE SUCCESS PAINTS A MORE POSITIVE IMAGE OF THE LEARNER THAN AUTONOMOUS FAILURE

      • THE LEARNER EXPERIENCES COLLABORATIVE SUCCESS IN PLACE OF PERSONAL FAILURE

      • THE TUTOR LEARNS MORE FROM HOW MUCH HELP IS NEEDED THAN FROM ERRORS MADE

      • THE LEARNER LEARNS MORE FROM COLLABORATIVE SUCCESS THAN AUTONOMOUS FAILURE


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    Interaction

    With

    The

    Tutor

    Outcomes

    After

    tutoring

    Off-line

    Test

    scores


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    Tutoring as Assessment

    • The process of interaction between the learner and (instructionally contingent) tutor is predictive of individual differences in conventional tests of achievement.

    • A knowledge of how the learner uses a contingent tutor provides a better index of learning than conventional tests of achievement.

    • Contingent tutoring and dynamic assessment are two aspects of the same process.


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    Temporal contingency –when to intervene?

    • Is timing all that important?

    • One of the things that computer-based tutors can’t be programmed to do.

    • Why?

      • What does a long pause mean?

      • Is an action an error, slip or an investigation?

      • Is the learner working at a (for them and now) suitable pace.

    • Where temperament, mood and state fuse into the process of learning.


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    Driving a tutor

    • What happens when we let the learner decide IF they will ask for help?

    • What happens if we let the learner decide WHEN to seek help?

      • E.g will they take more time before they decide to seek help that they do before making a correct move or committing an ‘error’?


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    Driving a tutor

    • What do you expect to happen if we let the learner decide if and when to seek help?

      • Help abusers?

      • Help “refusers”?

    • Will help seeking reflect prior knowledge?

    • Will the speed of tutor-driving reflect prior knowledge?

    • Will the speed of tutor-driving reflect learning gains?


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    Requesting

    help

    Learning

    Gains

    Pre-test

    scores


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    Prior achievement and learning with help

    • Learners with more prior knowledge/higher levels of achievement

      • Solicit help less often

      • Receive less specific help from the tutor

      • Exhibit less evidence of error and impasse

      • Learn “more”


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    Learner-tutor interactionand learning outcomes

    So, an analysis of interactions showed how individual differences were acted out in learner-tutor collaboration.

    • Does it follow, then, that better learning is fast, error free and autonomous?

    • Or does this only apply to better performance?

    • Why is this distinction important?

    • What do you think children make of it?


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    Collaborative interaction and learning

    • Consider: we have found a clear pattern of relations between -

      • Prior knowledge - interaction - outcomes

  • Remove the effects of prior knowledge from the relations between learner-tutor interaction and outcomes…. and ….


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    Learners who learned more (after factoring out prior knowledge) -

    • worked more slowly with the tutor

    • avoided staying locked in an impasse and error on error by seeking help –particularly significant for the lower achieving learners

    • took time to consider the demands of the problem before seeking help - particularly significant for the higher achieving learner


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    Tutor-driving; Seeking help knowledge) -

    • learners with lower levels of knowledge/achievement were less likely to seek help when they were in trouble

    • This has been discovered in studies of help seeking in face to face collaborative learning.

    • So, does low achievement go hand in hand with weaker skills in self-regulation and less effective collaborative learning?


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    Tutor-driving: speed knowledge) -

    • Lower achieving children work more slowly with the tutor

    • Is this a natural phenomenon associated with a generally slow pace of working?


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    “Meta-cognitive” failure: But whose? knowledge) -

    • Such findings seem to suggest that lower achievers are generally slower and less aware of their own needs for help I.e. have a ‘meta-cognitive’ problem.

    • But, children who know less are being asked to solve harder problems.

    • Do harder problems make it more difficult to work out when you should ask for help?

    • If so, such findings could be due to a failure to offer domain contingent assessment and tutoring.


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    Diagnosis of source of problems knowledge) -

    • Conceptual, mathematical problems

    • Procedural problems in doing sumsE.g. difficulty with notation and place value

    • Reading problemsProblems in relating words to mathematical symbols

    • Language problems

    • Various combinations of these factors


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    Domain contingency and self-regulation knowledge) -

    • The tutor presents learners with problems matched to their current level of performance - i.e it is domain contingent

    • Nearly all of the relations between prior knowledge/achievement and regulation of self and tutor disappear in this context

    • Problems in self- and tutor-regulation can be detected in learners with very different levels of prior knowledge/achievement


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    Messages about Learning knowledge) -

    Implicit messages about what it is to learn and know: Performance oriented testing and tutoring -

    • Fosters/rewards/favours an ‘aggressive’ approach to learning, in which

    • Every problem has one known, correct solution

    • Good performance is fast and error free

    • Being clever means never having to say you need help and support


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    So…? knowledge) -

    • How do you know when to move the learner on and to encourage them to speed up? Or to slow down?

    • How do we encourage a drive for competence rather than create pressure for performance?


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    If we have time knowledge) -

    • How? – When? – What?

    • WHAT ABOUT WHY?

    • WHAT ABOUT IF?


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