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What is tutoría?

The newness and originality of the approach, embodied in tutorial relationships, owes less to available research and high order thinking, than to common sense and practical experience of the way people learn. It is the opposite of what has become uncritically accepted in ordinary public schools. Tutoring inverts the way learning in those schools is meant to take place, predicated on single teachers homogeneously deciding subject matter for fairly large groups of students. Instead, tutoring recovers the natural way people learn: in personal encounters, eye to eye, respecting and trusting one another, securing the fitting match between one willing to teach and another eager to learn. The enduring effect of this way of teaching and learning --far more important than the particular subject matter being learned-- is the human bond that respect and affection creates among participants, and that naturally will extend to other persons with whom they interact.

A brief history

A classroom organized as a tutoría network is a rich learning environment because it offers opportunities for everyone to be part of the work of teaching and learning. Tutoría challenges the conventional structure in which a teacher tries to teach standard content to a rather passive group of students who are all supposed to learn the same material at the same pace.

The central practice in a tutoria network is the dialogue, which is the meeting between a tutor who is knowledgeable on an academic topic and a tutee who is interested in learning it. The tutor relies on a simple pedagogy to support the tutee’s learning: a metacognitive awareness of the process that he or she went through to understand the content as well as a sensitivity towards the tutee’s particular interests, learning pace, ways of thinking and the difficulties they encounter throughout the learning process. The tutoría dialogue provides a fertile ground for empathy and sense of belonging to flourish, such that students not only learn academic content, but also form a close-knit community in which everyone’s individuality is respected and valued.

Tutoría networks first began as a very small project in Mexican rural communities. This impact report outlines its humble origins and how the tutoría model has since spread to urban and rural schools in Mexico, South America and Southern Asia—often serving indigenous and vulnerable populations today in 2017. The expansion of the tutoría model to encompass different sites around the world and has occurred organically as more and more educators realize that tutoría provide them with a concrete way to increase their students’ performance and engagement..

In Mexico, Of the many teachers and instructors who through these years have adopted, partially or fully, tutoring in their schools, there is no accurate account. In 2003, there were 350 Post-primary centers, in 2008, 450 Telesecundarias, in 2012, 9,000 low performing public schools; from 2013 to 2015, selected groups of teachers in the states of Yucatán, Durango, Chiapas, Guanajuato, Sinaloa, Edomex, CDMX, received our training. Now in CONAFE there are 30,000 centers staffed by young instructors. Other than in CONAFE, at present no public educational authorities promote tutoring officially, as they did in the past; yet many teachers continue the practice on their own, seizing upon available opportunities, negotiating with local authorities and, at times, even defying them.

Timeline de Redes de Tutoría

2017
October 6

2017

At the HundrED educational innovation summit in Helsinki, Finland, Tutoring Networks together with other organizations celebrated having been selected as one of the one hundred most important educational innovations worldwide. Read more
2015
March 7

2015 – 2017

México
Learning Based on Dialogue and Collaboration (ABCD Model), National Council for the Promotion of Education with 34,000 Community centers (K-9) in small rural settlements.
Singapore
Work continues in Singapore with Shuqun Secondary and expands to 5 more teachers
Thailand
Work expands within the three large urban schools to reach 200 teachers, 3000 students and 20 parents
San Diego, California
Tutoría is brought to and experienced by 50 teachers, 20 students, 3 parents across 20 sites in the network of schools
Chile
Tutoría Network grows 400 teachers in Santiago and continues with the 3000 students in La Araucanía
2014
March 7

2014

México
Continuing independent voluntary practices in various states.
Singapore
Work expands in Singapore to 5 teachers and 300 students
Thailand
One more school in Thailand is added, bringing the total to 3 schools, 85 teachers, 2000 students and 20 parents
San Diego, California
Tutoría is brought to and experienced by 50 teachers, 20 students, 3 parents across 20 sites in the network of schools
Chile
Network grows to 7 Mapuche schools in the Araucanía region with 30 teachers
2013
March 7

2013

México
The new federal administration ceased officially supporting learning communities. Since then the expansion of learning by tutoring in schools turned semi-autonomous, carried mostly by interested teachers and administrators throughout the whole country.
Singapore
Work begins in Singapore in one public secondary school, Shuqun Secondary. 1 school, 5 teachers, 200 students, 80 parents
Thailand
Work begins in Thailand and expands to 2 schools, 50 teachers, 1300 students
2009
March 7

2009 – 2012

Integral Strategy to Improve School Achievement, National Undersecretariat of Education   9,000 schools in the country that for three consecutive years obtained the lowest point average in the national achievement test ENLACE.
2004
March 7

2004 – 2009

Learning Communities in Telesecondary Schools, Zacatecas Undersecretariat of Education (2004-2007) and National Undersecretariat of Education (2008-2009) 360 Telesecundarias en 14 states, 12,100 students
1996
March 6

1996 – 2003

Post-primary, National Council for the Promotion of Education 472 middle school centers in small rural communities with 14,160 students.

Academic Impact in México

Tutoring has been effective in increasing achievement scores in a few years

The lowest performing schools, in which the PEMLE program was in full operation, began to score higher than those who did not receive the benefits of the program.

Testimonies from Around the World

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Mirentxu Anaya
Educación2020
Directora Ejecutiva

This relationships based on many questions, generates confidence and mutual knowledge, activating knowledges that the student already brings. The idea is that the student resolves the learning challenge and most importantly, learns how to learn. And when you have that skill, you can learn anything. First, we build teachers to use this method, and then create students that can then teach their fellow classmates. It has raised scores, school attendance, and above all, one’s motivation to learn.

Chile

Wen Fong
Shuqun Secondary
Student

Thank you for teaching me a lot of skills for math and teach me how to (be an) example to others when I was teaching and for letting me join a lot of activities teaching Students, Teachers and Principals. THANK YOU for all the help to let me love math sooooo much and that I even dare to teach friends, teachers and other people.

Singapore

DalilaLopez
Dalila López
Dirección de Educación Comunitaria e Inclusión Social, CONAFE
Directora

In this mutual understanding, the hardest part of learning, such as academic knowledge fractions, the Pythagorean theorem, mixes with the most subjective and sensitive part of learning, which is the excitement that learning provokes, or the anxiety provoked by not understanding something, or the happiness that the freedom to express what you feel produces. In this type of dialogue, you can combine these two things. In other forms of educational relationships it’s not possible to bring them together.

México

Qué dicen los investigadores sobre las redes de tutoría

Richard Elmore

Harvard University

“In my view, tutoría occupies a very special niche among the exemplars that will guide the future of learning.”

Michael Fullan

Enterprises, Toronto

“This schools to participate shows that they have significantly increased the proportion of students scoring at ‘good’ and ‘excellent’ levels in the national ENLACE examinations.”

Dennis Shirley

Boston College

“It is a silent revolution...”

Inés Aguerrondo

UNICEF

“This kind of peer-tutoring is based on academic evidence that proves effective in improving student performance.”

John Hattie

Melbourne University

I saw documentary from beginning to end and it moved me deeply ... this is really the closest thing to the ideal! ... the realization of Visible Learning

Santiago Rincón Gallardo

Ontario Institute of Studies in Education

“Rarely does a small scale, grassroots initiative elicit a pedagogical change movement that extends to thousands of schools and shows improvement in student performance in a relatively short time.”

Meixi Ng

University of Washington

“Tutoría positively transformed students’ identities and (...) created a special kind of relationship in the classrooms and the communities”

Because to learn is to transform yourself. To learn is to be different from who you were before, it is to grow. If in school there isn’t space for this deep interest that transforms a person, then there is no learning. It’s like passing from a latent state to a living state.

Gabriel Cámara

COMPANIES COMMITTED TO EDUCATIONAL CHANGE
Strategic alliances
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