Our Learning Philosophy

Our tutors use a variety of approaches in order to make their services as effective and enjoyable as possible

Introduction

We are living through in a period deemed the Third Industrial (or ‘Digital’) Revolution, where access to resources and information has never been easier.  Virtually any question you have can be answered with an simple internet search.  Despite the huge leaps forward that have been achieved through technology, the space of education has not always taken full advantage of the new approaches that have become available to students and have continued to use a didactic approach from the last century.  Tutor Amigo’s founders have a number of years working in both education and technology and intend to leverage technology to enhance their students’ learning experience.

Motivation and empathy

What is the best way of measuring how effective a learning approach or strategy is?  One simple way is to test the student’s ability to recall necessary facts, their fundamental understanding of concepts and their ability to apply these concepts to new but related areas. 

Our ambition is to use a variety of educational approaches which have proved effective in home and school educational settings to fast-track a student’s learning experience.  We want children to learn faster, more efficiently and in a way which keeps them engaged and wanting to learn more.

One key way is to encourage a child’s long term thinking – asking them to define their own plan for themselves in terms of a prospective career, then aligning what they are learning as much as possible with that goal. 

Another key aspect in our approach is through the use of tutors from impoverished and developing countries.  We are very fortunate to be living in a country where every child has access to free education , a free and functioning healthcare system and 

Understanding and Recall

Do you ever notice how children are enthralled by stories?  Whether it’s when they sit down to watch a good movie or pick up a really good book, we lose all sense of time and can spend hours engrossed in the book or film, the journey the characters make, the challenges they face and the significance of their task.

We believe a good tutor is like a good story teller.  They take their students on a learning journey that is peppered with interesting facts and give the student the context and an appreciation of why what they are learning matters.

When tutors teach like this, a child’s understanding is enhanced as is their ability to recall because they can link it back to interesting facts and anecdotes.

The Tutor Amigo Approach

Our aim is to use technology and the latest research in learning and study techniques in order to make our students’ learning experience faster, more effective and more enjoyable.  To this end, we advise our tutors to use an approach built on both the SQ3R study method and the Feynman Technique, both of which are described below.

SQ3R Study Method

SQ3R is a study method originally developed by Francis P. Robinson, a pioneer in literacy theory, in 1941.  It is an acronym which stands for a five step process designed to assist comprehension and retention.  The five steps are in order:

1. Survey
2. Question
3. Read
4. Recite
5. Review

Various studies have shown that employing the SQ3R approach has helped students retain information better, develop organizational and critical thinking skills and build solid foundations for learning subsequent topics.

At Tutor Amigo, our tutors are strongly encouraged to apply our own slightly modified SQ3R approach when conducting tutor sessions with students.

Feynman Technique

Richard Feynman was a Nobel Prize winning physicist and also a world renowned lecturer who taught at Cornell and Caltech Universities.  He made significant contributions to areas including quantum mechanics and particle physics,   quantum computing and nanotechnology.  He also pioneered a learning approach which later became known as the Feynman Technique and is an approach that can help students learn about virtually any complex concept they choose.

Feynman created a framework which he would use to analyze and understand complex problems which can be distilled down to a four step process that eschews rote learning in favour of fundamental comprehension.

1. Identify specifically the problem you need to solve or information you don’t know

2. Attempt to teach it to yourself and ideally to someone else

3. If step 2. is unsuccessful, revert back to source materials

4. Simplify as much as possible your understanding, ideally using analogies which are easy to grasp.