What do we learn from teaching one-to-one that informs our work with larger numbers? Proceedings of the conference held at La Trobe University November 18-19, 1996

Extract from the Preface:
"The conference theme was designed to bring together two concerns which run through many discussions in our field: the need to defend and sustain individual teaching on the one hand, and the challenge of teaching larger numbers on the other. These concerns appear to pull in opposite directions, but in fct most of us teach in both ways, and each mode informs the other. We hoped that the conference would help us to articulate what we think is valuable, perhaps even indipensable, in teaching one-to-one, and at the same time to explore the possibilities -- and the limits -- of recreating those benefits in other modes of teaching.

.... Most speakers agreed that one-to-one teaching is the most effective mode we have, and, for some students, the only effective mode. In individual tutoials we can make a safe place for students who are uncertain in the university classroom, help them to understand what is unfamiliar, and build their confidence by recognising each one as a person and taking her/him seriously as a learner. We can provide an audience for the students' ideas, and because we are not experts in their field of study, they are put in the position of having to teach what they know to the adviser: that is, selecting what is important, explaining what it means, and articulating the ways in which ideas and information relate to each other and to particular questions. Finally, we can give advice on those problems -- and only those problems --- of expression that each student has.

.... The following questions were discussed in the context of a number of contributions:

Which students need one-to-one teaching, or what kinds of things are best taught that way?

How can we organise our offerings to provide individual teaching to those students who need it, while steering others into group work that can meet their needs?

Can some of the techniques, insights, and solutions that we develop in working with individuals be adapted to group situations?

To what extent can technology help us to "individualise" the teaching of larger numbers?

How can we evaluate our teaching, in terms which are useful to us and at the same time satisfy the decision-making purposes of our institutions?

.... While evaluations normally focus on what the students learn in any particular program, another ... powerful argument for one-to-one teaching is that it generates insights that we need in order to be effective in other settings as well."

Publication Source Information
Kate Chanock
Year of publication: 
Place of publication; Publisher: 
Melbourne: Language and Academic Skills Units of La Trobe University.
Title of Journal, Edited book or Conference and Page numbers: 
Language and Academic Skills Conference: What do we Learn from Teaching One-to-one that Informs our Work with Larger Numbers?
Kate Chanock
Valerie Burley
Sheila Davies
URL or DOI: 
Contact details