Exploring the relationships between perceptions of tutoring and tutoring behaviours: a focus on graduate students serving as peer tutors to college-level chemistry students†
It has been established that both tutors and tutees gain from tutoring sessions. However, tutors' benefits may be enhanced or limited depending on the type of behaviours they perform during the tutoring sessions. Although behaviours enhancing both tutor and tutee learning can be promoted by training, generalized tutor training models that are often used do not take into account tutors' preexisting perceptions of tutoring, which may guide their instructional behaviours. The goals of this multiple-case study of three chemistry tutors are to characterise their perceptions of tutoring, their behaviors during tutoring sessions, and the connections between their perceptions and behaviors. Data was collected through interviews in which tutors' perceptions of tutors and tutoring were probed and through video recordings of three to four sessions for each tutor. Interviews were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. Video recordings of sessions were analyzed using a list of codes corresponding to different types of behaviours that had been reported in prior tutoring studies. Analysis of the interviews indicated that tutors' perceptions of tutoring did not overlap fully across all the three tutors. Cross-case analysis indicates that tutors' perceptions of tutees and of the role of tutor were reflected in the instructional behaviours the tutors enacted during the sessions. The results of this study may be used to improve tutor training programmes, particularly through examining individual tutor's perceptions of tutoring as this may help anticipate natural instructional preferences of tutors.