Education: Tutoring Orientation
I have the great fortune to be starting a new tutoring job, in which the student (a profoundly gifted teen) and I have the exploration and extension of his interests as our core mandate.
This layout shows the basics behind my approach to our first session, in which we're going to be planning the topics we're going to cover and how we're going to cover them.
The strand on the left describes the core patterns used in our actual process. The strand on the right describes the patterns most important to evoke thorugh that process.
MAPPING AND MEASUREMENT is the core pattern behind the process. We'll be cardstorming around his interests, writing each main topic onto its own notecard, then underneath adding:
- Key questions he has
- His experiences relating to that interest
- Ideas he has about what exploring that interest would be like
EMERGENCE - we aren't starting with a preset goal. We're going to see what interests emerge, what connections we find between them, and as we do so learn about his learning style. By grouping, writing and diagramming with the cards, we'll start to get a picture of where we might start and the approach that we might take to helping him deepen into his interests, and into his inquisitive nature generally.
GO DEEPER - with each interest examined we'll explore why it's an interest: what it is about the topic that interests him, and how it relates to how he sees the world, what he wants to do, or core questions or values.
GO META - We'll do a lot of playing with pattern, trying to discover the larger questions, topics, and themes that he's interested in.
FEEDBACK - (really Naming & Feedback)... as we go, I'll identify the patterns and aspects I think I'm seeing, and reflect them back to him, then get his direction to help us hone in on what areas we may want to explore and how.
On the other side:
FOLLOW THE ENERGY
The conversation and dynamic will be very fast and free, going to wherever the juice is, and letting the map get drawn of the wake behind the conversational path.
We'll be looking a lot at the interconnections between things, and the possibilities around how we might explore it - opening up to ideas that might have seemed impossible, and seeing how what seem like contrasting approaches can work together.
As we map, we'll pay particular attention to self-similarity on different scales of our model of his interests & approach.
This is joyful and fun! We are focusing on a passion for learning and stoking its fuel, rather than emphasizing a goal-oriented approach with methodology wedged in.
We had the session, it unfolded based on the outline given above, and the results were extremely encouraging. We've come up with a good outline for an 8 week curriculum and know how we'll tackle the subsequent 8 week period.
Most important, I left with a solid plan, and he left feeling excited and inspired by both what we'll cover and how we'll cover it.
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