OMA&D High School Tutor/Mentor Program

Sample Paper




Tutoring:  Positive Effects on the Tutee and Tutor

General Studies 350

University of Washington

Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

Fall 1997


Tutoring:  Positive Effects on the Tutee and Tutor

When first contacted by the University of Washington to participate in their high school tutor/mentor program, I was honored and felt a duty to help high school students in need with their schoolwork.  I thought that I would be an influential presence in their classroom and would help them to succeed.  Little did I know that participating in this program would benefit both the students and myself.  Even though I tutored for only three months I believe everyone benefited from this experience.

Positive effects on the tutee:

Studies have shown that tutoring sessions help students improve performance on examinations and develop positive attitudes toward the subject matter (Cohen, Kulik, & Kulik, 1982).  My goals as a tutor were to help the students achieve these standards.  Because I tutored only for a short time, results were not really there.  I concentrated more on establishing a peresence in the classroom and hoped to aid them in any questions they had.

My tutoring experience in Franklin High School’s math department was a very rewarding experience.  I was assigned to three periods of Mr. Le’s Integrated Math classes that consisted of juniors, sophomores and freshmen.  At first it was very intimidating to step into a classroom full of energetic adolescents.  After getting acquainted with the teacher, students, and procedures, I felt more comfortable in really motivating the students to do their math work.   It was then that I felt that I was a positive presence in the classroom.  Some of the positive effects I hoped to instill in the students during my tutoring experience at Franklin, were to first develop an interpersonal relationship and then help them to become more motivated in their schoolwork and to seek help when needed on difficult material they did not understand by requesting more help from me.  Their questions seem to signify that they were really trying to do their math.  In helping them, I felt like an active force in furthering their education.

Positive effects on the tutor:

Studies on tutoring and its effects have shown that the tutor also benefits from the experience.  Cohen, Kulik, & Kulik (1982) found that attitudes were more positive among those serving as tutors.  Research also suggests that tutors learn even more than tutees through tutoring (Annis, 1983).  Tutoring has broadened my views on the practical use of math as well as giving me a chance to use my interpersonal communication skills with the high schoolers.

Tutoring in math has helped me to grasp a better understanding of the subject.  I used to detest math with a vengeance.  I knew the material, but it was not my specialty or major in college.  After tutoring these kids, I feel like math is something relevant in my education and am getting good practice in the classroom by teaching it to others.  Even though I was tutoring only basic math, it was good practice since I do not use it much in my field (psychology).

Another way I benefited from my tutoring experience was the practical use of interpersonal communication skills.  Working with the high school students helped me to use my communication skills on a one-on-one setting.  I would either work one-on-one with the students or else I helped them work in groups to figure out problems they did not understand.  It was good to work with them because I had the chance to observe the different outlooks they had on math and what methods they used to tackle their problems.  In analyzing all their different methods I had to try to look at problems in a different angle to help them understand the concepts.  It was very challenging, but was a good experience in building my own communication skills.





Barrows, H. (1988).  The tutorial process.  Springfield, IL:  Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.


Cohen, P.A. Kulik, J.A., & Kulik, C.C. (1982).  Educational outcomes of tutoring:  A meta-analysis of findings.  American Educational Research Journal, 19(2), 237-248.


Feldman, R.S. & Allen, V.L., (1979).  Student success and tutor non-verbal behavior.  Journal of Educational Research, 72, 142-149.


Hartman, H.J. (1990).  Factors affecting the tutoring process. Journal of Developmental Education, 14(2), 2-6.


McKellar, N.A. (1986).  Behaviors used in peer tutoring.  Journal of Experimental Education, 54(3), 163-167.


Webb, N.M. (1982).  Peer interactions and learning in cooperative small groups.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 642-655.