This chapter describes the wisdom of practice that explains the lessons learned from the study of highly effective tutors. This chapter presents that in the 21st century, tutoring remains the ideal of education. The tutorial is inherently individualized. This individualization, in turn, permits the tutor to elicit from each student a much higher level of on-task attention and effort. It is, in addition, a virtual prerequisite for the high levels of both immediacy and interactivity that also characterize the tutorial process. Thus, in an individual tutorial, both knowledge of results and other forms of feedback and instruction are received by students. Highly effective or “expert” tutors are then identified on the basis of their actual degree of observable success, across a number of different tutees, in promoting student learning and motivation. The tutoring sessions conducted by the highly effective tutors are analyzed from a number of perspectives, and are contrasted with tutoring sessions conducted by less experienced or by equally experienced but objectively less successful tutors. The tutors share a generally Socratic approach, in the sense that tutors seek to draw as much as possible from the student and to impose as little as possible of themselves on the student. Finally, the goal of the analyses is to begin to identify the goals, strategies, and specific techniques that might contribute to the success of an individual tutorial.
Lepper and Woolverton’s study is the heartbeat of the MARIO Educator’s role. MARIO is a learner-centered framework and the role of the educator as a “highly effective tutor” by utilizing questioning strategies which encourage deep cognitive growth is central to the framework.