Exploring the Importance of Age Factor in the Delivery and Implementation of Tutorship Programme in Institutions of Higher Learning with Empirical Examples Drawn from One Institution of Higher Learning
AbstractIncontrovertibly, the conceptualization and implementation of tutorial programs in many higher education settings can be a panacea if the programme can bolster learning and improve throughputs among the learners of different cadres. Although traditionally tutoring has involved older and more experienced individuals taking charge of the role of assisting others, the age factor has become a critical factor possibly stifling the success of the programme. The study adopted a mixed method approach. Multiple data collection methods were employed through semi structured questionnaires to first year students and focus group discussions with tutors. The study found that age was a strong determinant of tutorial learning. On one hand, younger tutees felt uncomfortable with older tutors who exerted their authority the same way as teachers. On the other hand, some of the more mature first year students were less confident of the younger tutors’ support in learning. The study also observed a strong influence of cultural values in the tutee expectations of tutor behaviour. The study recommends that tutor age be considered when allocating tutors to specific tutorial groups. Ongoing awareness workshops and talks on appreciating diversity and the key principles of tutoring need to be conducted with tutors so that they develop skills in handling tutees in a cross age tutoring model.
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