Professional development opportunities for tutors of mathematics learning support

Michael Grove, Ciarán Mac an Bhaird, Ciarán O'Sullivan


Deficiencies in the mathematical skills of students entering university study are having a negative impact on their education, and more broadly have serious consequences for society as a whole. Research demonstrates that extra initiatives established to give these students an opportunity to succeed are making a difference, and that the staff who provide these supports play a fundamental role. Here we review two different models of structured training that were developed for these tutors, via two cases studies drawn from within the UK and Ireland. We discuss the key and transferrable skills that these tutors require, skills that are often not typically needed in a more ‘traditional’ teaching role. The majority of tutors remain in this crucial support role for only a short period of their careers, and so a fundamental question remains as to how they can receive appropriate recognition for their academic endeavours. Such recognition is important for both the institution, in demonstrating its commitment to teaching quality, and for the career progression of the tutors themselves.


Mathematics support; tutor training; accredited provision

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