An educational neuroscience perspective on tutoring: To what extent can electrophysiological measures improve the contingency of tutor scaffolding and feedback?

Julien Mercier, Mélanie Bédard


The efficacy of tutoring as an instructional strategy mainly lies on the moment-by-moment correspondence between the help provided by a tutor and the tutee’s learning needs. The model presented in this paper emphasizes the pivotal role of monitoring and regulation, both by the tutor and the tutee, in attaining and maintaining affective and cognitive states conducive to student’s learning. This perspective highlights the hypothesis that the scarcity of the information that the tutor and tutee have access to during natural interaction leads to suboptimal learning interactions. As a potential response to this lack of information, it is argued that methodologies from cognitive and affective neuroscience can provide pertinent information during or after a learning interaction, and that this information can significantly empower students and tutors. Projected empirical research could lead to a dramatic reinterpretation of 35 years of already fruitful tutoring research.


educational neuroscience, tutoring, monitoring, regulation, contingency

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