This is an overview of a research summary provided by Dr. Anne Yendell. Dr. Yendell has been a volunteer tutor with Pathways to Education for seven years and wrote her doctoral thesis on the impacts of one-on-one tutoring on marginalized youth in a community-based after-school setting. A link to the full research summary is included at the bottom of this post. 

During the past seven years, I have had the privilege to tutor students at Pathways Lawrence Heights in writing. When I discovered that after-school tutoring programs for high school students had drawn little research attention, I decided to focus my doctoral work at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education on this fascinating area. 

Key Findings 

At the most basic level, the tutor’s role is to provide their student with attentive instruction and constant feedback about their work. My research findings indicate, however, that the benefits of tutoring extend beyond the formal knowledge the tutee receives in two crucial ways.  

  1. One-to-one learning develops the dispositions and abilities necessary for critical thinking, which is essential for achievement in academic, work, and daily life.
  1. When nurtured by their tutors’ expectations and trust, tutees gain self-esteem, self-confidence, positive identity, and self-reliance, resulting in better learning and life outcomes.


Tutors have opportunities to build authentic and consistent connections with their students, and these relationships may become truly developmental for young people from contexts of disadvantage.  

As a support to classroom learning, tutoring programs like Pathways can offer youth an alternate learning space that facilitates a reciprocal sharing of understanding and knowledge and where the social and cultural perspectives of the communities they serve are recognized.  

Learn more 

For the full version of the research summary, visit this link. 


Volunteers, staff, alumni, students, and donors all play a key part in making the Pathways Program a reality and ending the cycle of poverty through education. Keep up with their stories by joining the Pathways mailing list.