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What is the Oxford Learning Model?

Are you familiar with the Japanese proverb, “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher?”

While books are essential to learning, education today depends on the ability to apply what you learn. And who better to illustrate how to apply what you learn than a teacher with abundant academic and professional experience?

Such was the foundation of the Oxford Learning Model. Deeply rooted in the distinguished halls of British higher education, the overarching theme of the Oxford Learning Model is the concept of mentoring.

Whether your understanding of mentoring has been shaped by movies (Yoda, Mr. Miyagi, Gandalf the Grey); literature (Mentor and Telemachus, Merlin and King Arthur, Dan Cody and Jay Gatsby); history (Socrates and Plato, Aristotle and Alexander the Great, Lord Melbourne and Queen Victoria); or from personal experience, the principle is the same:

“Mentoring is often defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentee) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the less-experienced person’s professional and personal growth.” -Management Mentors

In Oxford higher education, the mentor-mentee relationship is made up of a faculty member and student. Today, this relationship is reflected in what is referred to as Oxford Tutorials. Tutorials at the University of Oxford commonly consist of weekly meetings with a tutor (faculty mentor) to discuss the week’s assignment. These meetings may be one-on-one or potentially include up to three or four students. In these meetings, the tutor discusses the assignment with each student, investigating his or her grasp of the assignment while encouraging deeper and more critical thinking.

In the same way, the principle behind Northcentral University’s one-to-one teaching model, based on the Oxford Learning Model, is the assertion that faculty pass down valuable feedback and experiences to their students through this personalized interaction. In other words, the one-to-one interaction that results by pairing one faculty member with one student in each course at NCU enables faculty to diagnose students’ strengths and weaknesses in order to better aid the learning process.

In essence: faculty members teach students, not material.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. bitterlitter #

    Interesting insight into the Oxford learning model, thanks. Do you have any faculty that actually have experienced or taught it at the real Oxford University?

    April 19, 2013
  2. Yeah, Do you have any faculty that actually have experienced or taught it at the real Oxford University? I want to know more about it, thanks in advance.

    March 21, 2014
  3. The Oxford Learning Model sounds very fascinating. I never knew Northcentral University’s one-to-one teaching model was based on it.

    March 25, 2014

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