Paired thinking

Paired thinking is a technique that can be used during peer reading sessions. The aim is for a tutor to improve the tutee’s quality of thinking by asking helpful and intelligent questions that give clues. Tutors have to think hard, too - they do not just work through a list of given questions.


Peer tutoring » Paired thinking


Paired thinking is a technique that can be used during peer reading sessions. The aim is for a tutor to improve the tutee's quality of thinking by asking helpful and intelligent questions that give clues. Tutors have to think hard, too - they do not just work through a list of given questions.

Tutors are encouraged to put tutees at ease, boost their confidence, and encourage them to build a relationship with trust.

During reading, tutors are encouraged to pause during anatural break in the reading to think and talk about what has been read.

Although there are many questions that can be asked, it is not a "test" for the tutee. Indeed, often there is no one "right" answer, only many "better" or "worse" answers.

Questions can be asked before, during and after a reading session.



Related resources:


An introductory guide to Paired thinking



This video could be used as part of a training program to introduce paired thinking techniques to students. With many thanks to Professor Keith Topping for permission to reuse footage included within this clip.


Paired thinking: Structure and tips

  • Tips for tutors when carrying out paired thinking exercises along with sample questions to ask before, during and after reading.


Paired thinking: Prompt sheets

  • Prompt questions for tutors to ask before, during and after paired reading.


Paired thinking: Checklist and evaluation

  • Evaluation questionnaires for teachers, tutors and tutees.Use these evaluations and checklists to monitor progress during paired reading exercises.