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ISSN: 2151-6200
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The Main Principles of Tutoring in Education of Agricultural Laborers in Mexico

Elena Anatolievna Zhizhko*

Master Program in Humanities and Education Research, Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico

*Corresponding Author:
Zhizhko EA
Master Program in Humanities and Education Research
Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico
Tel: +52 4921021269
Email: [email protected]

Received Date: May 10, 2017; Accepted Date: May 22, 2017; Published Date: May 26, 2017

Citation: Zhizhko EA (2017) The Main Principles of Tutoring in Education of Agricultural Laborers in Mexico. Arts Social Sci J 8: 273. doi: 10.4172/2151-6200.1000273

Copyright: © 2017 Zhizhko EA. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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In this article we present the results of the documentary-bibliographic study, which goal was to determine the principles, following which the tutoring in Mexican education of migrant agricultural laborers is organized. Author found, that for successful implementation of tutoring in the Mexican education of migrant agricultural laborers is used the principles that guide it putting under the prism of different disciplines: sociology and psychology of marginality; pedagogy, andragogy, psychology of oppressed adults.


Mexican education system; Education of migrant agricultural laborers; Tutoring; Multidimensional education; Students orientation


The tutorial actions that have always been present in one form or another in the Mexican educational system are today especially required to respond to the new needs and characteristics of the current students. It seems appropriate to reflect on it by highlighting all its richness and meaning in the context of the knowledge and information society, especially what is involved in the education system of the marginalized, in particular migrant agricultural laborers.

The problems of tutoring in education addressed in their works Abreu, 2012; Álvarez, 2008; Apodaca, 1997; Bisquera, 1996; Diaz- Barriga-Arceo, 2010; Gómez-Collado, 2009; Lobato, 1997; Moncada, 2013; Moreno-Bayardo, 2003; Moscovici, 1988; Pere-Arnaiz, 2010; Rubio-Sosa, 2010; among others.

On the other hand, there are numerous studies on the problems of marginalized groups in general and in particular on the need for education of the representatives of these social strata as a strategy for their inclusion in productive work life: Boltvinik, 2004; Cabrera, 2011; Campero, 2006; Cortés, 2001; Damián, 2004; Duch, 2005; Filgueira, 2001; Galicia, 2005; Galván, 2005; Garibay, 2005; Gordon, 2011; Jiménez-Díaz, 2010; Juárez-Bolaños, 2006; Katzman, 2001; Lerner, 2006; Lustig, 2007; ??thus-Robles, 2009; Pieck, 2005; Pizarro, 2001; Rodríguez, 2007; Rosas, 2005; Schulze, 2013; Székely, 2007; among others.

According to these authors, more than 5.2 million migrant farm workers (counting them together with their families) represent in Mexico flexible workforce performing for the agricultural enterprises the arduous and exhausting work without any contract or labor rights [1].

The main mechanism of the integration of these workers to the industrialized world has been education, because it allows the person to get the income to meet his/her needs, grow professionally, located in a place in society and participate in a field of relationships. So, Mexican government began since the seventies of the twentieth century, to implement the system of special programs to support marginalized people, including migrant farm workers, with material resources, support, among other things, for education. Is the tutoring part of this education? What role does tutoring play in it? What principles does the process of tutoring organizing in this education follow.


The study carried out pursued the goal to discover the principles, following which the tutoring in Mexican education of migrant agricultural laborers is organized. This work was performed through an interdisciplinary inquiry that contemplates from the investigation on the historical progress and the current problematic of the existing educational projects for this group of marginalized; its observation from the prism of the modern theories underlying educational intervention for vulnerable segments of the population, as well as modern tutorial approaches.

Likewise, the critical-dialectical approach was used as an interpretative framework for the inquiry, using the methods of analysis, synthesis, comparison and generalization that were necessary for the study of the original texts, official and normative documents; organization of the analyzed material and its logical exposition, foundation of the conceptual apparatus. This research was supported also by analytical methods, systematization and synthesis of the results obtained, for its later organization in the system of references on tutoring in the education of migrant agricultural laborers in Mexico.


Thus, the results obtained through the scientific-pedagogical study allow us to establish that the conceptualization of the tutoring phenomenon has undergone changes in the course of human history and was related to the ideal of man, as well as the educational goals corresponding to the socio-political and economic aspirations of each culture, each state.

The study showed that the term “tutoring” was first mentioned in the period of the Illustration by Montaigne in the sense of teaching the student to know him and the other. In this epoch the pedagogical model handles the concept of the integral development of the personality, places the student in the center of the education, opts for the empirical knowledge and autonomous work of learners and privileges learning by discovery that is acquired through critical thinking and problems´ resolution [2].

In the 20th century beginning of the 21st century it is considered that the tutoring as one of the conditions of the integral student´s formation must be the essential component of the educational process at all levels, from the basic to the higher.

What concerns the definition in modern science of the concepts of “tutoring” and “integral formation”, the analysis of the theoretical works that address it, revealed that these terms are directly related and are a fundamental part of multidimensional education, particularly of its segment called education of reinforcement, support, accompaniment or orientation.

Based on the analyzed studies (Abreu, 2012; Álvarez, 2008; Apodaca, 1997; Bisquera, 1996; Diaz-Barriga-Arceo, 2010; Gómez- Collado, 2009; Lobato, 1997; Moncada, 2013; Moreno-Bayardo, 2003; Moscovici, 1988; Pere-Arnaiz, 2010; Rubio-Sosa, 2010; among others), orientation is determined as guidance, support for certain students and at certain times of their schooling. This educational action includes a personal communication of the teacher with each of his/her students, with an extension and an intensity that varies from one to another. It can take place with a student or with the group of them, as well as with their parents.

This activity guides the thinking and action of individuals, explains the emergence of representations (a collective product with the capacity to constitute a certain way of life, generate a behavior) through processes of communication, dialogue and negotiation of meanings.

Orientation implies the accompaniment of the tutor in the search of the student “of himself ”, what he wants and what he can, what he craves and what he does, questions that lead the student to ask about some terms such as ability, attribute, aptitude, skills, capability, capacity, facility, dexterity, performance related to what the person is able to achieve [3].

A teacher-tutor, in addition to possessing specific professional competences referring to the discipline that he/she imparts, must be able to induce, guide and facilitate the integral formation of the student; possess skills, attitudes, knowledge to pose and solve problems; establish communication, dialogue, motivate the student. Therefore, it is important that the teacher be trained and constantly updated [4].

So the purpose of tutoring is to achieve an interpersonal relationship that shapes attitudes, power concepts, skills, abilities and behaviors. It is a set of activities or tasks aimed at creating value, understood as the satisfaction of the present and future needs and expectations of students, parents and society in general, which translates into the expected benefit of the educational service.

Another theoretical approach that contributes to the understanding of tutoring for students representing vulnerable groups, particularly migrant agricultural laborers, is the theory of marginality.

So, according to this theory, the marginality is created by the situations that place the individual at the margin of two different cultural or social groups, where the person has to deal with the rules, policy, customs, traditions of one and the other group. The effect of this situation is that there is produced an unstable character, a personality type with characteristic forms of behavior: a marginal man [5].

Based on the principles of the theory of marginality, it can be stated, that the successful tutoring with marginalized adults is to master the precepts of the currents that explain the behavior of the marginal man, who is outside of the modern industrialized technologically developed social group; is affected in his personal, psychological, professional and social development by poverty and exclusion; experiences the crisis of identity, internalizes and depends on his exclusion, cannot live without it, loses the orientation [6].

To prevent the undermining of human development for the cause of the reproduction and aggravation of the phenomenon of marginality, it is necessary to handle correctly the psychological state of the marginal man, unsheathe his fatal dependence and detach his negative feelings through personalized and intimate individual tutoring, personal counseling, implementing it as a personal advice and considering it as a basic component of the teaching function.

It is also important to regard as that the situation of marginalization experienced by migrant farm laborers, not only extends to the whole human person and all aspects of marginalized sectors´ life, but its effects involve the entire society. This allows stop viewing it as a phenomenon of the third world, since as a global problem.

On the other hand, the retrospective analysis of the development of the education of migrant farm laborers within the system of marginalized adult education and the role of tutoring in it showed that the earliest signs of marginalized adult education are found in prehispanic society, particularly in the telpochcalli schools that educated the youth of the village from the age of 15 onwards.

Since the sixteenth century, in the education of marginalized adults in colonial Mexico the personalized tutoring was common; they learned both the friar teachers and the indigenous students. The first schools for workers, precursors of modern professional technical schools, appeared in the eighteenth century. It were established schools of first letters for adult craftsmen, teachers, officers and apprentices, agriculture schools and arts and crafts schools. It is important to recognize the work of the Lancaster schools in this period, which taught free night classes to teach the poor workers and craftsmen how to read, write, count and draw, as well as introduced mutual teaching, the precursor of peer tutoring [7].

In the years of the Revolution (1910-1925) and post-revolutionary period the night schools for adults, federal industrial technical schools, agricultural schools, schools for women were opened throughout the country. In these establishments the traditional pedagogy and functional tutoring or tutorial custom reigned [8].

With the institutionalization of the national system of marginalized adult education taken place in the 1980s, creation of the National Institute for Adult Education and the Satellite TV Educational Network, development of the Model of Education for Life and Work, the personal tutoring, tutorial teaching, tutoring as personal advice, mentoring between equals and virtual tutoring have been developed.

Referring to the current situation of the socio-educational programs for migrant farm workers in Mexico, it is component of both: education system, as well as social development. It´s important to highlight, that in less than 10 years it achieve significant progress: in 2013 the education of marginalized adults nationwide constituted 4.6% of the total population served at different educational levels; the number of public institutions that train for work increased by 22.8%; in total in the 2012-2013 school year they were attended 1,615,824 people; however, the number of people attended could be even greater if more training centers were opened: in ten years it number rose only by 486 (from 5300 to 5786), 80% of which are private); reduction of the educational backwardness by 2%, including decreased the illiteracy among indigenous groups by 4.5% [9].

Since 2015 the educational programs for migrant laborers (Care Program for Migrant Farm Workers, Bilingual Indigenous Program and others) reached the total (100%) coverage of in all states of Mexican Republic. It was developed a completely free, accessible and inclusive system of learning (including computer assisted learning) with flexible and diversified educational programs and offering both, tutoring as personal advice and virtual tutoring.

So, based on the realized historical-pedagogical analysis, it can be stated, that tutoring has been present in the education of the marginalized in all stages of the evolution of Mexican society, presenting in its different types: traditional as controlling of student´s cognitive processes (functional tutoring or tutorial custom); and progressive as a support for students´ integral formation advising them for being able to self-regulate when planning, supervising and evaluating their own performance in order to achieve the goal sought (personal tutoring; tutorial teaching; tutoring as personal advice; mentoring between equals (peer tutoring)). Currently, the virtual tutoring to these traditional types of tutoring is also attached.


So, based on the results of an interdisciplinary study, it was identified that the main feature of tutoring in the education of migrant agricultural laborers is its dependence not only on pedagogical and didactic factors, but also its close relationship with historical, cultural, socioeconomic, psychological aspects.

Hence, the study of tutoring in the Mexican education of agricultural migrant laborers shows, that for its successful implementation are used the principles that guide it putting under the prism of different disciplines: sociology and psychology of marginality; pedagogy, andragogy, psychology of oppressed adults. These principles are:

• To have as objectives the diagnosis of student´s personal, professional and social needs; the planning of the educational process; the evaluative pattern of student´s achievements in the educational process, determining the difficulties and elaborating the strategies for its overcoming.

• To develop the harmonious accomplishment of the tasks, the collaboration in the decision-making and the shared responsibility in the activities of the context in the sense of achievement of common objectives.

• To add assessment to the learning process, so pupils can realize their own academic advancement.

• To develop learning strategies in students.

• To expand student´s interaction and cooperation with others that is essential for his/her development.

• To awake a series of internal evolutionary processes promoting the student's zone of proximal development.

• To consider tutoring as a system of academic, investigative and extension activities being carried out, as well as extra-teaching and out-of-school activities, which results is responsibility of both: the educators and the students.

• To regard as that tutor's functions are not fixed, but are modified as a consequence of the influence exerted on them by institutions as social systems or dynamic realities subject to various transformations.


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