Available from
Peter Macfarlane:

Peter Macfarlane: fiddler

Science Tutor

I offer tuition in both biology and chemistry, particularly at high school level (see note on experience).

Individual tutorials

If you are having trouble understanding a particular topic, I'm happy to work with you to resolve this. Whether a single tutorial will suffice or follow-ups will be needed depends on how large the topic is and how far back we have to go to lay the necessary foundations for understanding.

Many of my students have commented how they have benefitted from my explanations, my ability to identify the real cause of their lack of understanding and to break the topic down into manageable pieces which are less intimidating than a huge mountain of incomprehension.

Courses for home-schoolers

I am in awe of parents who successfully manage education of their offspring in a diverse range of subjects over a wide age range. It is unsurprising, however, that some begin to struggle to keep up with the higher level sciences, particularly if they have had little scientific training themselves.

This is where I can help. I am happy to put together a course in biology or chemistry that covers the relevant material for high school (including the AP subject tests). This course will include: weekly meetings during which difficulties with previous material will be addressed, new material will be presented, and guidance to forward study will be offered; homework as an ongoing check of understanding, usually in the form of multiple choice questions, which will be graded and commented upon, clarifying any misconceptions; and (for chemistry in particular) lab work - I have sets of standard laboratory equipment and supplies of chemicals which allow guided experiments to be undertaken which illustrate the theory being covered.

Am I qualified?

I hold no formal certification to teach in the State of Vermont. My teaching qualification is a Further and Adult Education Teacher's Certificate, awarded by the City and Guilds of London (UK). My main qualification, however, is 18 years in the classroom.


"You restored my faith in teachers." [DG, Oxford, UK]
"... you will always be in my eyes, my young wonderful, life changing biology teacher" [MC, Leeds, UK]

Experience

For 18 years I taught biology and chemistry to the top two years of high school in UK. This was preparation for the exams on which university entry is based. I'm happy to say that the vast majority of my students achieved their goals, and in many cases exceeded their own expectations.

Many of my students had had poor educational experiences elsewhere and so were dispirited, to say the least. I found that a combination of a large amount of personal attention together with clarity of explanation, focussing on understanding rather than remembering facts in isolation from context, paid dividends, re-energising students who then went on to excel at university.

Since immigrating to Vermont in 2003, I have taught occasional courses to home schoolers in both biology and chemistry.

Note on evolution:

Evolution is demonstrably occurring today: the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is but one example. I understand that many people find this to be in conflict with their faith. Here I point out that I am aware of the distinction between faith-based belief, which is very personal, and evidence-based belief, which is the basis of science. When there is overwhelming evidence in support of, or opposing, a particular idea, evidence that can be shared with others, assessed and critiqued by others, then that idea is retained or rejected respectively.

If these views are not to your liking, I am not the right teacher for you.

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