Traditional private tutoring is a great way to help students who are struggling with subjects that they are having trouble understanding. Tutors can help you understand the material in ways that your teachers may not be able to do. A tutor will also know what areas of the subject you need to work on and focus on those areas, so you get more out of your sessions.
If you have been considering getting a tutor, but don’t know where to find one, try looking for referrals from friends or relatives who have had success with tutoring before. You could also search online for local listings of tutors in your area.
This blog post will explore whether traditional private tutoring really helps students. It will provide an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of both methods and a conclusion on which is better.
Traditional private tutoring can be one-on-one or with a group of students who have similar needs. With this method, the tutor receives a set hourly rate for each student they teach in their sessions.
The downside to this type of teaching is that there are fixed time limits per session, meaning it’s hard to spend more time on topics that need more attention or review material if needed. This could lead to a weaker understanding by the end of the session because not all concepts were covered thoroughly enough during that limited time frame.
Does Traditional Tutoring Help Students: Statistics and Facts
Parents have long relied on traditional private tutoring as a means of improving their children’s performance and grades at school. So, you too may have found yourself wondering whether private tutoring is worth the money and time invested and whether it delivers the expected results.
The common consensus is that traditional tutoring works and helps students. The reality, however, is more complex than that. Traditional tutoring can, indeed, be extremely useful and helpful. Nonetheless, there are situations when it won’t help.
Let’s take a look at a few facts and statistics on traditional tutoring so that you can form an informed decision that benefits your child and their future.
On Average, Traditional Tutoring Does Not Show Significant Results
The first point on our list may come as a shocker. However, several studies performed in the United States have concluded that traditional tutoring on average does not help students to the extent that we think. It does not result in significant growth or gains.
Does that mean that you should give up on the idea of private tutoring for good? No. While average results show ineffectiveness, this does not mean that all private tutoring is ineffective.
Research shows that there are factors that, if taken into consideration, can indeed yield superior results.
A private tutor can become a very important person in a child’s life. Nonetheless, data shows that you can’t just choose any private tutor or the cheapest one you have available. You need to select a private tutor or an institution providing private tutoring services carefully, or you indeed risk wasting your time and money.
Let’s take a look at more findings to see how you can make the best decision.
Research-Based Tutoring Produces Improved Results
A variety of studies have concluded that tutoring programs that incorporate research-based elements produce improve results. What does that mean?
The most popular and widespread teaching method that many teachers follow to this day is the direct teaching approach. Teachers present a new rule or a new concept after which practice happens.
Despite being popular, this method isn’t the most effective. That’s because, during it, students remain passive. Instead, they simply need to listen and replicate.
Teaching methods that involve research and discovery produce much more effective results. This is due to students being actively involved in figuring out why and how something works. This develops critical thinking, which can boost academic performance and help in the future work environment.
Research-based methods are also more entertaining and engaging for students and can increase their intrinsic motivation. However, they also require more preparation on the teacher’s or tutor’s part, which is why not all teachers utilize them.
Allowing Ample Information Processing Time Improves Tutoring Results
To advance in any given subject, students need to establish a solid foundation first. Failing to do so can result in falling behind in the future.
In general large classroom setting, students have different learning styles and speeds. Therefore they do not process and assimilate information at the same rate. As a result, some students will do so faster; others will not be able to fully do it by the time the class moves on to a new topic.
Studies show that allowing ample time to process and assimilate information yields more significant results. How long each student needs will vary. Therefore, the tutor must get to know their tutee and their individual learning style and needs for this to occur.
Positive Student –Tutor Relationship Can Improve Private Tutoring Results
Another important factor for private tutoring to be successful is a positive relationship between the tutor and student. This means that whether your child gets along with their tutor matters.
A study has shown that private tutoring can help students if they understand their students’ family situation and life circumstances. Students have also been shown to have improved results if they can relate to their teacher.
This also means that working with the same tutor long-term is also beneficial for improved results. Keep in mind, though, that this only refers to tutors who help your child and with whom your child has a good relationship with. Don’t hesitate to make a change if your child complains about the tutor or you do not see any improvement.
Private Tutoring Can Boost Self Confidence
Research shows that traditional tutoring can help students boost their self-confidence levels. While this may not help your child get better grades right away, it can be extremely beneficial long term.
A self-confident student is more likely to participate, answer questions, and be less afraid of making mistakes. There are all essential not only for optimal learning but work environment in the future.
Coordinating Tutoring with School Curriculum Improves Results
Studies have shown that tutors who coordinate private tutoring sessions with the curriculum taught at school help students more than teaching unrelated topics.
This doesn’t mean that tutors need to teach exactly what’s been taught at school. Instead, they can provide additional, hands-on practice that helps reinforce school material and make it more applicable and relatable.
Tutors Who Continuously Develop Perform Better
Students are not the only ones who should keep learning. Research proves that tutors who continuously learn and improve help students achieve better results.
This is important because education and the subjects taught are continuously evolving. Therefore, private tutors are more equipped to stay up-to-date with the most effective teaching methods as well as industry developments.
Frequent Private Tutoring Sessions Result in Better Gains
A private tutor’s availability should be an important determining factor in whether you should select them. You may hire the best tutor in the world, but if only one is available every two weeks, results may suffer.
A study concluded that frequent traditional tutoring sessions, even if they are shorter, produce better results. In addition to that, the study evaluated tutoring sessions of different duration (from 10-60 minutes), and longer sessions did not necessarily yield more successful results. It was their frequency that mattered more.
Cheap Tutoring Alternatives Do Not Yield Effective Results
Nowadays, anything can be found on the Internet, including online traditional tutoring options from other corners of the globe. So if you have considered those, you may want to drop your searches.
A study performed in the UK showed that distance tutoring with affordable instructors from India and Sri Lanka showed barely any improvement.
Traditional Tutoring Can Help Students, But
While many parents automatically assume that traditional tutoring will help students, it is not always the case. Therefore, it is important to select a tutor carefully, or you may end up wasting your time and money.
Make sure to choose a skilled and experienced professional who continuously improves themselves, gets along with your child, takes their individual needs into account, offers creative hands-on practice, and is available for frequent private tutoring sessions.
Online vs. Traditional Tutoring: Which Is Best?
Ensuring that your child gets a quality education is essential. It can determine their skills and knowledge, what grades they get, what colleges they are eligible for, and what jobs they will get in the future. So, many parents opt for private tutoring to ensure better results at school and face the dilemma of online vs. traditional tutoring.
As technology advances, so do private tutoring options, and online tutoring programs exist alongside traditional ones. It’s not a surprise because online education is becoming increasingly popular.
Massive online platforms like Udemy and Coursera offer professional courses that you can do at affordable prices from the comfort of your home. It is even possible to get university degrees from online universities.
However, how effective is online tutoring? Is it better than traditional in-person tutoring? Or does traditional tutoring still yield better results?
Let’s look at online vs. traditional tutoring to find out.
What Is Online Tutoring?
Online tutoring is a virtual teaching practice that uses the Internet, computer, tablet, and other gadgets. The tutor and the student meet online rather than in person. They may use tools such as whiteboards, e-mails, video, and audio to communicate.
Online Tutoring Benefits
Convenience and Flexibility
Online tutoring offers a lot more flexibility and convenience than traditional tutoring. There is no need to commute, and it can be done from virtually anywhere as long as your child has access to the Internet. So, even if you are travelling, your child does not need to skip a tutoring session.
Moreover, online tutoring offers wider tutor and course options. So, you can get access to qualified and experienced tutors and diverse course options that may not be available in your location.
Since online tutoring platforms hire distance teachers, they do not need to cover overhead costs. Thus, in many cases, you can expect lower fees. Though it will not always be the case. There are popular online tutoring programs that can cost more than traditional tutoring where you live.
Online Tutoring Weaknesses
May Not Be Suitable for Hands-On Skills
While it’s not impossible to teach hands-on skills, it will require more interactive tools and creativity to do so in online tutoring. Younger children who learn best through imitating others or extraverted children may prefer traditional tutoring for hands-on skills.
More Susceptibility to Distractions
In traditional tutoring, the tutor has more control over the situation. They can ensure who and what is in the room. Therefore, they can eliminate potential distracters.
It’s different with online tutoring when the teacher is not present in the room. Common distracters include mobile phones, access to the Internet, siblings or other people in the house. Procrastination with assignments can become a problem, too, if your child lacks the motivation to study or hasn’t established healthy study habits.
What Is Traditional Tutoring
Traditional tutoring is a teaching practice when the tutor and the student meet in person. Depending on the teacher’s preferred teaching approaches and methods, they can use traditional teaching resources such as books and handouts as well as more modern ones.
Traditional Tutoring Benefits
In-person communication can be very beneficial with hands-on skills where a teacher can assist and provide more personalized assistance.
It is also beneficial for young learners who thrive on interpersonal communication, learn by imitating adults, and have not yet developed an ability to work by themselves effectively. More extroverted children who are naturally inclined to interact with other people may prefer in-person tutoring as well.
Moreover, if you opt for tutoring or study centres that offer homework help similar to those that we do, your child can interact with other children. Thus, they can make friends with like-minded children who have similar interests and academic goals.
Studies have shown that when children can personally relate to and establish a good relationship with a tutor, they learn more and perform better at school. Yet, curiously, other studies have analyzed and concluded that cheaper online tutoring options from countries like Pakistan and India were not effective.
Ability to Respond to Emotions and Body Language
Experienced teachers usually understand psychology and can understand and adequately respond to children’s emotions, facial expressions, and body language. Skilled tutors will then be able to respond accordingly.
So, if a child is shy, a private tutor can notice that and modify their teaching style accordingly. It is also much easier to notice when a student becomes bored, disinterested, or distracted and act on it.
This can be hard or impossible with online tutoring, especially if it involves a child following a program and referring to a tutor for guidance, clarifications, and assessment only.
It’s also important to keep in mind that not every private tutor will have the skills, experience, or willingness to read emotions and body language and modify it to meet the child’s needs. So, it’s crucial to choose a private tutor carefully.
Traditional Tutoring Weaknesses
For traditional in-person tutoring to occur, one of the parties needs to travel. It that is the tutor, this will likely mean higher expenses to cover travel costs. It can also limit the amount and nature of teaching aids and materials that a tutor can use since they would need to transport them to your home.
If that is the child who commutes, this would require their parent or another adult to drive or walk them to the location where tutoring takes place, which can be inconvenient, impractical and stressful and limit tutoring times and options.
One of the primary reasons why many people choose not to go for private tutoring is its costs. When it comes to traditional in-person tutoring, it is usually more expensive than some other online options.
This is because it requires covering different expenses such as transportation if you hire a tutor who comes to your home. If you go to a learning centre, then their owners would need to cover overhead costs, including utilities, purchase of new materials, and more.
Online Vs. Traditional Tutoring: Which Should You Choose
None of the options is absolutely perfect, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, it is vital to assess your child’s needs and preferences.
Make sure to not make all the decisions for your child. Discussing the different options with your child can make them less resistant. This will also help you to choose the option that best meets their needs.
It can also be beneficial to try online and traditional tutoring so that your child can experience both and make an informed choice based on what works best for them.
Keep in mind that there will be great and low-quality online and traditional tutoring providers, which can waste your money and not deliver the results you want. So, it is also necessary to review and assess various options.
Why Do Parents Pay For Tutoring?
The tutoring market offers parents many options. Services range from help with homework, to test and examination coaching and instruction in the reading and writing content of the Australian Curriculum: English.
Most of the parents we interviewed spoke of using tutoring to fix what they saw as their children’s academic problems.
Sometimes the problem was a specific gap in knowledge and skills. For example, one parent had been averse to tutoring, but then her child’s English grades dropped a little:
“We couldn’t work out why or how he went from getting straight As to getting a B in English. And so we just spoke to other parents, and they said their kids did really well with a tutor. So we went there, and the big focus was confidence on his writing.”
This tutoring was short-term.
The second-biggest group of parents told us they used tutoring to support their children’s suspected or diagnosed learning difficulties. These included dyslexia (inability to read accurately), dysgraphia (inability to write coherently), autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
One of these parents told us the school couldn’t give enough personalised attention to her child:
“Because the kids are struggling and the curriculum moves so much, and there’s only one teacher to how many kids per class that can’t always spend the time on that one child.”
Another took her child to a private tutor during school time to support diagnosed learning difficulties. While this mother felt the tutoring was helpful, the cost became prohibitive. She told us:
“I had to pay for it out of my own pocket. It was too much, that’s also why I stopped doing it, too much money.”
The final and smallest group of the parents we spoke to (just three) used tutoring as one of the many enrichment activities they used for their children.
Two of these parents had prepared their children for scholarships or entry exams to selective schools. As one parent told us, “we had ten lessons on testing”.