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Teaching and Tutoring

7 December, 2010

I’ve spoken on this blog a lot about teachers.  An important supplement to this is the role of tutors.

Not every student has a private tutor – in fact, admittedly, most don’t.  However, I have noticed that those students that do have tutors tend to do better.

Students don’t get tutoring because they’re ‘dumb’.
They get tutoring because they want good marks.

Why do those students who get tutoring do better than those who don’t?  Well, there’s a whole raft of reasons.  A big one was addressed by Malcolm Gladwell, the idea that perpetual studying ensures the best marks – but I’ll have to get to that one later.

I’ll start off with the reasons that are most apparent: tutors are there to make sure you succeed.  Through no fault of their own, teachers have to deal with, at any given point, 25-30 students in the class.  Even if every moment were able to be used, each students would have no more than 3 minutes of private tuition in a class.

The other really apparent reason is that tutors are able to make sure that their students understand the topic.  If the student understands trigonometry but struggles with geometry, for example, the tutor doesn’t have to spend an equal amount of time on both.  Students can ask questions when they need to without fear of embarrassment, and you can do this in a comfortable place – whether in a tuition centre, in a library or in the student’s home.

Have you had tutoring, or know someone who has?  Post a comment about your experience!

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