Any parent or student wanting to get the most from their education will inevitably ask – is tutoring worth it? Does it help?
And in many cases, significantly. Research has shown that if the tutor has a good rapport with the student and knows their material inside out, the student will gain not just improved test scores but stronger study habits and increased motivation.
- Effective tutoring can bring several benefits. The obvious one is addressing any learning issues with a subject and boosting performance. The University of Chicago carried out a study with high school students on the effectiveness of tutoring. They found that students who received regular tutoring not only learned twice as quickly as their peers but they gained higher test scores, even when they finished tutoring courses.
- A skilled tutor will enable their student to “learn how to learn”. The tutor should be working to build their student’s critical thinking and the ability to think independently and creatively. These skills aren’t just handy for passing tests – they’re crucial for getting ahead in the workforce.
- A good tutor can also extend a student’s scope beyond what they might be learning in class by helping them realize their full potential. If a student has a big class, their teacher might not be able to fully focus on their strengths and skills. Tutors can further develop these talents.
- If tutoring is beneficial in one subject, students will often enjoy a spillover effect. For example, they can take the same study patterns and principles that they picked up learning math and apply them to their science studies.
- If the tutoring is constructive and tailored to the student’s needs and personality it can also be a great boost for self-esteem and belief. The student will being strongly motivated, confident able to view education in a positive light.
Keep in mind…
The smaller the group, the more effective the learning time.
2-4 students per tutor is a good place to start, face to face is ideal. This works both ways – a tutor will be more productive and enjoy their work more if they have a smaller group that they know well.
While it’s never too late to learn – some people pick up a foreign language in their 70s – it’s better to get children started earlier. If a parent spots some difficulties with a certain subject or skill, the sooner the child can get some assistance, the less likely they’ll be to fall behind and become discouraged.
The arguments for online versus face-to-face tutoring both have their merits. Online is obviously more convenient and usually cheaper. However, there are the chances of being distracted at home and in person tutoring provides that all important human connection which is vital in a tutor-student relationship.
Of course, finding the right tutor for the right price is the challenge. A common misconception is that tutors are pricey and only affluent families have the luxury of being able to fork out sixty bucks an hour.
The good news is that there are now more and more affordable tutoring options out there. Some excellent organizations such as Angel Tutoring in the UK provide subsidized support to families who might struggle financially for private tutors.
Even if tuition fees may seem high, it could be worth somehow creating a budget that makes it doable.
Very much a case of short-term pain for long-term gain.
Of course, not everyone needs or even wants a tutor.
For others though, if there’s something to be gained from it and it’s giving a child or teenager their best possible opportunities, then is tutoring worth it?