Friday, 3 August 2012


Tutoring – to be or not to be

It is always fun to have a healthy discussion on a hot topic because it brings about the best information on the subject matter. So, I read lots of articles on the subject “What is the relevance of tutoring in the 21st Century Education? Does it really serve the purpose of providing quality assistance to students?” The research showed that day-by-day the number of class sizes in schools are increasing which makes it tougher for the students to get personalized attendance from the teachers. Although technology has made things easier for us, students have become the ultimate sufferers because of the trend. I have seen students hooked on to computers for a long period of time to do their homework, to access chat rooms, instant messengers, games and more. With that the admissions in schools and colleges have become competitive. Students now have to get specialized knowledge in addition to regular studies to stay competitive and keep maintaining their grades. Moreover, parents have also become busier. We are already seeing both parents of children working to maintain the house. This adds up to the pressure and shows how the current generations of students are facing problems to cope up with the students.

Even if a student is struggling to get the right grades in schools and colleges, it is not their fault. Tutoring is not meant to replace classrooms but it is an augmented facility which helps the students to get proper guidance which is now missing in classroom education. A classroom is the basic foundation on which the house i.e., student’s career stands. But if you do not have a good structure i.e., proper guidance, come winter it would show up cracks. Hence; it is very important to have a good structure so that all the cracks in the foundation are filled. I found some interesting facts which provide enough evidence to showcase the real need for tutoring in the 21st century education:
  • Provides personalized, one-on-one attention
  • Gives a chance to students to clarify doubts and ask relevant questions
  • Builds confidence and develops study skills in students
  • Provides growth opportunities to students

I also researched a lot to understand the key characteristics that define a good tutor. Let us look at these characteristics:
  • Enjoys working with children and build good rapport with the child
  • Should be kind, understanding, patient and fair
  • Should be able to teach alternative methods for better learning of the children
  • Should be able to initiate customized plan for each child so that there is personal growth in each child
  • Should have a workman kind of spirit i.e., They should be punctual, dependable and steady

The next step was to understand the role of tutors in the lives of students. An interesting quote from Helen Keller came across while I was researching on the topic. It read “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”  This quote is absolutely true. Without proper guidance and instruction, children will lose focus and concentration. The most astonishing detail that I found while researching on the importance of tutors in the lives of students was that even in the most comprehensive schools in USA (even government schools) the teaching quality was poor. The teachers would spend the entire first term on complex numbers, the next two terms on the next four topics leaving the last three topics to be rushed in the last few weeks of the exams. One of the prime reasons for this is low expectation from teachers for the students. The most depressing thing is that teachers were going through the motion and completing the course for the sake of it without imparting proper guidance to the students.

You can get relevant details on the topic by copying and pasting this URL on a separate browser:

Let us shift our focus to tutors and understand how they can play a significant role in the lives of students:
  • Understanding the expectations of the student from the course deliverable
  • Determining the type of content relevant for good preparation for exams and using it in the best possible manner for the student
  • Providing proper feedback to the students after assessing their results
  • The need for closely following the curriculum followed at schools including examination patterns
  • Providing alternate methods to students in case they do not understand the orthodox method of teaching
  • Discussing the progress of the student with the teachers and parents

So, we can say that a tutor is someone who has a central part in the education of the students. They are the ones who stand as a pillar between teachers and parents and intervene with either of them to get the best results for the students.  But tutors also have their own share of problems. They need to deal with a predicament of providing assistance to students or doing the work for them. Normally we find that tutors have also been teachers hence; it becomes very difficult for them to change their attitude. When you are working as a tutor you have to develop the perception that students are not reading on their own. They find it difficult to grasp the subjects in classroom atmosphere. The accountability factor also is higher in comparison to teachers. While teachers do not directly share the burden of each and every student, tutors have to not only help the students in their day-to-day assignments but also solve the concerns of the students personally through a step-by-step process. This way student can get the desired attendance from the tutors and are able to excel in their studies.

I suppose now you have a clear idea of the importance of tutors in the lives of students in 21st century education. You can also go through the following URLs to get more information on this subject:

The next topic of discussion was the role of parents in enhancing the education of the students. Parents are role-models for the students. Students adopt the characteristics of parents sub-consciously. Hence; it is the moral responsibility of the parents to take care of the tutoring business of their children. In an interesting article on “Better tutors vs. better parents: recent PISA study”, OECD conducted several exams as a part of their Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) testing the knowledge of 15 years old students on the basis of science and math problem-solving techniques. The results found that parents who are more focused on their child’s education play a key role in the student’s achievement. There were two findings of the studies which included:
  • 15-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher scores in PISA tests than students whose parents read with them infrequently or none at all.
  • The performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socio-economic background; and parents’ engagement with their 15-year-old kids is strongly associated with better performance in PISA tests.

This goes to show that good parental actions towards child’s learning at home can boost their confidence. It also helps them in taking tutoring lessons seriously. To learn more about the role of parents in their child’s academic achievements copy and paste the URL on a separate browser:

So, in short we can say that both parents and tutors have an equal importance in helping the students excel in their studies with flying colors.

In the next blog, I will discuss about private tutoring and how it is affecting the performance of students.
To learn more about PracTutor follow us at:,

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Louisville, KY 40243-2311
United States

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