In today’s day and age, it is hard to find students who do not attend tuition outside their school ours; most students need that extra push. There has always been a tug-of-war between private tutoring and tuition centers; about which one is the better option. Parents are often unclear about which child should opt for in order for effective learning. Both private tutoring and tuition centre teaching has their own set of advantages and disadvantages and to understand which is the better option, we need to analyze by weighing the differences.
1: CLASS STENGTH (STUDENT TO TEACHER RATIO)
One of the biggest differences between tutoring centers and private tutoring is that, for the former, the class strength will not exceed about 15 students (for the most part), while for the latter, it is mostly a one-to-one tuition session. Smaller student to teacher ratio is one of the biggest advantages that private learning offers. With a smaller class strength, students will be so much more focused during lessons as there are no sources of distractions around them. Whereas in a tuition center with say 10 students in the classroom during a session, there is a higher probability of unnecessary distractions that could be created and tutors may even waste their precious time disciplining them to strictly maintain a conducive learning environment.
Another advantage that smaller student to teacher ratio offers, is the fact that private tutors will be able to devote their entire attention on a singular student during the lesson and there is nothing that will compromise the concentration they have on that student. Whereas in tuition centers, while tutoring 10 to 15 students at once (almost like a mini school-like classroom environment), it is rather impossible to have complete attention on each and every student during the duration of the tuition session. Though tutors are skilled enough to give equal attention to all their students in the classroom, looking at it pragmatically, it is impossible that every student gets 100% attention. That 100% attention though, will be received by students who are tutored by private tutors and that yields tremendous results over the course of time.
2: CUSTOMISED TEACHING
Since private learning entails a minimum number of students (mostly its one student), tutors will be able to customize their teaching style to suit the very specific needs of their students. This is especially important because no two leaves are the same; every student is unique. Every child has its own pace of learning, a method of processing information and style of asking questions to clarify doubts. For a private tutor, it would take approximately 5-6 lessons to figure out the details of the student with regards to how he or she takes in information and processes it. Thereafter, the tutor will guide his or her student in a systematic way that ensures effective learning to bridge learning gaps efficiently.
Whereas in tuition centers, tutors cannot customize their teaching to meet each student’s learning needs. Instead, the teacher can only at most use certain strategies to help students with slower learning pace to catch up. An example could be grouping the slightly weaker students together and allocating the stronger students to each of these groups for peer guidance because sometimes explanations get conveyed across easily when students hear it from their peers. But of course, the tutors’ supervision and guidance will be the backbone of such classroom discussion-based learning.
Nonetheless, the kind of customized learning that students get from private tuition is extremely useful and, in this aspect, private tutoring does have the upper hand.
3: LEARNING AND TEACHING STYLES
When we observe a tuition classroom, one thing that we can notice is the fact that every student would ask different kinds of question. This is one of the biggest advantages that a student can have when it comes to attending tuition at a tutoring center. Students can utilize this opportunity of learning the subject from different angles and perspectives and this indirectly contributes quite significantly to their examinations. It will be easier for students to think a little out of the box and tackle challenging questions that test the student’s capability to stretch their thinking.
In the tuition centers, with a reasonable class strength, tutors would like to experiment (more than private tutors) with their teaching style to try to make it more innovative. Not only does this experimentation increases students’ interest and focus during the lesson, it is useful for the tutor because with a small sample size, the tutor would be able to ask for feedback from different students, make room for improvement and hone their teaching skills to better suit the needs of their students. It’s a win-win for both parties!
4: COMFORT AND CONFIDENCE
Students with private tutors often attend tuition from the comfort of their own homes. This eradicates unnecessary stresses and gets rid of the need for a student to waste his or her time traveling to a place for tuition. It is an extremely convenient option for students, especially those who are in upper secondary or junior colleges, given that they naturally spend a lot of their time in schools due to extended curriculums and extra-curricular activities. Hence, private tuition makes things much easier for students indeed.
With a private tutor, there is a special tutor-student bond that develops and this is something that is less likely to occur in a tuition center setting. With a personal connection, tutors seem more amicable, approachable and there is strong moral support, emotional motivation in the context of private tutoring. This has a significant contribution to students’ wellbeing educational excellence.
5: EFFECTIVE LEARNING
Students will be able to stop a teacher and ask any question at any juncture of the lesson and they may even ask the tutor to repeat certain portions several times for clarity. Unfortunately, students in a tutoring center do not have that liberty because they have to take into consideration their peers. Clarifying their own nitty-gritty doubts then cannot become frequent interruption to other students.
Effective learning occurs only when students are able to feel completely comfortable during a lesson, ask questions as and when and communicate freely without any inhibition. Then and only then, students can perform well in their academics.
Private tuition does indeed have extra benefits when we compare it with tutoring centers. However, ultimately, it is what a student feels comfortable with. Some students prefer private tuition and others just do not enjoy complete attention being placed on them and prefer having group lessons. It is up to the students to carefully analyze the pros and cons, and decide what is best for them; it is their learning journey after all!