Tuition Misconceptions

Countless myths and misconceptions have sprung up about private tuition over the years. Here we address some the more frequently cited ones and examine the merits behind them.

Tuition is incredibly expensive

Many people are surprised to find they can receive an outstanding level of tuition for under £170 per month. Good tutors tend to have a reputation across the local area and will have bank of recommendations. For sessions to make the desired impact, it’s crucial children like their tutor and feel that they will benefit from the arrangement. Tutors should be a good match with the student’s they teach, tune in with their learning style and be able to make the learning fun and accessible.

Tuition can make my child a genius

Children have different levels of ability and no tutor can change students into something they’re not. Some may have barriers to their learning, such as severe learning difficulties. As tutors are able to work individually with children, they can target any areas of difficulty and help children to manage their learning and devise strategies to support it. Tuition can also increase children’s confidence and self-esteem, leading to marked improvements in their attainment and progress at school.

Primary-school children are too young to be tutored

Children’s progress at primary school can be fundamental to their future development- a time when they begin to construct the building blocks of their intellect. In order to fully process, understand and interpret things, children need to grasp the preliminary stages. Many children who have struggled to grasp “the basics”, can encounter difficulties later on and before you know it, they are losing confidence and falling behind. A good tutor can help address these issues and children catch up and focus on any underlying issues with their learning.

It is important to note, though, that tutoring may not be appropriate for very young children. The best option is to encourage lots of play-learning, phonics and sharing books with them together.

Tutors are only for low-ability children

There is no profile of a typical “tutored child”. Some may be gifted and talented and not stretched enough at school; others may have a learning difficulty which is hindering their learning progress. A good tutor can access a child’s unique learning style, giving them the confidence to succeed in their studies.

Tuition is for grammar or private schools

It is certainly true that many grammar and private school children have received tuition at some point in their lives, many to assist with their entrance to the school. However, tuition shouldn’t be the preserve of these children- it is important that all children have a strong foundation in education, as opposed to desperately practising for a test to get into certain, more academic schools. Tuition is about empowering a child’s ability, not just their knowledge.

Conscientious and hard-working students can succeed without a tutor

Diligent students typically can support themselves through there learning as they tend to have no difficulty accessing the learning and can focus on their studies. Sometimes though it can be the case where children aren’t learning well in school but desperately want to. They often work as hard if not harder than other students and yet they achieve far less. There can be a variety of reasons as to why this is the case, including physical, mental and social difficulties.

Working on a one-to-one basis with a tutor can help improve their confidence in a secure environment. Tutors can also tailor their approach to suit the individual child, adapting teaching methods which can help accelerate their progress and complement a child’s studious attitude with academic support.

Tuition sessions themselves will automatically improve a child

Merely turning up for a tuition session does not give a student an advantage- tuition is not something that gives value just because it exists. Students don’t gain anything from tuition sessions just by being exposed to them. Good tutoring relies hugely on a supportive, communicative and strong relationship between tutor and student. Of course, it is the tutor’s task to prepare a well-constructed session, but it is also the student’s job to listen and engage with that session.

Parents who hire private tutors are pushy and are just buying results for their kids.

Parents want the best for their children and private tuition can go a long to giving them the essential foundations for them to flourish in the future. With over 1 in 4 children in the UK having had private tuition at some point during their time at school, it is obvious that a significant number of parents are realizing how much it can benefit their children.

The best tutors only come from Oxbridge and must be specialists in their subjects

A person’s intellectual ability is always a component of tutoring; however, it is not the key component. An excellent tutor should have excellent teaching skills along with a solid knowledge of the content area, a variety of teaching methods adapted to each individual student’s learning style and fantastic communication and personal skills.

Tutors don’t always need to be specialists in the subject they are tutoring. This applies particularly to primary-level, where tutors may not be a specialist in their subject, but have taught it in the curriculum before and feel comfortable tutoring in it. It is a very different story at secondary-level, where tutors are often required to delve deeper into a subject and have a specialist knowledge of it.

However, good teachers are able to transmit learning in anything- good tutors, particularly those who are/have been teachers, will have natural teaching skills, applicable to almost every part of the curriculum.

Everyone seems to have a learning difficulty nowadays which the tuition industry exploits

Previous generations had learning disabilities- we just didn’t know it. Back then, those people were left to struggle and suffer- today, educationalists, in conjunction with a whole spectrum of outside professionals, are able to identify barriers to children’s learning and implement strategies to aid it. Tuition is a further excellent means of addressing a student’s learning difficulties, as it allows a focus solely on the individual and finding a method of teaching that helps them to successfully access learning.

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