In the world of education and tutoring, there are two main methods of delivery; namely private and group tutoring for parents in Canberra to choose from.
Understanding the pros and cons of each method is vital to the success of the lessons you require from the tutoring company and the objectives you have set before hand.
The aim of this quick guide is to detail what you can expect from both methods and to explore what alternatives are out there.
The basic premise of group tutoring involves a group of learners, in the same room, following a preset curriculum. The learners are usually in the same grade, need help with the same subject and have similar levels of understanding. Depending on the size of the group the group is guided by one or two tutors.
1. Why doesn’t group tutoring work?
1.1 Same methodology, same results.
From my experience, most learners don’t respond well to group tutoring, as it is often just the same methodology used at school in a slightly smaller group.
This method of preset subject matter is much like the current school system in that there is usually one knowledge provider giving knowledge to a group of learners who must interpret the information being given and apply it to the problems or questions posed
To Note: When considering group tutoring make sure to check that the subject matter being taught is preset and aimed at a level that all learners can understand. You’ll want to make sure your child is receiving effective teaching methods.
1.2. Interaction between learner and worksheet, not learner and tutor.
More modern group tutors offer fancy computer programs that analyse your child’s performance and what they need to work on.
They too have a preset program which analyses where your child fits within the program. Since these programs are often based on the Australian curriculum and they produce session reports as to your child’s progress, it is easy to see how these group sessions have become so popular and widely used.
The question is, do they work for your child?
What needs to be understood is that the interaction that is occurring is between the learner and the worksheet or program and not directly between the learner and the tutor.
Whereas the alternates are based more on a human connection and the ability of a human tutor to adapt to the situation presented.
1.3. Every learner has different needs.
In my experience, as a teacher, I found that every child learns through different mediums and at different times.
Some learners take to fractions like a duck to water whilst others struggle through. The problem is not the learner, but it is also not the teacher.
The problem is that the learner is on a preset program that everybody has to complete and the teacher does not have the necessary time to teach each learner individually.
So, to seek help for an issue that is caused from preset programming by placing your child in a classroom-style tutoring group, that also follows a preset curriculum, may not be the wisest choice.
2. What are the benefits of group tutoring?
2.1. Works well for enhancing existing skills.
There is a difference between tutoring, which is required for learners who are struggling or have some foundational gaps in their knowledge, and extending a self directed child’s ability through extra work and repetition.
Group tutoring programs works wonderfully for the latter group of learners who need to enhance their skills and solidify their understanding of concepts already grasped.
However, for learners who need help understanding they can further compound the problem.
3. What are the benefits of one-on-one private tutoring?
3.1. Maximum contact time
This type of tutoring works really well in that it champions the role of the human tutor and the maximum amount of contact time between the learner and the tutor.
The tutor is able to adapt and discern what concepts have been grasped and direct the child towards understanding whilst building towards the set objectives for each lesson.
The tutor gets to know your child on a personal level and can adapt curriculum to your child’s interests which makes the lessons more relevant to the child and allows for learning at it’s best.
3.2. Curriculum Flexibility
As discussed above, learners all have different needs. It is essential for a tutor to be able to adapt and change their programs and lessons to each individual learners needs.
One-on-one private tutoring allows for this curriculum flexibility and the the ability of the tutor to adapt to the knowledge gaps your child has and be flexible in the solutions offered which is vital to success.
4. Why doesn’t one-on-one private tutoring work?
4.1. Development of Dependency
There are also some drawback to this method of tutoring. Due to the nature of the human connection and the professional relationships built between the learner and the tutor your child can develop a dependence on that tutor and their style of teaching.
This can pose problems, when a tutor moves away or is sick as it breaks the rhythm and confidence that your child has built up.
These fundamental pillars of tutoring success can fall down as they can become tied to a particular tutor, leaving you back at square one.
4.2. Teacher and Tutor Progression Throughout School
Every tutor has different skills and different abilities. Some are specialists at primary school and some specialise in years 6-10 and other in years 11 - 12.
So if your child is dependent on a particular tutor or style, it can be difficult for them to adapt as they progress through the years and have to adjust to new tutors.
This can also lead to an inability to adapt to new class teachers as the child progresses through school.
4.3. Lack of Variety Can Reduce Enthusiasm
The other issue we have found is that a lot of the learners we teach need variety to stay enthused.
It often happens that a child will need some help in a particular area and once they have received the help the lessons become stale and the child becomes less interested in going to the lessons.
This is due to a lack of variety from the tutor. Tutors tend to deliver concepts in similar ways and this can get repetitive.
Using the same games and tactics can lead to demotivation.
You’re ultimately relying on one person's strengths and weaknesses to teach your child and although that does provide consistency in learning it can be challenging to keep a child interested week after week.
4.4. Pressure and Anxiety Can Hinder Learning
One-on-one private tutoring can also lead to a level of discomfort for your child and the build up of pressure when it is there turn to work.
As there is only one other person in the room many children feel that they are under the spotlight and this can negatively affect their confidence, leaving them feeling tense and anxious which is the opposite of what a tutor wants to be doing.
What makes Big Improvements Tutoring So Different?
1. All the Benefits, None of the Hassle
We take the best of one-on-one tutoring and groups tutoring and combine them into one unique solution.
Our solution will give your child the best chance to succeed at school and to boost their confidence in learning.
Our solution offers maximum teacher contact time combined with flexibility and adaptability to meet your child’s learning needs whilst keeping them engaged and enthused week by week.
2. Boosting Confidence, Reducing Anxiety
We also combat the feelings of anxiety and discomfort by letting your child work alongside a study buddy who is also on their own individual plan.
This allows your child to learn to be confident in making mistakes around a peer without the chance of being ridiculed
3. Reduction of Dependency
We also change your child’s tutors from time to time, allowing your child to get a fresh approach or outlook on their work.
We also find that if your child hears from multiple sources how well they are doing and receives encouragement from multiple role model figures their confidence shoots to new heights. This new found confidence enables learning to happen at an exponential level.
So where does your child fit in, if your child is a top achieving, self directed learner and you are looking to improve a few grades or solidify there current knowledge then a group program is best suited for your child.
If your child is struggling and needs help with understanding, individual attention and a fun and relaxed learning environment the one-on-one tutoring beside a friend is where you need to be.