Why does one-to-one private maths tuition work?
Private tuition, once reserved solely for the privileged few, is now more accessible than it has ever been. It has been reported that 25% of London parents alone hire a private tutor for their child. Parents have been shown to be willing to spend up to £60 an hour investing in their child’s education. The government were so convinced by the power of private tuition; they decided to invest millions into the one-to-one tuition program in schools. So we know that private maths tuition works, but why? In this article I’ll break down six crucial factors driving the success behind private maths tuition.
It allows learning to be personalised
One-to-one means just that, one teacher, one student. Each student receives both unique focus and unique attention. Learning becomes personal to the learner, and this factor is crucial not only in determining how much an individual learns, but also the depth to which they learn. Learning is a personal experience. We each learn differently at different times in our lives. If a teacher sets out to teach an entire class how to measure bearings for example, but there are a few students who are able to grasp the concept within the first 10 minutes, it is a lot more difficult for that teacher to personalise their learning experience. With private tuition, the tutor is able to move on to something which extends learning at the precise moment it is required to do so.
Differentiation is a lot easier to achieve
Differentiation is the practice of teaching different aspects of a learning concept at greater and lesser degrees of difficulty. For example, a classroom teacher, when teaching how to find percentages of amounts, needs to prepare the lesson so that students who can find 10% of amounts, as well as students who can find 17 ½ % of amounts, both not only have something to do, but are both equally challenged. The private maths tutor is in a better position to do this effortlessly. As soon as students show signals that the work is too hard, or indeed too easy, they can change the task, ask a different question or consolidate prior knowledge. Which brings us to my next point.
Very similar to differentiation, learning always has specific pace. It takes time. How much time always depends, and the private tutor is an expert at gauging just when to turn up the volume.
No behavioural distractions
Whether it is the tutee themselves or one of their peers, minor behavioural disruptions are a part of modern day school life. All teachers accept this fact and parents must accept it too. The degree to which education is hindered through behavioural disruptions does of course depend. With private tuition those distractions simply do not exist, which means that the child can focus on learning, and the tutor can get on with teaching.
Due to the time and financial commitment that is involved when parents decide to take on a private tutor for their child, it usually comes with a sense of commitment, not only from the tutor, who is making his money by the hour, but also from the child. Having the close attention of a teacher might be a new experience for the child, and often, the effect of this is a greater commitment from them towards their own learning.
Good tutors tend to set clear goals and specific targets. Tuition, largely because of the money put into it, typically implies that someone, usually a parent, wants something to be achieved. The achievement desired from tuition can vary from seeing an increase in a child’s confidence and focus; improve their behaviour and punctuality at school; to get a specific grade in an exam; or simply just to enjoy mathematics more. In the realm of private tuition, tutors, parents and students are in a perfect position to set out as many or as few very specific, relevant and attainable goals. These goals won’t necessarily be driven by school targets, or goals laid out by the students’ school teacher, but can be as individualistic and personalised as parents desire.
There are many reasons why one-to-one maths tuition works. Learning in a group or school setting of course has its place too. Perhaps what cannot be overlooked is that the tutor also has to be an excellent teacher of their subject. Tutors may not be required to wave jazz hands as much as they are expected to in the classroom, however there is no reason why private maths tuition shouldn’t also be fun, engaging and a safe place where the experience of learning is both positive and rewarding for the student.
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