Is there a stigma around tutoring? How other countries approach tutoring

It might be a tough thing for students and their parents to come to terms with, but sometimes, they need tutoring to get them through subjects at school.

But why, after so many decades of kids getting extra help in class, is getting a tutor in mathematics, for example, still so taboo in the United States?

Before the COVID-19 days, teachers would usually provide extra help to a group of students, as opposed to private one-on-one sessions. In other countries, private tutoring takes on a different spin to assure that their equivalent of elementary school, middle school, or high school students can succeed.

Let’s take a look at a few examples, and see if there is room to apply other countries’ methods here.

Tutoring across the pond

In the United Kingdom, the private tutoring market is valued at £2 billion per year, which converts to nearly $2.6 billion in the U.S. Private lessons are often taught by students and teachers, who work as personal tutors, as a side gig to their full-time employment.

But as would be the case in any school, tutors keep things professional in their attire, from business casual to a boat neck dress, in order to keep the same rapport between teacher and pupil.

Much like in the United States, tutors in the U.K. work on an hourly rate, with families normally opting for in-home tutoring for their children. However, it is a stigma for some students in the U.S. and abroad, to conduct tutor sessions in-person.

This has led to the emergence of apps like HelloThinkster, that provide tutoring through assistive technologies, allowing students to grasp their struggling in anything from calculus to algebra at their own pace, but whilst keeping everything online.

Virtual tutoring and much of academic learning is now an online experience as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been advantageous for younger students who are better adapted to digital applications and assistive technologies to learn through the likes of Zoom, and even online testing.

Getting the full lesson in India

Access to tutoring in India is dependent on the resources available to families, with mainly the middle and upper classes only being able to afford tutoring services. Children from lower income households are unfortunately left to fend for themselves most of the time, with their math homework and test preparation. 

The underlying issue of private lessons in India, is that students may sometimes be only receiving half of their teaching during school lessons, so parents are forced to pay for private tutoring and test prep to get the other half of the facts.

This is different in the United States. For example, mathematics tutors in the U.S. may not provide a full session on the subject, but instead center in on what aspects a student is struggling with the most, in mathematics.

Math tutoring centers utilize teachers with years of tutoring experience to help kids in a range of various math courses focus in on issues, by devoting a tutor session and follow-up work on it.

Australia making changes

Australia has seen huge reforms in recent years to their education system, rooting students with intensive programs (such as the ABC to VCE tutor program) from a young age. However, high school-equivalent education is conducted in a larger class than in the U.S, where learning is completed over just minimal hours of in-class instruction.

Schools in Australia reinforce individual learning with teacher-pupil mentoring, emphasizing that one-on-one sessions are in fact greater in teaching math and any other subject as a means of test preparation for growing minds.

The emphasis of these teacher-pupil interactions has been brought to the forefront by online learning, with personalized attention developed to allow for virtual sessions focusing solely on a student’s weak points, and then strengthening them. This also becomes a focus in testing like SAT math, Algebra II, and other AP and advanced courses.

Math courses of all kinds are available through tutoring services and, depending on a teacher’s years of experience, can best benefit your student.