There are many kinds of tuition services being provided. For example, ‘tuition’ in learning centres tend to be a lecture-cum-tutorial in groups that are typically more than five in size, with some even up to 30 0r 40 students in one class, whereas ‘home tuition’ is commonly understood to be one-to-one tuition in the student’s home. In our opinion, there are fundamentally three types of ‘tuition’:
(1) Group Tuition
This type of tuition usually occurs in ‘learning centres’. Students are grouped into classes by subject and level and sometimes even stream (eg. Express, Through-train, Normal Academic, GEP etc). Class sizes typically range from 8 to 15, although sizes of 30 and even 60 have been known to exist. Does this form of tuition work? The answer is both Yes and No:
It works when the tutor is very charismatic, humorous, witty and able to use a variety of techniques to deliver his lessons. From the feedback that we gather from students who attend such large-group tuition, it appears that this form of tuition works by motivating students to work harder. It is similar to having a very good, inspiring classroom teacher. That is why, in many such centres, students or parents actually look for the time slot of a particular “star tutor” for lessons. It appears that when the tutor is very good, the quality of the lesson content is not so critical as motivated students actually read and do more work at home.
However, in the absence of a “star tutor”, such large-size groups suffer from the same problems encountered in lessons conducted in a typical school classroom, such as insufficient attention given to each student, mismatch between teaching style and learning style, mismatch between standard of lesson and standard of students, just to name a few. About such tuition groups, some of our students have this to say,”If the group is big and the tutor lectures like a school teacher, then what’s the difference between attending school and attending tuition?”
(2) Individualized Consultations
This type of tuition usually occurs in the tutor’s home. Students are not necessarily grouped by subject or level because each student is coached individually. The tutor teaches one student who needs help, while the rest are given relevant work, and then moves on to inspect the work of another student or attend to one who needs help. Because students are attended to individually, the group size is usually kept small, from about two to five students. Does this form of tuition work? The answer is both Yes and No:
It works because students only do work that meets their own current needs in school, instead of having to listen to a lecture that is not relevant to their school work, is too simple or is too high-level for them. Compared to group tutorials, this form of tuition is more effective in attending to the learner’s individual needs. And compared to one-to-one tuition, this type of tuition gives the student some time to do work on his or her own instead of being observed all the time by a tutor. Having to wait for one’s turn to ask the tutor also forces the student to think harder about the the problem he is trying to solve instead of immediately asking the tutor whenever he meets an obstacle.
However, Individualized Consultations may not work when the student is completely lost in school, thus requiring the tutor to actually sit beside the student and explain the topic from square one. It also works less effectively when the student is too shy to ask questions or when the group size is too big and the tutor is unable to give enough attention to each student.
(3) One-to-one Tuition | Individual Tuition
This type of tuition usually occurs in the student’s home. Understandably it is the most expensive form of tuition by hourly rate, but unfortunately, it may not always be the most effective. It is good for students who are completely lost in school, or students who have trouble learning in social environments. It is effective only if the student asks a lot of questions, because otherwise the lesson will be not much different from the one the student gets in school, unless the tutor is a “star-tutor”. Even then, learning takes place only when the learner is challenged or is in doubt, so the tutee still has to do some problem-solving to demonstrate understanding, leaving the tutor with little to do in the meantime while still being highly paid. Some of our students admit that one-to-one tuition is not very academically benefitial nor cost-effective, but it is what their parents want.
If you are keen to attend our tuition lessons, or you have further questions, kindly contact us at 97860411. Thank you.
By EX-MOE TEACHERS & EXPERIENCED TUTORS
@ BLK 644, BUKIT BATOK CENTRAL, #01-68. S(650644).
CALL 65694897 OR SMS 98530744 OR 97860411.
Singapore Learner provides Group Tuition, Individual Tuition, Intensive Revision, Enrichment Workshops, Headstart Classes and Crash Courses at the Primary, Secondary and Junior College levels in the areas of A.Math, Pure Physics, Pure Chemistry, Science, Economics, and General Paper for the Singapore A-Levels, O-Levels and PSLE.