Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The benefits of tutoring?

Interesting article in the Washington Post today about federally funded tutors. I did not know that students that fail to meet targets for 3 years in a row get federally funded tutoring - but it seems like this provision is paying off, at least for some students. The more important question this article raises is whether tutoring is, at its core, helpful and/or essential.

Here's why it's helpful and/or essential - sometimes a teacher's style does not connect well with a certain student, leading to results that are not up to a student's (or parent's) desired level. This difficulty to connect is no surprise because most class sizes have enough students that a teacher can't teach directly to every student whereas in a 1 to 1 tutoring session a (good) tutor can adapt to a student's needs. To me, this is the chief benefit of tutoring over teaching in a classroom. It's also why I've never understood certain services that offer to do test prep or class tutoring but all they're do is cram 15-20 students in a room and teach them like a normal class.

The other key here, in regards to tutoring, is how affordable (and thus in many cases available) tutoring should be to students. I would venture to say that most of the federally funded tutors are tutoring lower income students - but I wonder if these lower income students would "upgrade" to higher priced services if money were not an issue. Furthermore, I wonder if the results of their tests would further improve. We'll never know, at least until affordable tutoring is provided in all the metro areas of the study cited above.

1 comment:

Chase Howard said...

Thanks for sharing this! My family knows how much tutoring can help someone because my little brother has been struggling in math. So we got him a Los Angeles tutoring to help him get better at it.