This question is on the top of many parents’ minds since we came out of the pandemic. What are the signs that my child needs help? What are the benefits of hiring a tutor? And what tutoring program is best? But before we tackle the big question ‘Does my child need tutoring?’, let us put the situation into perspective.
We will look at the 2018 PISA Report (Programme for International Student Assessment-operates under OECD) aimed to measure the education performance systems of countries. An organisation composed of 37 countries that develop policy standards to promote sustainable economic growth. Some member countries include Australia, Japan, France, the UK, Finland, Singapore, and South Korea.
Australia is in 29th place in Maths, 17th in Science and 16th in Reading.
The UK places 18th in Maths, 14th in Science and Reading.
If you look at Australia’s scores for these three areas between 2000 to 2018, Australia’s performance has been slowly declining, threatening to drop below the OECD average.
On the other hand, Singapore and South Korea rank among the top 10 nations in all three tested subjects. The 2018 PISA Report provides the following rankings.
- China (591 pts)
- Singapore (569 pts)
- Macao (558 pts)
- Japan (527 pts)
- South Korea (526 pts)
- China (590 pts);
- Singapore (551 pts)
- Macao (544 pts)
- Estonia (530 pts)
- Japan (529 pts)
- Finland (522 pts)
- South Korea (519 pts)
- China (555 pts)
- Singapore (549 pts)
- Macao (525 pts)
- South Korea (514 pts)
What explains such high performances? School support? Tutoring or personalised classes?
In Singapore, more than 90% of primary school students attend private tutoring classes or other remedial courses.
77% of up to 15-year-old students in South Korea, Japan and Shanghai participate in after-school programmes.
These results equate to higher academic performance and entry to high-quality secondary schools and prestigious universities. This is likely to translate into better employment opportunities and higher living standards. Parents in these countries perceive that not attending a tutoring programme places children at a disadvantage.
Why is this important? Is it because our education system is not working? Is it because our school system is failing our children?
The answer is NO.
Schools have teachers. By definition, a teacher’s role is to teach a certain subject according to the school syllabus usually with one teacher to many students of varying abilities.
There are many factors affecting student performance:
- Quality of teachers
- One teacher to many
It is not the teacher’s or the education system’s fault. All it means is that there is room for improvement and greater support is needed for students. Our teachers are overworked and understaffed and the biggest factor is that all students can’t learn at the same level. The reality is that teachers are required to deliver a set curriculum when everyone learns differently and at different speeds.
So what do we do to improve Australian children’s academic performance?
Should we all go in droves and start searching for the best tutoring programme?
Parents should be asking the following questions:
What are the signs of my child needing help?
- Drop in confidence levels. They are not reading or writing as well as their peers.
- Less than favourable school report.
- They hate going to school. Frustration with the subjects and say they don’t understand certain concepts or find it boring.
- Change in school or teacher. A teacher has told you that your child is struggling to keep up.
- They think school is too easy and needs a challenge.
Here are some additional ways to develop confidence in your child with a tutor.
What are the benefits of hiring a tutor?
- Students can learn at their own pace.
- Students take responsibility for their studies.
- Tutors can give a new perspective.
- Tutors can help create realistic study habits.
- Tutors can target specific learning gaps
- Tutoring can improve self-esteem.
Here’s an article for more information.
What tutoring programme is best?
Teaching uses a methodology to suit the skills or learning of the majority in the class. Whereas, tutoring facilitates student learning in a personalised, flexible way with an individualised approach.
Tutoring an individual or a group aims to assist and guide them to the point where they become an independent learner and no longer require a tutor.
Several forms of tutoring programmes are available:
- Specific tutoring for exams like NAPLAN, Opportunity Classes (OC ), Selective School or Newman Programme, HSC. The commitment level is usually 3-6 months.
- Tutoring by individual or specific subject – Maths, English, Biology, Chemistry. The commitment level is usually 3-6 months.
- Private one-to-one tutors. The commitment level is usually 3-6 months.
- Coaching or Enhancement Programmes- builds foundational skills. Aimed at pursuing the student’s potential and study beyond their school level. Maths and or English. The commitment level is usually a minimum of 6 months.
“As an Educator that was formerly a school teacher; learning is not a one-off or short-term activity. Learning is a lifelong activity” – Eye Level Instructor, Liverpool.
Everything in life is about preparation. The best time to start your child’s learning journey is when they are at preschool. Building the study routine and learning how to learn is key to their future success. Many parents believe that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
This however is not true when it comes to your child’s education. It is best to invest in their education early on before they fall behind.
In my experience, the best tutoring for children is an enhancement or coaching programme. In normal tutoring, the student can only go up to the skill level of their tutor. Whereas an enhancement or coaching programme can help you to discover the potential of your child. They can be developed to surpass the coach’s skills, just like how Olympic swimmers train.
The question for people in the future is not what position or job I will have but “What problem can I solve?” Preparing your child to be able to tackle any problem in the world opens up all of the options to them, ready for choosing a University degree or otherwise. Imagine your child finishing High School and having unlimited options as to what career they would like to have. Your child can choose a career based on a variety of options rather than based on limitations.
Eye Level is one of the leading global supplementary education service providers aiming for our children to be critical thinkers with self-directed learning. With our global network of 20 countries, we provide Maths and English programmes based on self-directed learning instructions.