H2H: Are Tutors Effective in Helping Students Succeed?

January 17, 2019

Tutors are NOT effective

When students enter high school, the workload increases with more AP or college level classes that require significant time commitment, making it harder to cope with the stress of maintaining grades that meet expectations.

To help their children, parents often hire tutors to support students in achieving academic success. However, this is not necessarily the best course of action for every student’s academic future.
Tutoring has benefits because students can review content learned at school again in order to clarify misunderstandings and get personalized time with private tutors to work on the subject. Despite these short-term benefits, hiring a tutor can also lead to students receiving good grades but not effectively learning.

“Tutoring is expensive, the things that you can already do by yourself, it’s not worth getting tutors,” junior Yunseong Jung said. “I think most people don’t really know if they actually need tutoring or not so. You don’t learn when you are getting tutored. People expect their tutor to do everything for them.”

According to Reader’s Digest, while tutors are good for reviewing concepts or helping students comprehend new lessons, tutors can end up editing every piece of work a student submits and do their work for them. By setting this precedent that the student’s personally produced work is simply not sufficient, it can create a dependency on others and debilitate the learning capabilities of the student.

A tutor can cause problems for students due to a common belief that a tutor will eliminate the need to do extra work, and thus stop working as hard which can lead to bad results. While many tutors do a wonderful job actually helping students, parents run the risk that their child’s mentality may start to change, giving them an inflated confidence and possibly having a negative impact on the student.

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Simrat Singh, Editor-in-Chief

Simrat Singh is one of your 2019-2020 Co-Editors-In-Chief, for his third and final year in the Pilot! As Co-Editor-In-Chief, Simrat is ready to leave a...

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Tutors ARE effective

As students progress through their educational careers, they will undoubtedly encounter a challenging course, leading them to seek tutoring aid.

Tutoring, especially in academically-competitive regions such as Irvine, is a common phenomenon, as it provides a variety of benefits for students. Private tutoring, for example, offers one-on-one interactions between the tutor and student. This opens up the option for the tutor to shape his or her entire teaching method around the needs of the tutee. Instead of a teacher covering content for the general benefit of an entire class of students, the tutor can specialize his or her lessons in order to target the weaknesses of a single student.

According to Supporting Education, an online newsletter centered around education, one-on-one instruction eliminates most external distractions in a common classroom and can be used by tutors to devote all of their efforts toward a single student’s education. This often results in a richer learning experience than learning in groups.

Additionally, a Turkish study discovered that 15 year-old students who received private tutoring for mathematics saw improvements on exams; according to the study, one hour of tutoring is valued to be around 12 to 15 points on a test.

Many argue that tutoring is ineffective, as tutors may attempt to aid the learning of their tutees by doing their homework for them, opening up room for exploitation. However, according to The Conversation, an academic-focused media outlet, tutoring should aim at becoming a replication of what occurs within a classroom. The goal of tutoring is to allow students to function independently; a student’s growing dependence on a tutor should therefore be attributed to the inadequacy of the tutor rather than the tutoring process itself.

Although tutoring may not be a necessity to learners, it remains an incredibly valuable resource.

About the Writer
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Aaron Sha, Features Editor

Aaron Sha is the 2019-20 Features Editor for his third and, sadly, final year in the Portola Pilot. In this year, he hopes to bring the people and events...

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