Updated: Jul 30, 2020
CCA commitments, extra classes, homework, distractions... These leave students with doubts and questions that cause them to fall behind in school. Tuition provides guidance and support to students, bridging gaps in their understanding and solidifying their foundation in the subject.
A first-world dilemma that parents or students themselves face today — should we invest in private tuition or a tuition centre? The concern is often which is more suitable for the student, given his or her different learning style.
At tuition centres, lessons are often conducted in groups where students are given time to practice and approach the tutor, while consolidating key concepts in an environment that allows them to work with others.
Collaborative Environment Small group tuitions emphasise the value of a collaborative work environment, as it teaches them to work with others to solve problems. By sharing their own ideas and perspectives and have them be evaluated by others, it hones their critical thinking skills.
Ample Attention and Practice In groups, the tutor will move around the class, attending to the needs of each student. This gives each student time to ask the teacher questions, and time to practice on their own.
Healthy, Positive Competition A healthy amount of competition in small groups pushes students to maximise their true potential and discourages complacency as they become more aware of the value of doing well.
Have Fun, Foster Friendships Engaging in discussions allows students to forge bonds with their peers and enjoy lessons more. Exposure and working with different people builds social skills and increases their confidence in communicating with others.
Distractions Some students may be distracted easily and lose focus on the lesson, affecting their progress.
Pace of Class Different students have different learning speeds and some may be unable to keep up with the pace of the class. There may also be shy and introverted students who find it difficult to speak up in a group.
Not All Needs Can Be Met The tutor has to divide his attention equally among students, while some may struggle more and require more attention. Tutors may be unable to provide sufficient attention to every student, leaving the student’s questions unsolved.
The Disadvantage of Competition Competition remains a double-edged sword when students take it negatively. Some students may feel pressured when they do not perform as well as compared to their peers, causing them to lose confidence in themselves.
Having tuition in groups allows students a taste of the real world — engaging in discussions to solve issues, facing competition from others with the same goals, and also making new friends who can help them along the way.
At Math Academia, students engage in group discussions from time to time and use critical thinking skills to solve math problems together. In our friendly and collaborative environment, students can make long lasting friendships with both classmates and tutors, making learning Mathematics more enjoyable, and be more confident in speaking out.
1-1 tuition entails a more customised approach to teaching the student where tutors can adjust the pace and focus of the lesson based on the student’s needs.
More Specialized Attention The tutor is able to cater to the individual needs of the student and provide more customised lessons for the student, such as extra help understanding certain topics. With more attention also comes less distraction, as the student has the full attention of the tutor.
Flexible Scheduling of Lessons Truth to be told, it is easier to find a tutor to fit your schedule rather than change your entire schedule to fit a lesson in.
One Foot Too Slow Although the tutor may be able to meet the needs of the student, the pace may be too slow compared to the pace in school and not all topics can be covered as in depth. The lack of competition in a 1-1 tuition setting may not spur the student to his or her fullest potential, and may become too comfortable with their learning pace.
Lack of Independence When faced with problems, the student may directly ask their tutor for answers, which results in them not having the chance to discuss the problem, do some critical thinking or self-research.
Purely. Just. Academics. In a 1-1 situation, students do not have peers to discuss or share experiences with. Students may find lessons less enjoyable and boring, lowering their productivity. Also, with the lack of collaborative work, students will not receive a holistic learning experience.
Hit or Miss? Private tutors retrieved by tuition agencies could have strong academic qualifications but not be able to teach well. The student may end up with a tutor who is not qualified or unsuitable for their learning style.
Private tuition negates the problems of a large classroom such that students can receive adequate attention to clear their doubts and learn at a suitable pace to make lessons more effective. However, a good tuition centre does have advantages that private tutors do not offer.
As with other difficult choices we have to make, these choices have their pros and cons as well. A good choice better satisfies the needs of the student and allows the student to perform well.
About Math Academia
Our tutors at Math Academia are ready to offer you the best of both worlds. We have an interactive style of teaching involving discussions, and supported by resourceful materials. Students here find it easier to grasp key mathematical concepts and build a solid understanding of topics, while becoming confident learners.
We conduct small group size classes of about 6-10 students depending on the popularity of the class but are capped at a maximum of 12 to ensure efficient teaching and learning. This allows students to receive enough attention as well as adequate time to practice and consolidate their knowledge.
Like private tuition, our students have round-the-clock WhatsApp support from our tutors to clarify doubts. To ensure that the student is on par with the speed of teaching in school, teaching here is set to the right pace so that the entire syllabus can be covered well. Fret not about the choice of tutor as Math Academia’s tutors are all NIE-trained and up-to-date with the latest syllabus taught in local schools. Most importantly, we take genuine interest in the student’s welfare and academic development, pushing them towards academic excellence.
The crux of the matter lies in the needs and learning style of the student. An informed decision is crucial in order for tuition to be effective and to help the student improve.
Here’s some food for thought for the student when deciding between a private tutor or a tuition centre:
Do you have a competitive spirit and take challenges as opportunities to improve?
Are you easily distracted in class?
Do you avoid class participation?
Do you need more concept practice or need help relearning/understanding the concept?
What is your budget on tuition fees?
The ideal choice will be one that you or your child is happy with and will learn to love the subject through lessons. Falling behind in school is absolutely common, but it is the effort the student puts in that will enable them to perform well.
With all that’s been said, the decision lies in your hands. Math Academia wishes you all the best in finding a suitable tutor and we hope to be one of your considerations when looking for a good tuition centre!