There are umpteen examples of how good tutors have made a big difference to the results. These are certain instances that lead us to think why some students benefit out of tutoring. But the lingering question that confronts many parents is "I spent a fortune on tutoring on my child....But he failed/ secured no where near
what we expected?" This is the majority opinion among parents here in Dubai.
Most of them are spending their life savings to educate their kids so that "IVY League" dreams come
true. My experience as a tutor (last 10 years) led me to analyse hundreds of students as they learn maths & physics. An interesting pattern that I observed among majority of students is that they learn by examples.What the teachers cannot explain in the classrooms can be achieved in a much shorter time in a tutoring session by devising a clear methodology of understanding a student's learning pathways. I do not intend to publish a research paper!!
A very simple solution to a complex problem in maths makes me wonder sometimes, how easy it is to teach/ tutor a student whose learning pathways have been mapped.By mappping, I mean his approach towards a particular concept in Maths/ Science. There are no special techniques to map these pathways. Certain key aspects are notedwhen a student is learning. These could be attention span, thinking process, handwriting analysis...and so on. Only with experience and open ended approach,a tutor can determine these complex set of interlinkings within a student's academic make up.
A careful examination of students' approach to math topics led me to establish a predictive model that attempts to put students in "achievement sets". My tutoring is always in small groups and NEVER in individual (one-to-one) format. I strongly believe that a student learns better when he's in a small group. Interaction leads to higher performance and increased level of understanding among students. This is true with Maths & science subjects. It may differ for other subjects.
Dubai's unique lifestyle and its surroundings also shapes a student's academic performance. Hence,it is not fair to compare a student in dubai with his counterpart in the UK / Singapore.They both have different lifestyles and consequently different approaches to learning the same concept. Every concept in Math / science needs to be imbibed with practical / day to day examples. It works wonders with the students and makes learning process extremely interesting and lively.
Another important aspect that determines the success of tutoring in enhancing a student's perfromance is the time for which the tuitions are imparted. Generally,most parents hire tutors 2 months before the exams. This may not be advisable. The parents must hire a licensed tutor who will work out a reasonable fee structure
that suits everyone and thus give the tutoring over a larger span of time. Many tutors in Dubai charge premium prices which hampers this noble profession.It creates a "Monster" image of all tutors in the minds of parents and students. The unresonable fees that some tutors charge have done more damage to this professionthan the quality of tutoring!!
The quality of Maths / Science tutoring in Dubai is another aspect which needs to be thought over. A careful examination of tutor's background, his license, experience and past references may be a good starting point. It is important to visit the tutor's premises/ office (licensed) before signing up. Many tutorsclaim that they are licensed and that there is no license required for tutoring etc...Don't take a chance. Ask him / her a simple question: Where is your office?We want to visit you before we sign up. This way we can ensure that every Tom, Dick and Harry doesn't fool a parent and a student's career by posing as a tutor.