It is always discouraging to be stuck academically and because schools normally build information sequentially, the inability to understand a topic often hinders progression to the next. Tutors can come to the rescue.
Many parents think that tuition is beneficial to
their children and while I do agree after school temporary tuition should be
procured when the students need to get over the hump sometimes, I don't think mandatory tuition should be encouraged.
I am curious if people realize
that long term tuition can be
detrimental as it robs a student of a chance to develop great non-cognitive
skills that is vital for academic success at more advanced stages.
My aversion for tuition starts with its instrumentality in dividing our society from the have's and have not's. Parents with herd's mentality jump quickly onto the bandwagon believing and seeing temporal lustrous results in their younger years.
While it is true in any hothousing
setting that immediate result can be achieved and hence may open more
educational opportunities for the students when they were young I wonder
if any parent ever thought of the detrimental effects of tuition on
Students need to want to achieve and learn how to motivate themselves, and tuition removes the need for them to learn that almost completely.
I was told that people send their children as young as five years old for phonics tuition these days, and some 12-year-olds spend more than eight hours a week having tuition!
If you consider 30 hours of school, 8 hours of CCA, 10 hours of homework, an average student already has a whopping 48-hour work week, and parents load another 8-12 hours of tuition... not including the transport time. Where would the child have a chance to think about his dreams, his passion and his direction in life?
How would he ever find the skills to
manage his own schedule if he continues to run everywhere for this and
that, and none planned by him?How will he have the time to dream and be creative?
Why then, are we surprised when many
18-year-olds have not nurtured a passion or found a calling by the time
they start their university studies? (I am not talking about their
parents' passion or calling.)
Most good tutors have systems and methodologies to help their students achieve high scores in standardized exams, and that is bad. Of course that sounds absurd, because scoring well in standardized exams is good, but not if your answers were created by someone else and regurgitated or reworded for exams.
the midst, the student would have lost the problem solving opportunity.
In 'rescuing' them too quickly from difficult questions and problems,
we save time and help them score higher in exams, but we rob them of that
opportunity to develop their thinking skills in critical
situations. They would have also lost the chance to develop grit and problem solving skills. Instead, we develop their remembering skills, which is the lowest in the hierarchy of thinking skills in Bloom's Taxonomy.*
If you work or study in an
international environment where your colleagues do not come from a hot
housing atmosphere, you will know the delight of watching even an
average student or worker think and create his/her own solutions, while
those heavily tutored are always looking for the single 'right'
answer that pleases either the lecturer or the boss, because they have always been fed with the right answers.
As the lecturer and an ex-boss, let me tell you that no single right answer exists in the university or in the real world. So, students who are brought up to look for them are sadly disillusioned and take a longer time to get accustomed to this fact, and learn to create solutions they believe in.
course, I understand why everyone is still going to tuition and that
some of our best teachers are still leaving public schools to become
highly-paid tutors. And it is because it makes complete sense in the
current situation where competition is paramount in our society. But is
I have always had difficulty believing competition against peers is important, even when I was the CEO, and even when I was a competitive athlete. The best competition is within oneself, to always want to better oneself and achieve a higher goal than one has already attained, and it need not matter what others have achieved, whether they are better or worse.
Beating a peer can never justify an ego trip, and failing is never about losing face.
If we need to teach our students
that the only way to prove that they are worthy is to have a high PSLE
T-score (on a bell-curve), straight A's for 'O' levels and 'A' levels,
perfect IB and SAT scores, then we have completely missed out teaching
them anything important, except to chase for academic results blindly.
Fortunately, most of us who have been through these know the limitations of mere academic results, yet we repeat the same process with our little ones.
Employees and university entrance committees know that good candidates possess great non-cognitive skills. That is why, they look for other qualities: their abilities to
think on their feet, articulate their own thoughts, and communicate
Therefore, even straight A's students might not get into the door if they pale in comparison to those with less dazzling academic results but with great social and emotional skills. And even if they get in the door, they may not fair well unless they too unlearn their bad habits learned through tuition and acquire the proper and more important abilities.
education system have us parents and educators going in circles chasing
after the bell curve and standardized exams, but we have the fiduciary
duty to ensure that in chasing these, we do not compromise our values and deprive our kids of learning important skills.
So before you recommend or sign someone up for another tuition or enrichment class, look at the student again: give it a second thought, and him/her another vote of confidence and believe that he/she can do without it.