Recently the Wall Street Journal published an article titled "The $4 Million Teacher". This article discussed the education system in South Korea with an interesting duality - classroom lectures juxtaposed with intense tutoring sessions. Further this article cites a very important statistic: 47% of eighth graders in south korea are ranked as "advanced", while only 7% of eighth graders in the United States meet that same criteria. While we may not be able to attribute the entirety of this discrepancy to tutoring, I'd like to think tutoring plays a large part.
We know that the U.S. education system is not up to par, ranking 17th globally based on the widely reported EIU's ranking system which looks at high school graduation rates and literacy rates. Perhaps this is where tutoring can help - the one-on-one relationship that exists between a student and their tutor can both increase a students understanding of the material (areas that a well-trained tutor can specifically...
An interesting concept, and one I use often - tutoring is most effective when done through asking questions. Questions not only engage both the student and tutor in more of a conversational learning style, but this method also draws more information into the equation; an idea which may better help both parties in the long run.
Far too often I have seen tutors sit down and meticulously solve problems for their student; a process that does not benefit anyone in the long run. Only by asking the critical questions, having students talk their thought process aloud, and involving the student can we ensure full comprehension. The more a tutor knows about their student (their strengths, weaknesses, and thoughts), the more tailored the teaching methods can be.
Further, I find this empowers the student. Having a conversation about a problem brings out the questions that may have been left unanswered, rather than leaning towards memorization of a solution or process. Education is...