When looking for tuition or after-school learning support for their children, parents are often torn between engaging a private tutor or opting for group tuition. Having children of my own and based on my school and also 1-to-1 tutoring experiences, I would like to share with you my insight on the pros and cons of each option.
The most important factor to consider is your child. It seems like the obvious right?
Well, children really differ in their learning styles. Some children are used to being the centre of attention and having close interaction with adults. They do not enjoy learning in a group setting, whereby their answers and opinions are often challenged or question by their peers. Very shy children or some with special needs feel threatened when they are required to speak in front of their peers but are comfortable interacting with a trusted adult.
Some children, on the other hand, thrive on interacting with their peers. They want to share their ideas and listen to the feedback from their classmates and teachers. Another group of children like challenges. They want to pit their ability against others so that they have a sense of where they themselves stand. To them, the gushing of adrenalin to complete the assigned task faster and better than others, spurs them to work harder. These children enjoy learning with others and benefit from the group dynamics.
In my opinion, I would prefer children to learn in groups. There is a good number of research literature to support peer learning and its benefits. In class, I’ve often seen my students taking notes of ideas and vocabulary contributed by their classmates during class. For my upper primary, I like to let them discuss MCQ answers in their groups before revealing the solution. I love to see the children tell each other,” See…I told you!”
In situations like this, the learning sticks for life. It totally surpasses a teacher telling their students repeatedly what they should or should not know. In a small learning group environment, lessons are focused and the children can benefit from both peer learning and close supervision by their teacher. This is probably the best setting for learning to take place!
What do you think?