In Defence of Tutoring

Time was when private tutoring was the preserve of the home-schooled, the wealthy, and the panicked student cramming before crucial exams. In recent years, however, with pressure for university places increasing, with grade inflation blurring the lines between the good and the best, and with universities paying closer attention not just to exam grades but also to individual module scores, the private tutor has become an essential part of the educational landscape.

Indeed, private tutors have become so central to successful exam preparation that 2016 has been described as 'the year of the private tutor'. Tutoring gets results, too. The Daily Telegraph, for example, has written that private tutoring is 'time well invested...[that] can provide the help your child needs to progress'.

But why does private tutoring work? What sets it apart from traditional forms of teaching? What makes the difference in the final analysis? Well, for Grove Tutors, it's easy to explain.

First, there's the simple question of numbers. Teachers in normal-sized classrooms might have to divide their attention between 20 and 30 pupils; even in smaller classes the ratio of teachers to pupils could still be 10:1. With Grove Tutors, however, the individual pupil is the focus of our tutors' undivided attention, and so the only things that matter to us are the challenges faced by the individual student. It's a matter of concentration versus dilution.

Second, there is the question of expertise. Of course, the average teacher will know the subject and the syllabus, but Grove Tutors handpicks tutors who hold a degree in the relevant subject and have excellent testimonials to endorse their tutoring. So, whether the challenge lies in explaining vertical matrices, the motifs of As You Like It, or organic chemical compounds, our tutors have all the answers.

Third, tutoring brings with it a measure of discipline and focus that traditional teaching simply cannot. For example, in an eighty-minute 'A'-Level class, there is ample opportunity to drift off, to daydream, or to slip under the radar. With Grove Tutors, however, our pupils are constantly engaged and challenged for the duration of their lessons, and this intensity brings results.

Yet the most important reason for tutoring's success is this: in a private tutorial, the pupil is not simply one among many, or the latest person to pass through the exam 'machine', but an individual whose ideas are encouraged, whose questions are answered, and whose contributions to rewarding and stimulating intellectual debates are welcomed. Indeed, to borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, Grove Tutors never let our pupils' education get in the way of their learning.

In these ways, our methods are no different from those employed at world-class universities. Weekly hour-long tutorials - or 'supervisions' - are the norm at both Oxford and Cambridge, while postgraduate researchers around the world are given a supervisor or advisor to guide them personally through their studies.

If you would like to learn more, please feel free to call us on 0208 123 9050 or submit the Contact Form on our website.