Teaching and tutoring are two methods of education that are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. There are significant differences between these two methods and understanding them can help students and parents make informed decisions about the type of education they want to receive.
Teaching is a formal method of education that takes place in a classroom or school setting, including further education e.g. university. It typically involves a teacher who is trained and qualified to teach a specific subject up to a specific level. The teacher creates a lesson plan and teaches a curriculum that covers a broad range of topics and skills. The teacher's goal is to impart knowledge to the students and help them develop critical thinking skills as well as prepare them for formal assessments in whichever certification they are operating in. You can see more information on the responsibilities of a teacher here.
On the other hand, tutoring is a more informal method of education that is usually one-on-one or in small groups. Tutors are usually subject matter experts who are hired to help students who are struggling with a specific subject or topic. Tutors may help students with homework, prepare them for assessments, or teach them specific skills they need to succeed in a particular subject and/or assessment.
One of the most significant differences between teaching and tutoring is the level of personalisation. Teachers have to design lessons that cater to the needs of an entire class, which can be challenging, especially if there are students with different learning styles and abilities. In contrast, tutors can customise their entire approach to suit the learning style and pace of each individual student, leading to more individual and independent outcomes. This personalised approach can be especially helpful for students who need extra attention or who are struggling with a specific topic. You can see our post about tailoring to learning styles here.
Another significant difference between teaching and tutoring is the scope of the curriculum. Teachers are typically responsible for teaching a broad range of topics and skills within a specific subject. They are also responsible for assessing student performance and giving grades. In contrast, tutors may focus on one or two specific topics or skills within a subject. They may not be responsible for grading students, but they may provide feedback to the students and their parents. This feedback, paired with the continual practice done by the students, can be invaluable for their progress.
Cost is also a significant difference between teaching and tutoring. Teaching is usually provided as part of a formal education system and is funded by the government or private institutions. In contrast, tutoring is typically a paid service that is provided by private individuals or companies. We've wrote already about how to negotiate your tutoring price here. The cost of tutoring can vary depending on the subject, the tutor's experience, and the location.
Lastly, tutoring can also be invaluable for individuals learning a new skill, as they get the subject matter expert they require outside of the traditional classroom. Anyone who learns under an expert, be that: a yoga instructor, boxing coach, learn a trade etc. is receiving tuition of some sort, as specialist knowledge is being provided by the person leading the class.
In conclusion, teaching and tutoring are two different methods of education, each with its strengths and weaknesses, but both methods want the student to succeed. Teaching is a formal method of education that takes place in a classroom setting and covers a broad range of topics and skills. Tutoring is a more informal method of education that is typically one-on-one or in small groups and focuses on specific topics or skills. Understanding the differences between these two methods can help students and parents make informed decisions about the type of education they want. You can see some ways to make that informed decision here.
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