How tutoring is taking pressure off teachers, parents

by Brett Henebery17 Aug 2015

Oftentimes, parents can be too busy to provide the kind of methodical and patient mentoring their kids need when studying for an exam, leaving them to sit up all night, and pour through their research material.

While this is the norm for many students, this all-too familiar scenario can have serious consequences for student health and learning.

A report in 2013 found that Australian students are the fifth most-sleep deprived students in the world, leading to lower performance in subjects like maths, science and reading.

More disturbing was a recent study of more than 43,000 students in the US, which found sleep deprivation had as big an impact on declining grades as binge drinking and marijuana use.

TODAY co-cost, Karl Stefanovic’s answer to this problem? Abolish homework.

Stefanovic said parents should be spared from “doing homework they clearly can’t do”, adding many were simply too tired to lend a helping hand after a hard day’s work.

No need, says Sarah Crossing, YourTutor’s director of B2B marketing.

Following a two-year pilot program the Federal Government – called Transforming the Digital Supply Chain –  29 independent and boarding schools elected to use YourTutor, providing 13,466 students with one-to-one learning experiences.

Crossing told The Educator that the 24/7 nature of learning demanded such a service, and agreed that many teachers and parents simply lacked the time and will to pour over after-hours school work.

“Learning is happening 24/7 now, and that puts a lot pressure on teachers. For example, how many teachers are happy to work on a writing draft at nine o’clock on a Sunday night?” Crossing told The Educator.

“It has traditionally been up to teachers and parents to help students with their homework, but through one-to-one tutoring, students have control and can study when they want and how they want.”

Crossing said tutors are able to help during weekends, freeing up valuable time for teachers and parents, all the while ensuring that students get the support they need.

“There are a lot of HSC students studying very strange hours, studying on weekends, but can a school reach into a weekend to help? Not really,” Crossing said.

“That’s why we’ve got these school partners, because they recognise that learning isn’t just inside the school gate anymore.”

At Presbyterian Ladies College (PLC) in Armidale, students found the tutor’s to be patient and helpful when it came to guiding them through complex tasks.

“It was really helpful as the tutor worked through each step of the problem with me, and didn't just give me the answer but made me work through it,” said a Year 12 student at the school.

A Year 9 student at Trinity Grammar School said they were no longer feeling stressed thanks to the help of the tutor.

“It was very helpful and I’m not stressing about my exam anymore,” said the student.
 

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