Education - Tutoring as a new space for professional self-realization of a teacher (Article)

Tutors and tutoring, tutoring functions, tutoring, space for professional self- realization of teachers

Russia today is comprised by fashion for tutoring. Today, children of all ages from junior to senior secondary school use services of tutors actively. Tutoring or "shadow education" (M. Brey, 2003) swept the world today: the countries of Europe, Asia, the American continents, etc.. Now the problem of private supplementary education (private tutoring), in its various aspects, is the subject of systematic study of an international team of researchers (Davis, Buchman, Kim, Lee, Ireson, Rashfort, Harnish), led by Professor of the University of Hong-Kong Mark Bray.

Tutoring and tutors have always been  a "relative" fixed fact, that is, they have always been  as  if in  an "illegal position", as the registration of services, taxes – everything accompanying the official format of relations in the market (demand-supply) is almost always absent.

Tutors have always been both in native and in foreign education system. Tutor (from the Latin "repeto», «repetitor») means to repeat or someone who helps to repeat. Tutor could be "a home teacher who helped a pupil which does not make progress in the passing school course", as well as "the teacher who directed the students by doing their homework in the Cadet and Page Corps and some other private educational institutions in pre-revolutionary Russia", it is possible to imagine as a tutor "an experienced professional who gives individual and group lessons for the actors," a tutor was not seldom called a teacher, "who directed and supervised the pupils living in the boarding school by doing their homework (in private educational institutions of the Russian state until 1917) ". So, by analyze and summary of the experience and the role of the tutors in Russia, we can try to determine the essence of the phenomenon tutoring:

 firstly it is is a special type of teaching with the meaning of teaching a particular subject  individually or in small groups, or for the purpose of passing successfully entrance exams to  an educational institution (university, college, technical school, school), or tutoring is used for the successful studying some subjects (which the pupils are particularly interested in, for example, further education such studying of foreign languages ​​or the difficult subjects for pupils);

 secondly it is a shadow social institution for using of  definite public resources, that allows to satisfy certain social needs (economic, cultural, social, and psychology-pedagogical);

 thirdly it is a special kind of educational service. Making precise this statement we can say that the development of market relations in Russia has led to the fact that the education has turned from a free privilege paid  by  the state into a commodity, but rather a service. That in turn has led to the fact that for a short time in Russia the market for educational services has been formed, the supply of which in recent years is increasing and increasing, and today you can see the situation in which supply exceeds demand. Educational services provided by tutors, as any commodity, are offered in the market, and the market for educational services is the space where the demand for educational services from the side of main "economic entities" (individuals, "families", enterprises (institutions) and state) interact  with the supply of  them by different teachers. It should be noted that apart from  producers and consumers of educational services a wide range of intermediaries take part  in the market relations in this sphere for example - specialized tutoring centers, or "Schools of knowledge." All these subjects contribute to the effective promotion of educational services in the market and can perform such functions as informating, consulting and participation in the marketing of educational services and resource support  of tutoring.

 Tutoring or "shadow education" (M. Bray) is the phenomenon directly related to the official or "common" education system, it depends on it and is exposed to change as soon as the official system is changing. Today tutors take on the diverse functions in which the "shortcomings", "flawed" and "gaps" of common education system are reflected, namely:

  • Intermediary (establishing links and partnerships between families, students and educational institutions, teachers in regular school, to enhance the effectiveness of educational activities);
  • Psychological-prophylactic (the organization of free communication with the family and the child, modeling of the success situation for children in regular school);
  • Informational (informing families about options for leisure activities, the development of creative personality of the child (music, arts and so on))
  • Consulting-Educational (the organizing of systematic individual or group activities directed to help in  learning, organization and consultation for parents and children, as part of the detailed working of the greatest difficulties and gaps in the mastering of the educational program (in fact, here, parents pay for the deficient fulfillment of school duties (by teachers of specific subjects), or in building of a child`s individual route in preparation for the Olympics, USE, GIA, etc.).

Today, the demand for tutoring services is obvious. Demand creates supply, the law works here clearly. Today in the newspapers, on the Internet you can find a wide range of services that we and our children are ready to have a "highly qualified." However, the characteristics of our perception, require the submission of evidence: legitimacy to the exercise of human services, tutoring, which may give the social status of the teacher, special teaching experience rehearsed discipline, as well as the quality and effectiveness of training (the results of passing the exam, the excess of achievement in subject, the victory of fear over "academic discipline") and positive reviews and recommendations of parents and graduates.

Service teachers tutoring  is generally upscale services educators professionals (teachers, university professors), held and recognized in their professional environments.

What motivates and makes teachers tutoring? After the inclusion of teachers in the shadow education space it is the kind of change in their way of life as well as personality. And this, in turn, may lead to changes in individual world view. There is no doubt that an important factor in the inclusion of teachers in the educational environment is a shadow - the economic "tutoring will flourish where the teacher low wages" (M. Bray). However, not all teachers and professionals become tutors. Some experts are trying to embark on the provision of supplemental educational services, but can not find any customers or satisfaction in this process, and are forced to give up this idea. Why? Has a tutor to have any abilities? Probably, it can not be ruled ... The fact of the presence of certain intrapersonal contradictions teachers can also perform a driving force and a determinant of their professional development in the field of informal education.

Tutors about themselves

Teacher Olga, has been working in the school almost 35 years - she had already spent several years in private lessons, including preparation for the exam. Why did I become a tutor? Answer to this question can be quite simple, but you can seriously think about  ....

Certainly, the economic factor played for me here a significant role. But not just. After payment for learning may vary in different ranges. Tutor can not get very much money for their services from 150-200 rubles an hour (astronomical), but these figures may rise significantly to 500-1000 rubles. The cost may depend on the experience and professional image, as well as the characteristics of the subject. So traditionally classes with teachers, "foreigners" are more expensive than specialists in history, chemistry, physics working on the preparation for passing exam and university entrance, are more important than classes with teachers on "leveling" of knowledge in the subjects in which the child feels difficulties in learning. But money is not all that motivated  me to take this path.

In tutoring, I feel that I am not alone, as often happens in school ... Whenever starting to do, I will first meet the parents of the child: for I should be clear about what task they and the child have set for me. After testing, I define how realistic the goal is. The parents in this case are as my allies, are very interested in the results of our work together.

Valentina teacher has been working at school for almost 15 years, for seven years doing private lessons, to practice for the exam, teaching in a private rehearsal center: engaging a tutor, I get the opportunity to see the results of their work actually, as the classes are held by an individual plan, and I in the eyes, facial expressions to see - saw baby stuff or not, I`m responsible for the student`s almost more than his teacher, because you can not re-take the exam.

Teacher, Alexander, retired, worked at the university, PhD, is preparing pupils for  the exam, I have been tutoring for recently fifteen years. Why? At one point I was not interested in working in the public education system,  neither  in school, nor  in high school. First-year students who came to me to the audience, are increasingly unable to answer and demonstrate knowledge of basic laws of physics, as in this case, you can build a system of education in physics and mathematics faculty on!? Interest to work something going, going .... I knew that I had to look for myself, because ... all around me began to change, and it demanded and changes on my part, changes in estimates, claims, attitudes, interests, everything . I was going to retire ....

 My family members were asked to prepare to pass the exam the child is carried away, or rather devour me. I have seen the progress of his students, we thoroughly prepared for the jobs of the "C" - in that they allow to go beyond the average level of assessment. After all, as a rule, the teacher does not stop at school tasks of this group is very detailed, and they make us think and reason: these questions for most guys regular classroom complex, and their interpretation is expensive and time, and the efforts of the teacher.

In general, the desire to leave the profession and be honored pensioner, I have done only partially. Now I have a steady number of students, the classes I need to be recorded before the start of the school year, children have very good results in the delivery of exam and admission to prestigious institutions of the country. But the most important thing  ..... I do with them, with my students interested .... not all of course, but then I have the right to choose! Freedom of choice - it`s a great thing!

Conclusions Tutoring - are serious realities of today. We share the M. Bray, that the driving force of coaching is "a strong belief in the value of education." Investments in "shadow education" from year to year is becoming more important as the world and in our country, which leads to the need to build a constructive relationship public education and tutoring. Tutoring may not always be effective, this is largely due to the nature of coaching, motivation, skills and position themselves as

learners as a coach. The whole question as to the identity of the teacher-tutor - it «incognito» ... Who are they, who are the people we trust to do what could not be done in public or private schools that missed or were not willing to do the parents, and it is to help our children. Why should they, most often, it is possible to reach out to children "underachieving" and "unfit" to the study of a subject ... It is obvious that different factors lead teachers in the camp coaches, it is possible that their intrapersonal conflict is the condition of the search of new spaces for their professional development and self-realization, not in the formal and in the informal educational environment. I would like to believe it, and for this it is necessary to admit, to understand and to study this phenomenon.


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Posted by: Natalia Krylova, Associate Professor, PhD, Kostroma State N.A. Nekrasov University , Russian Federation (15-Oct-2012)
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