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Comparing the effectiveness of cram school tutors and schoolteachers: A critical analysis of students’ perceptions

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  • Yung, Kevin Wai-Ho

Abstract

This study compares the teaching effectiveness of cram school tutors and schoolteachers of English based on the perceptions of senior secondary students in Hong Kong. It adopts a sequential mixed-methods approach. The result from the online survey (N = 477) indicates that tutors are perceived to be more effective than schoolteachers in all identified aspects of effective teaching. However, the qualitative data from focus group interviews (n = 64) reveals a more complex picture. By problematising students’ perceptions with reference to the wider social, cultural and educational context, three themes were generated: (1) students’ utilitarian learning orientations in an examination-oriented system, (2) the commodification of education in a consumer culture, and (3) students’ immediate psychological needs in the process of learning. This study sheds light on the complex relationship between private tutoring and mainstream schooling and offers implications for policymaking and teaching in the private and mainstream sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Yung, Kevin Wai-Ho, 2020. "Comparing the effectiveness of cram school tutors and schoolteachers: A critical analysis of students’ perceptions," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:injoed:v:72:y:2020:i:c:s0738059319303542
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2019.102141
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zhang, Yu, 2013. "Does private tutoring improve students’ National College Entrance Exam performance?—A case study from Jinan, China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-28.
    2. Loyalka, Prashant & Zakharov, Andrey, 2016. "Does shadow education help students prepare for college? Evidence from Russia," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 22-30.
    3. Dang, Hai-Anh, 2007. "The determinants and impact of private tutoring classes in Vietnam," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 683-698, December.
    4. Bhorkar, Shalini & Bray, Mark, 2018. "The expansion and roles of private tutoring in India: From supplementation to supplantation," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 148-156.
    5. Jheng, Ying-Jie, 2015. "The influence of private tutoring on middle-class students’ use of in-class time in formal schools in Taiwan," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-8.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Junyan & Bray, Mark, 2020. "Private Subtractory Tutoring: The Negative Impact of Shadow Education on Public Schooling in Myanmar," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).

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