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Blurring Boundaries Blurring Boundaries

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									  Blurring Boundaries:
The growing visibility, evolving
forms and complex implications
   of private supplementary
            tutoring

                         Mark Bray
               University of Hong Kong
        Introduction

Background  and links to the
conference theme
 The field of comparative education
 Educational change in the global
 context
 The focus of this lecture
Private Supplementary Tutoring

 What do we mean?
  academic
  for financial gain
  additional to the provision of mainstream
  schooling
  May be one-to-one, in small groups, large
  classes, or huge lecture theatres; and
  now includes internet tutoring
Private Supplementary Tutoring

 Why is it important?
  Huge financial investments by households
  Maintains and exacerbates social inequalities
  Backwash on mainstream schools

  Yet the topic remains under-researched
       A Shadow Education System

Why a shadow?
 Private tutoring only exists because
 the mainstream exists.
 As the size and shape of the
 mainstream changes, so does that
 of the shadow.
 In almost all societies, more public
 attention focuses on the
 mainstream than on its shadow.
                     Scale
Korea: 73% primary, 56% middle school
Hong Kong: 45% of primary, 35% lower
secondary, 70% upper secondary
Egypt: 52% in rural primary schools; 64% in
urban primary schools
Azerbaijan: 92% of senior secondary
Cyprus: 86% of secondary students
England: 27% at some time by the end of
secondary
Czech Republic: ??
                         Scale
Prevalence:
long been vigorous in East Asia
lower numbers but also deep roots in Eastern
Europe
emerging in Africa
also emerging in Western Europe
North America, Australia
              Costs

Greece: €1.7 billion (2007)
Germany: €1.5 billion (2009)
Turkey: US$2.9 billion; 1.0% of GDP (2004)
Korea: US$24 billion; 2.8% of GDP (2006)
Who provides tutoring and how?


 Professional tutors, working as
 individuals or for companies
 Teachers, on a supplementary basis after
 school hours
 University and secondary students
 Retired teachers
Who receives tutoring and why?


- Not necessarily the weak students –
 more common among the strong ones;
- A lot of peer pressure and anxiety, both
 among students and among parents.
Implications
Pupils:
 If tutoring helps students to pass
 examinations, it can be a very good
 investment: they stay longer in the education
 system and have greater lifetime earnings
 But has major implications for social
 stratification
 Also pressure on young people
Implications
Tutors:
 Provides incomes and employment for
 professional tutors
 Where salaries of mainstream
 classroom teachers are low, it can
 compensate
 But also distorts the teaching and
 learning processes?
  An agenda for comparative
     education research

  Blurring Boundaries:
The growing visibility, evolving
forms and complex implications
   of private supplementary
            tutoring
An agenda for comparative
   education research

Shadow education
research network (ShERN)

Comparative Education Research Centre
          The University of Hong Kong
                     www.hku.hk/cerc
                       mbray@hku.hk

								
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