On the whole, consumers want the best value for their money.
This economic maxim is defined as the optimal combination of cost, quality and sustainability with regard to requirement and need and it applies to everything, including private tuition.
The home tutoring business is growing by leaps and bounds in the UK, driven by caregivers intent on providing their charges with the best possible opportunity to succeed academically.
However, tutoring in geography is a tiger of a different stripe.
The discipline, while more vital a study today than it ever has been, has seen its importance lag behind more prominent subjects such as math, languages including English, and other sciences such as physics and biology.
As though to underscore that fact, geography is not taught in schools at Key Stage 4; nor is it a part of core GCSE requirements.
This poses a real challenge to students electing to sit GCSEs in Geography.
The last two years of their secondary education apparently given over to teaching to the test, it is difficult for our young scholars to maintain and cultivate their geographic knowledge base unless they engage in self-study.
What about primary school students? Geography is included in their curriculum and they might need help to prepare them for SATs. They might need a geography tutor...
Superprof now looks at all of the reasons one might seek tutoring in geography and helps you determine a reasonable price for each.
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Reasons to Engage a Geography Tutor
The reasons one might seek tutelage in any subject are many and varied but they all come down to the same desired end-result: academic success.
Academic success in large part is determined by high marks on exams, so many people engage a tutor specifically for test prep.
These exams may come at the end of each school semester in primary, secondary or university level. They could also be school leaving exams – GCSEs, or university entrance exams, otherwise known as A-Levels.
Another reason one might engage would be for a tutor for a child who is learning disabled.
Public schools in England and Wales now count more than 1 million students with special educational needs, a substantial percentage of whom would greatly benefit from one on one tutoring sessions.
In this situation, tutoring services would likely be in the form of ongoing academic support, with exam preparation being incidental to the overall effort.
What about ESL students?
Speakers of other languages would naturally progress faster, in classwork and in learning English, if they had individualized help from a private tutor.
Each one of these unique conditions stands to raise the cost of in-home tutoring because they suppose the tutor must have extraordinary credentials.
For ESL students, the tutor may need to speak a second language. SEN student tutoring would require extra skill in educational strategies and test prep would imply that the tutor must be especially knowledgeable about that particular exam.
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Where does geography fit in all of this?
Unless any of the above-mentioned conditions apply, if the student needing supplemental instruction and/or homework help is learning geography as a part of the school’s standard curriculum, s/he would fall into the category of learners who engage a tutor to sharpen study skills.
However, if that curious-minded learner is intent on eventually graduating from university with a geography degree and is in the last year of secondary school, s/he may be entirely dependent on a home tutor for guided learning.
As you might have deduced, the cost of such tutoring might be a bit higher.
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Determining the Cost of a Tutor to Study Geography
Besides those mentioned above, what factors determine how much you would pay for private tutoring in geography?
The student’s level: younger learners have shorter attention spans, so academic tutoring sessions tend to be shorter in duration and the concepts are more elementary.
The more advanced the student, the more complex the concepts to be absorbed, meaning that the tutor must have a higher degree of knowledge in the subject.
The type of tutoring: homework help and general academic support are ongoing; the tutor is more of a learning coach than someone who instructs.
Test prep involves special knowledge and possibly more time, whereas tutoring an undergraduate student requires the tutor to have advanced levels of education.
The delivery method: home tuition, meaning the tutor makes scheduled visits to your home, can be fairly pricey in comparison to online tutoring.
Another option would be working through a tutoring center but the price there may be even higher than a tutor coming to your home!
Individual or small group: the best tutors generally give a bit of a discount for pupils willing to learn with three or four mates.
Tutoring companies embrace this philosophy too; through them, you may engage a tutor who would add you to one of his study groups.
Your location: tutors are in far greater supply in big cities than smaller ones or in the countryside.
However, statistics show that tutoring in London costs more than in Bristol, Bath or Birmingham.
Scheduling: many geography teachers moonlight as geography tutors on evenings and weekends; you may pay a premium for tutoring on weeknights.
You may also find undergraduates paying their way through college by tutoring lower-level students so you might have to take their course schedule into consideration.
Another factor to think about is that, besides geography textbooks or other learning materials for the tutor to work with, s/he would provide a more diverse range of study resources, perhaps at an added cost.
Finally, we must look at the tutor’s investment into his/her education.
If s/he has spent years at university earning a doctorate degree and then a decade or so doing fieldwork, s/he would present impeccable credentials... but may not work cheap.
Some might wonder why one would study geography to that extent but you understand it!
GCSE Geography Tutoring Cost
We start with this particular demographic because these students are the most critically in need of guidance in their studies; of someone to motivate them and keep them on track.
With no formal learning of new concepts and nothing to keep secondary school students focused on expanding their geography knowledge, there is a danger that they may abandon their desire to establish themselves in a career as geographers.
That would be quite a pity because, while this career field is relatively small in comparison to other sciences, projected job growth over the next ten years hovers around 35%!
How does that do for an incentive to major in geography?
On the average, you can expect to pay more for one hour of tutoring in Geography (around £25) than you would pay for maths tutoring (approximately £22) or English (about £24), or indeed a tutor to review material from the combined sciences portion of the GCSE exam (just under £23).
Furthermore, if you live in London, your average price is estimated at just over £25 per hour. Contrast that with the per-hour rate of tutors in Nottingham of just under £20.
Of course, these are just guidelines; they don’t take into account the depth of study or the level of education any specific tutor has achieved.
If you were hoping to engage a highly-degreed professor of geography, quite rightly, those sessions would come dear: upwards of £40 per hour.
On the other hand, you may consider someone who has just undergone their A-Levels in geography; someone who is preparing to enter university or is already a freshman; in their first year at university.
There are benefits to engaging a tutor who has recently undergone the same ordeal you face, not the least of which is a lower price.
A tutor who has recently sat A-Levels may be able to share effective test-taking strategies as well as help you internalise specifics of physical and human geography.
Also, being close to you in age might mean a better and more immediate rapport than you might achieve with a more formal tutor; one who has years of experience in the classroom and in tutoring.
Lastly, though not formally trained to recognise them, such a tutor may click with your learning style to provide you with a unique and unforgettable learning experience.
The best is not always the priciest; oftentimes, what we identify as ideal is what works best for us.
Now that you have pricing guidelines to go by, it is time to shop around; find a geography tutor that will work best with you to achieve the results you need – namely that high mark on your exam so that you can take your geography studies all the way to university and beyond!