• Karin Guill
  • Wilfried Bos
In addition to the mainstream education system many students draw on private tutoring to improve their academic achievement. However, evidence about the effectiveness of private tutoring is rare and contradictory. The identification of positive or rather neutral effects of private tutoring seem to depend at least partly, on the underlying concept of academic success. Therefore, we analyzed the effects of private tutoring using various indicators of academic success within the same sample. The data originated from the German longitudinal study KESS (“Competencies and Attitudes of Students”), which includes a complete cohort of students at the beginning of Grade 7 and at the end of Grade 8. The effect of private tutoring was evaluated using multiple criteria: The majority of the parents (N = 447) as well as of the students (N = 618) stated that private tutoring had improved the students’ mathematics achievement. In contrast, there was neither a significant improvement of math marks of tutored students compared to the entire sample of non-tutored students nor an improvement in math achievement test results due to private tutoring when controlling for prior knowledge, motivational variables and school level effects (HLM, N = 4,701). Further analyses with matched samples of tutored and non-tutored students (PSM, N = 1,236) confirmed these results. We compared the effects of private tutoring on the different criteria and discussed possible reasons for the contradictory results.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for Educational Research Online (JERO)
Volume6
Issue1
Pages (from-to)34-67
Number of pages34
ISSN1866-6671
StatePublished - 2014

    Research areas

  • Research in teaching and learning - Private tutoring, Shadow education, Mathematics achievement, School achievement, Secondary schooling, HLM

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