Tutoring 101: Misconceptions

With any job comes misconceptions and/or stigmas people may have. For example, some people may think all models are egotistical and materialistic or may think Nurses are inherently feminine. Though these are merely stereotypes, people in society have a tendency to internalize these ideals as reality. Essentially, people have a tendency to “imagine” or believe notions based on reinforcements from school, home, work, word-of-the-mouth, or the media. With this understanding, I began to wonder this week of the misconceptions associated with the tutoring profession.

After doing some online research, I came across a research study conducted at Saint Louis University (SLU) regarding Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction Services. In the study, researchers asked a portion of the student body at SLU about their misconceptions they have about tutoring/learning resources the university offers. Below are 10 of the most common misconceptions the students reported:

  1. Students can only come to tutoring if they need help with a homework assignment or in preparation for an exam — FALSE
  2. If I attend tutoring, then I am a bad student — FALSE
  3. Going to tutoring is a substitution for studying — FALSE
  4. If I attend tutoring, the tutor will do my homework for me — FALSE
  5. Going to one tutoring session will instantly clear up every question you have and provide you with every tip for success that is currently in existence — FALSE
  6. Tutoring is just for students who are struggling in class. If I am smart, then tutoring won’t be beneficial — FALSE
  7. Tutors are complete experts and professionals in the subject, and they are able to solve/answer every question — FALSE
  8. Tutoring is only for midterms and finals week to catch up on material from earlier in the semester, and it isn’t helpful before those times– FALSE
  9. If I go to tutoring, then I will get an A — FALSE
  10. If I attend tutoring, the tutor will do my homework for me — FALSE

After reading the list of these 10 misconceptions, I thought it’s interesting how people who are not tutors view the profession. It’s interesting to see how people in society believe that anyone who has more authority than them knows all and is an complete expert- and with this, people believe that they can either do their work for them or solve all their problems. However in reality, anyone who is passionate about a field is a student to it at the end of the day. Professionals in any field can only offer to other people the knowledge and skills they obtain. They’re just as much human as anyone else.

Thus, after evaluating the research conducted in this study, I believe that many of the common “imagined” ideal associated with tutoring can be debunked moving forward. Hopefully, this will create a greater space for people who need tutoring or any type of learning resource to feel that they are in a safe and welcoming place.

Source: TUTORING 101: MISCONCEPTIONS. St. Louis: Student Success Center, n.d. PDF.