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Parents in tutoring craze? Children should also learn to fail

A parent survey by the Bertelsmann Foundation (Germany) showed that about 1.2 million students between 6 and 16 years are receiving tutoring in Germany. Even though that those kids get good or, at least, satisfying grades. Klaus Klemm, the author of this study, sees the clear trend that that the tutoring is not only supposed to help the student not to fail, but it’s a parental attempt to facilitate an easier transition into a higher school for their children or to obtain good prospects for later training or study.

Do schools challenge children too little?

Whether the children receive tutoring, is independent of parents' income, as the study further shows. Thus, the share of tuition students who come from households with an income of 3,000 Euros or more is almost as large as the proportion of students with a lower household income.

The Forsa survey comes to a similar result in 2015. According to the study, the extensive tutoring - about 25% of all parents – believe that students generally are too little challenged at school. On the other hand, the Bertelsmann Foundation is rather critical of this findings. Because tuition should generally be a substitute for the individual advancement of the school education, according to the experts.

Therefore, students have to learn to fail

Even the student receives numerous additional lessons after school the experts argue that this benefits the student only somewhat. Besides vocabulary and formulas, they learn primarily one thing: It is not enough to be good. Students must always be excellent and need help if they are not A-grade students.

Psychological obvious

Other studies, dealing with the same subject, see a great danger particularly by the 13 -17 years old student which might develop psychological abnormalities. Child and youth psychologist Michael Schulte-Markwort sees a risk that young people may grow up with the permanent feeling of needing to be better. That, in turn, natures the fear in the child, that he can’t just try something and then learn from his errors.

Those children miss out on the learning experience and how they could do it better the next time. That leads to the realisation that I can do less well in certain areas. The child and youth psychologist recommends therefore to parents, instead of always demanding high performance giving a safe and relaxed role model. That includes, not to send the kids to tutoring unless it is absolutely necessary.

Implementation in youth work

I talked about that at the following site:

Youth work offers the excellent opportunity to step back from demanding performance and pressure and instead promote gifts and skills. It gives the children a break from the ongoing call of performance and all the carping and criticism that comes with it.

This permanent pressure to perform gnaws at the young person’s self-esteem and self-confidence, especially when things are not going so well.

At worst, the young people will give up and possibly refuse to go to school altogether.

The consequences are the above-mentioned psychological problems like depression and withdrawal from the social environment.

I know parents who deliberately said: "My child goes to the sports club, in the youth group, even s/he actually had to learn for school" – simply because the child need this kind of balance. In the youth group he learns social interaction with others, how to take responsibility, he gets balance. Things which he might have missed out on at school but which ultimately are just as important to regain courage for the school and the joy of learning. This is a win- win situation.

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