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Propelled by the No Child Left Behind law, the federally financed tutoring industry has doubled in size in 2003 and 2004, with the potential to become a $2 billion-a-year enterprise, market analysts say.
Tutoring typically involves two individuals, a tutor and a tutee. The tutor is more knowledgeable or expert than the tutee and attempts to help the tutee learn, usually in an academic area. Age is not necessarily a factor in the tutoring relationship-the tutor and tutee may be the same age-as long as the tutor has greater knowledge or skill than the tutee. Traditionally, tutoring has involved one-to-one instruction, but some tutoring programs do involve a tutor and two or three tutees.
Scholars have long considered tutoring programs the most effective form of instruction. Numerous research studies provide evidence on which to base
this conclusion. The American public appears to be aware of the value of tutoring. According to a 1998 Newsweek survey, 42 percent of Americans strongly
believe that children should receive private tutoring outside of school. In addition to providing extra practice, tutoring appears to be successful
because the intensive individualized attention allows the tutor to identify the student's level of expertise. When the tutor has a clear idea of the
next steps in the learning process, he or she is then able to present tutees with materials at their precise level of understanding. Tutoring also
is thought to be effective because of the social support and modeling inherent in the process.
Tutees run the gamut from students performing far below grade level to students vying for Ivy League admissions. A wide range of options exists for students who need or desire tutoring. Those options vary in cost, availability, quality, and effectiveness.
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