Two University of Chicago doctoral students completed research as part of their dissertations that compared the learning results of students who were instructed under a variety of conditions.  In short, they found that working with private, in-home tutors is BY FAR the most effective way to learn.


The study compared:

  • Students in a typical classroom of roughly 30 students per teacher
  • Small groups of students in a learning center
  • Students that received private, one-on-one, in-home tutoring


Their research showed that mastery of a subject was found to occur in 20% of the students in a classroom setting, 70% in a group learning center setting, and 90% in the students who received private, one-on-one, in-home tutoring.  Perhaps the most striking findings were that the average privately tutored student performed two standard deviations better than the average student in a normal classroom.  This means that the AVERAGE student receiving private one-on-one tutoring performed better than 98% of the students in a normal classroom.  Needless to say, this is an extraordinary difference.


This research was not funded by or intended to promote one-on-one tutoring companies.  The research was part of a study to try to find methods to improve classroom teaching so that it could be more competitive.  The results I have highlighted are part of the “benchmark” data that shows how far traditional classroom teaching has to go to be competitive.  This is no slam on teachers, or schools.  I taught in public schools most of my career and I have great respect for teachers and school administrators.  Schools are constrained by standards and budgets and just cannot afford to provide the individualized instruction that one-on-one tutoring from qualified instructors can deliver.  But make no mistake, the differences in how much students learn are huge.


All students have the potential to reach the high level of learning that comes from private tutoring.  Private tutoring is not just for students struggling to achieve acceptable results in the classroom.  Private tutoring delivers a level of challenge and subject level mastery that is virtually impossible for even the best and brightest students to achieve in a normal classroom setting.

Mary Beth Inchalik is the President of Santa Clarita In Home Tutoring.  She has over 20 years of combined regular and special education teaching experience from elementary school through high school.  Contact her at (661) 977-1629 or