Comparison by objective
The objectives of a math tuition are:
- homework completion
- revision for exams
There is no enrichment. Essentially, the child is learning nothing beyond what he or she has already learnt in school. For example, if the child has studied fractions in school, the child’s tuition teacher will make the child repeat the same learning, through revision of the book exercises or what the school teacher has taught. Also, if the child has an upcoming exam, like an FA (formative assessment) or SA (summative assessment), the tuition teacher will have the child revise all the topics to be tested on that exam. The tuition teacher basically aims for immediate and superficial results but not for deep and fundamental learning. The primary objective of any tuition is good marks in school.
The aim of Cuemath is very different. Cuemath aims to make the child great at math. Cuemath’s approach is to build the child’s fundamentals in math, and to make the child fall in love with math. Scoring good marks in school will happen as a consequence, but is not the program’s primary objective. Cuemath will take any math topic and treat it very logically and from first principles. For example, when a child learns decimals in Cuemath, the child will first learn how to visually model decimals, and only then proceed to drills on decimals. This is very different from how the child will learn decimals in school.
Comparison by structure
Cuemath is a well-defined and standardised program built after years of intense research by graduates of top-notch institutions like IIT, Cambridge, Stanford and Harvard. Cuemath strives to impart the highest possible quality of math learning to every student. In Cuemath, every class has a well-defined outcome, in terms of the child working through:
- school math worksheets
- mental aptitude tab skills
- creative reasoning puzzle cards
The Cuemath Teacher follows a precise learning trajectory for every student, as determined by the sophisticated Cuemath learning system.
A math tutor, on the other hand, follows an unstructured system which is reaction-based. The math tutor subjectively guides the child’s efforts in response to the demands of school – homework completion, revision for exams, and so on.
Comparison by teacher
The Cuemath Teacher is a strong and integral part of the Cuemath system. Of every 100 individuals who apply to become a Cuemath Teacher, less than 5 are selected! Cuemath Teachers are selected based on their academic and professional backgrounds and their alignment with Cuemath’s vision of great math learning. Once an individual has been selected to become a Cuemath Teacher, she has to further complete a training program which trains her on basic math skills and program implementation. Other than this initial filtration and training, Cuemath Teachers are also trained on a continual basis by the sharing of best practices and other useful inputs. And most importantly, every Cuemath Teacher has the support of a world-class team of educators, who are more than willing to help on every issue large or small.
In contrast, almost anyone can become a math tutor – there is no training program or certification process an individual has to go through to become a math tutor. This means that a math tutor, in general, follows a very subjective system – which in most cases is not that great. In fact, during the initial days of building the Cuemath program, the Cuemath team spoke with a lot of math tutors to research their approaches to teaching. Many of these tutors were so-called well-established names only because they had been teaching for many years. However, what we found was that tuition experience did not correlate well with teaching quality. In fact, we found that the best tutors were the one who had little to moderate experience but had the right mind-set in terms of the an ideal math learning should be like – focused on fundamentals and not on superficial outcomes.
To summarise, a student will benefit much more from Cuemath than from a math tuition because of:
- a better objective: true math learning vs superficial math learning
- a better structure: well-defined and standardised program vs unstructured and subjective intervention
- a better teacher: trained and certified vs not trained and not certified