Global provider of full-time home tuition, Tutors International, today commented on the rise of topic-based learning in schools.
The world’s leading provider of full-time private tuition, Tutors International, today commented on the growing popularity of topic-based, or project-based, learning in UK schools, and how this style of education has been used successfully at Tutors International for many years.
Their comment comes in response to the news that academic high-performer Finland is scrapping subject-based teaching in favour of topic-based teaching.
Adam Caller, who founded Tutors International in 1999, explained how topic-based learning differs from the current style of teaching in most UK schools:
“The normal secondary school day is split into segments, and during each segment children will learn a different subject – maths, English, art, geography, and so on. In a topic- or project-based environment several of these subjects will be blended together and applied to real-world situations.”
Project-based learning has been so successful in the US that one school in Maryland is undergoing extensive work to redesign its campus and curriculum around the method.
Mr Caller explains how this mode of teaching has been so effective in private home tutoring that it’s employed almost as a matter of course at Tutors International.
“Whatever curriculum the child is following,” Mr Caller explains, “our tutors weave individual subjects into a topic that resonates with that pupil. Whether it's a more formal, structured project that lasts for several weeks, or whether it's an impromptu question or the result of a day trip or current event – we know from experience that children learn better, question more deeply, and understand more thoroughly when what they’re learning is tied to something fun and relevant.”
As Mr Caller has stated in previous articles, Tutors International is frequently asked by parents to devise lesson plans that span disciplines, cultures, socio-economic and even continental boundaries. The private tutors placed by Tutors International are supported and encouraged by the Tutors International team to devise integrated, holistic environments that students will find engaging.
“I think it’s a really positive move by schools to start teaching in this way,“ Mr Caller comments, “it’s more common in the primary school classroom environment because it’s easier, but it takes courage and commitment to make it happen in secondary schools, which just aren’t set up to enable proper cross-discipline projects.”
“Of course,” Mr Caller continues, “private full-time tutoring takes project-based learning to the highest level. One-to-one teaching means the project can be tailored to precisely reflect the personality of the student, his or her interests, and take full advantage of the resources at the family’s disposal. Take a topic about bread - that might cover geography, history, cooking, maths, chemistry and marketing, and it’s much easier for a private tutor to arrange hands-on experience at an artisan bakery, a design agency, a packaging factory, than it is for a teacher with 20 children to supervise.”
More information about engaging a full-time private tutor can be found at www.tutors-international.com.