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What's the Difference between Tutoring and Academic Coaching?

Tutoring and Academic Coaching both aim to assist students in their academic endeavors, but have fundamental differences between them.



Tutor and male student sitting at a desk, looking at a textbook.

As parents, we always strive to provide the best support and resources for our children's academic success. When it comes to enhancing their learning experience, two prevalent approaches come to mind: tutoring and academic coaching.


While both methods aim to assist students in their academic endeavors, it's vital to recognize the fundamental differences between them.


In this blog, we will explore the distinctions between tutoring, a traditional approach focused on grade-level academic content reinforcement, and academic coaching, an innovative approach to learning which emphasizes building executive function skills, learning skills, and applying research-based strategies and tactics to foster your child's independence as a strong learner.


Let's unpack the difference between Tutoring and Academic Coaching:


Tutoring: Re-teaching academic information


Tutoring has long been recognized as a traditional method that primarily focuses on reinforcing grade-specific academic content. Tutors provide additional instruction and explanations on specific subjects or topics where a student may be struggling, may have missed a class, or did not understand the information or concept the first-time round.


This one-on-one or small-group setting allows students to receive personalized attention and clarification on difficult or missed concepts. Tutors often work through homework assignments, review class materials, and help prepare for tests or exams.


Tutoring can be valuable in reinforcing understanding and improving grades in specific academic subjects.


Academic Coaching: Building Essential Learning Skills for Lifelong Learning


On the other hand, academic coaching takes a more comprehensive approach, aiming to develop essential skills beyond academic content. Academic coaches work with students to build executive function skills, learning skills, research-based strategies and tactics that empower them to become strong, independent learners who are able to easily catch up and keep up with their academic work.



Here are some key aspects of academic coaching:


1. Academic Coaching: Academic coaching represents an innovative approach to learning. It goes beyond the traditional content-focused approach and aims to develop essential skills that empower students to learn independently, an essential skill for long-term academic success.


2. Executive Function Skills Development: Academic coaching places a strong emphasis on developing executive function skills. These skills encompass time management, organization, goal-setting, learning skills, and self-regulation. By honing these skills, students learn how to manage their time effectively, stay organized, set realistic goals, and adapt their study strategies accordingly.


3. Research-Based Strategies and Techniques: Academic coaches provide students with a range of research-based strategies and tactics to optimize their learning experience. These strategies go beyond simple memorization and encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective, research-based study methods and strategies.


4. Independence and Lifelong Learning Skills: Academic coaching strives to foster independence and instil lifelong learning skills in students. Coaches empower students to take ownership of their learning journey, encouraging them to set realistic goals, develop self-discipline, and take initiative in their academic pursuits. By building these skills, academic coaching equips students with the tools they need to thrive academically and beyond.



While tutoring remains a valuable approach for reinforcing grade-level academic content and improving grades for a specific subject, academic coaching represents an innovative and comprehensive long-term approach to learning.


Its focus on executive function skills development, learning skills development, research-based strategies, and fostering independence sets it apart.


As parents, consider exploring academic coaching as an investment in your child's future. It provides them with the necessary skills to become strong, independent learners, ready to face challenges with confidence.

With its growing popularity worldwide, academic coaching is revolutionizing the way students approach learning, paving the way for lifelong success and personal growth.




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