Private Tutoring Across The Mediterranean

Private Tutoring Across the Mediterranean – Power Dynamics and Implications for Learning and Equity  2013 – 228 pages

Mark Bray (University of Hong Kong, China), André E. Mazawi (University of British Columbia, Canada) and Ronald G. Sultana (University of Malta, Malta) (Eds.)

mazawi tutoring book

Although private tutoring has a long history, prior to the present century it attracted very little professional discussion or academic research. Ministries of Education preferred and were allowed to ignore the phenomenon, chiefly on the grounds that tutoring was provided in a marketplace beyond their remit as supervisors of formal schooling. Faculties of Education in universities showed little interest, since their primary responsibilities were also with formal school systems. Likewise, international agencies mainly busied themselves with activities that focused on schooling. They paid little attention to out-of-school tutoring even though in some countries it was a major activity. Relegated to the ‘private’ sphere, as its name indicates, private tutoring has often been perceived by educators and policy makers as falling outside the purview of ‘public’ education and its equitable provision.

This inattention has begun to be remedied, as witnessed by the growing body of research on privatisation in education, which unsettles notions of what counts as ‘private’ and what counts as ‘public’ in the provision of schooling opportunities. This body of research shows not only that private tutoring is not a ‘private’ phenomenon, but that it is intertwined in complex ways with the public provision of schooling and operates in relation to it in multifaceted ways. Notwithstanding, huge gaps remain in both basic information and conceptual analysis. This collection addresses these gaps as they concern the Mediterranean region.