Pathways To Learning... Since 2005
Hong Kong Registered School 566985

In-Person or Online

Course Finder

Article Library Banner

Tailored Education

By Danny Harrington


Even people who have never stepped foot in a bespoke tailor’s establishment appreciate the fact that tailored clothes will fit better. It is very basic common sense that if you are measured and the cloth cut exactly to those measurements; if you choose the colours and patterns that best suit your skin, hair, eye colour; that the cut hides the bits you’d rather hide and accentuates those you are proud of, then you are going to end up with exactly the clothing you want and need for the tasks you expect it to perform, be they social, work or personal. Unfortunately, we can’t all afford to have our clothes individually tailored, and so the apparel industry provides a wide price and quality range of off-the-peg clothing for the majority of us which works just fine because few of us are particularly conscious of the effect that peoples’ clothing has on our dealings with them.

But when it comes to education, the impact of the tailoring is far more deeply and overtly felt; by the individual in the first instance and by society as a whole in the second. It has always baffled me the extent to which so many people put absolute faith if the one-size-fits all approach that society provides. It’s perfectly understandable why we have most of our children processed through the school system production line fashion – costs, time factors, standardization of curricula, regulation, security. It is easy to trot out plenty of reasons, or perhaps we should call them excuses. Because it is a fact that education is massively undervalued at the societal level across all nations. Private education is always much better funded, because the returns for the investor’s money accrue back to the investor in a tangible manner (as well as to society as a whole). But when we are asked to contribute to state provision of education we are reluctant because “what’s in it for me?” So big state education funding doesn’t win votes and so it gets paid lip service.

The result is a body of professionals terribly underpaid in relation to the role they perform in society creating a spiral of falling teaching standards as the field consistently fails to attract all but the most altruistic talent. And underfunded institutions resulting in ridiculously large class sizes and ridiculously low resource availability. And then we moan that schools aren’t producing the kinds of employees/members of society that we desire and need.

Schooling began for the rich and privileged with the private tutor. It continues for the wealthy with small class sizes and private tutor combinations. It is the only proven form of education that works. Tailored learning, both in content and rate of acquisition. Governments everywhere should be taking note of the blindingly obvious and putting proper resources into getting these kinds of ratios into place. If we want a future for ourselves and our kids we have to invest in it. It isn’t free.

By Danny Harrington

Co-founder of ITS Tutorial School

Dulwich College Singapore

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Share Now!