Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies
How does shadow education gain public trust?
Understanding the organisational structure of private tutoring
Dr Achala Gupta
Southampton Education School
University of Southampton
About the Speaker: Dr Achala Gupta is a lecturer in Southampton Education School at the University of Southampton. Achala is a member of the Editorial Board of the British Sociological Association's flagship journal, Sociology. She has published research articles on the heterogeneity of middle-class advantage, teacher-entrepreneurialism, as well as the social legitimacy, the shadowing processand atimescape of private tutoring in India. Achala has also contributed to the higher education literature by exploring how students are socially constructed in Denmark, England, Ireland, Germany, Poland, and Spain.
Abstract: Shadow education’ or private tutoring is a globally pervasive phenomenon. While scholars have explored the demand for and supply of private tutoring extensively, how these tutoring centres – that function outside the purview of the formal education system – organise their services remains underexplored. Relatedly, the ways in which these informal educational setups – that do not have legal-rational authority such as schools do – gain public trust remains largely unclear. To redress these gaps in the scholarship, this presentation draws on an Indian case of ‘shadow education’ to illustrate how tutoring centres: 1) mimic (purposive shadowing), 2) diverge from (strategic deviation), and 3) create an avenue for themselves without directly conflicting (necessary circumvention) with the formal schooling system. This discussion delineates the institutional arrangements of tutoring centres and their underlying logic – and in doing so, it unveils the mechanisms through which ‘shadow education’ gains social legitimacy in contemporary Indian society. By offering a nuanced understanding of the interactions between formal (schools) and informal (tutoring provisions) educational institutions, the presentation argues that private tutoring serves as a critique of formal schooling in the empirical context and creates a valid space for itself alongside the formal educational setups. Although this presentation is empirically grounded in India, the conceptualisation of the institutional arrangements of private tutoring it generates will be valuable to the future investigations of organisational framings, structural arrangements and legitimacy practices of tutoring provisions in other contexts.
DATE: 24th August, 2022 (Wednesday)
TIME: 3.00pm to 4.30 pm
Link to join online: meet.google.com/cbw-cbmo-biz