Shadowing the International Baccalaureate: private supplementary tutoring for the diploma programme in China

Ewan Wright, Moosung Lee, Siyuan Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper outlines the findings of a mixed-method study of private supplementary tutoring received by students at international schools offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in China. Phase One was an online survey of 151 IBDP graduates across 14 schools, while Phase Two included semi-structured interviews with school administrators, teachers, and students in five IBDP schools. Almost one quarter (23.8%) of surveyed graduates from the sample of IBDP schools reported having received private supplementary tutoring. A hierarchical regression analysis indicated that participation in private supplementary tutoring was negatively associated with final IBDP scores. Interview data illuminated that private supplementary tutoring was discouraged by most teachers and administrators due to a perception of tension with the IB’s educational philosophy, a view that private supplementary tutoring is not conducive to IBDP assessments, and that providers lacked specialised knowledge of the IBDP curriculum. Nevertheless, interviewees noted that low performing IBDP students often utilised private supplementary tutoring for remedial purposes, especially for Mathematics and languages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-143
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Research for Policy and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the International Baccalaureate’s research grant in 2013 for the research team led by the first two authors of this article. The research was also supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean government (NRF-2014S1A3A2044609).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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