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Exposing the “shadow”: an empirical scrutiny of the “shadowing process“ of private tutoring in India

Exposing the “shadow”: an empirical scrutiny of the “shadowing process“ of private tutoring in India
Exposing the “shadow”: an empirical scrutiny of the “shadowing process“ of private tutoring in India

A growing body of research shows that private tutoring is a globally pervasive phenomenon. A common way in which tutoring provisions are defined is with the use of the metaphor “shadow education”, signifying that tutoring centres “shadow” formal schools. Despite the popularity of this metaphor in the field, how “shadowing” occurs as a process and what implications this process has for formal schooling and society have seldom been put through empirical scrutiny. To redress this gap in the literature, this article draws on the data produced through an ethnography of schooling in Dehradun (India) between 2014–15. The discussion on specific ways in which the institutional arrangement of private tutoring aligns with that of formal schooling reveals the socio-educational embeddedness of private tutoring within the mainstream schooling experience in India. The article argues that “shadowing” is not a neutral process, it is executed tactically and strategically with an aim to provide private tutoring a valued, legitimised, and competitive space in an increasingly marketised education sector. Importantly, this analysis of “shadowing” exposes problematic practices within formal schooling and suggests that by mirroring these practices in its structure, private tutoring reproduces social inequality. The insights into understanding the “shadowing process” that this article offers may be of value to the analysis of the organisational arrangements of tutoring businesses within India and in other societies. Through demonstrating that tutoring is part of everyday schooling, this article makes a case for recognising it as integral to mainstream education in India.

India, institutional arrangement, Private tutoring, schooling, shadowing process
0013-1911
Gupta, Achala
a30fa79d-e9dc-4237-93d4-bdaf8816780a
Gupta, Achala
a30fa79d-e9dc-4237-93d4-bdaf8816780a

Gupta, Achala (2021) Exposing the “shadow”: an empirical scrutiny of the “shadowing process“ of private tutoring in India. Educational Review. (doi:10.1080/00131911.2021.1931038).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A growing body of research shows that private tutoring is a globally pervasive phenomenon. A common way in which tutoring provisions are defined is with the use of the metaphor “shadow education”, signifying that tutoring centres “shadow” formal schools. Despite the popularity of this metaphor in the field, how “shadowing” occurs as a process and what implications this process has for formal schooling and society have seldom been put through empirical scrutiny. To redress this gap in the literature, this article draws on the data produced through an ethnography of schooling in Dehradun (India) between 2014–15. The discussion on specific ways in which the institutional arrangement of private tutoring aligns with that of formal schooling reveals the socio-educational embeddedness of private tutoring within the mainstream schooling experience in India. The article argues that “shadowing” is not a neutral process, it is executed tactically and strategically with an aim to provide private tutoring a valued, legitimised, and competitive space in an increasingly marketised education sector. Importantly, this analysis of “shadowing” exposes problematic practices within formal schooling and suggests that by mirroring these practices in its structure, private tutoring reproduces social inequality. The insights into understanding the “shadowing process” that this article offers may be of value to the analysis of the organisational arrangements of tutoring businesses within India and in other societies. Through demonstrating that tutoring is part of everyday schooling, this article makes a case for recognising it as integral to mainstream education in India.

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Accepted/In Press date: 9 May 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 June 2021
Published date: 11 June 2021
Additional Information: Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
Keywords: India, institutional arrangement, Private tutoring, schooling, shadowing process

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 451101
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/451101
ISSN: 0013-1911
PURE UUID: 012d4197-5831-4228-8b9d-a351e872c9e4
ORCID for Achala Gupta: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3172-8198

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Date deposited: 07 Sep 2021 16:35
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 02:32

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