Spatializing a global education phenomenon: private tutoring and mobility theory in Cambodia

D. Brent Edwards*, Hang Le, Manca Sustarsic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Along with the dramatic expansion of private tutoring around the world, a significant body of literature has been produced to understand this phenomenon. While many studies consider the issue of geographic location, the spatial dimension tends not to be a central focus of private tutoring studies. In contrast, the present essay applies mobility theory to research from Cambodia, where private tutoring is essential to student success. It does so in order to place private tutoring provision into a broader perspective that includes but moves beyond the economic dimensions of supply and demand and the sociological dimensions of economic, cultural, and social capital to include consideration of how private tutoring provision is constrained by a multidimensional spatial field of possibilities and how private tutoring participation is enabled by one’s position and abilities in relation to that field. The paper argues for increased attention to ‘spatial capital’ in studies of private tutoring and education generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-732
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept 2
Externally publishedYes


  • Cambodia
  • mobility theory
  • Private tutoring
  • shadow education
  • spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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