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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In British, Australian, New Zealand, Italian, and some Canadian universities, a tutor is often but not always a postgraduate student or a lecturer assigned to conduct a seminar for undergraduate students, often known as a tutorial. The equivalent of this kind of "tutor" in the United States of America (U.S.) and the rest of Canada is known as a teaching assistant. In the University of Cambridge, a Tutor is an officer of a college responsible for the pastoral care of a number of students in cognate disciplines, as against a Director of Studies who is responsible for the academic progress of a group of students in their own discipline, with both Tutors and Directors of Study answering to a Senior Tutor. In the University of Oxford, the colleges fuse pastoral and academic care into the single office of Fellow and Tutor, also known as a CUF Lecturer.

In the United States, the term tutor is generally associated with one who gives professional instruction in a given topic or field.


Tutors in British and Irish secondary schools

In English and Irish secondary schools, form tutors are given the responsibilities of a form or class of students in a particular year group (up to 30 students). They usually work in Year Teams headed by a Year Leader, Year Head, or Guidance Teacher.

Form tutors take on these responsibilities in addition to teaching, planning, and monitoring their academic (subject) classes.

Form tutors will provide parents with most of the information about their child’s progress and any problems they might be experiencing. Ordinarily, the form tutor is the person who contacts a parent if there is a problem at school; however, the Year Leader or Guidance Teacher may contact the parents, since the form tutor has full-time responsibility as a specialist subject teacher.

Private tutors

A private tutor is a private instructor who teaches a specific educational subject or skill to an individual student or small group of students. Such attention allows the student to improve knowledge or skills far more rapidly than in a classroom setting. Tutors are often privately hired and paid by the student, the student's family or an agency. Many are used for remedial students or others needing special attention; many provide more advanced material for exceptionally capable and highly motivated students, or in the context of homeschooling. Tutelage is the process of being under the guidance of a tutor. Tutoring also occurs when one adult helps another adult student to study a specific course or subject that he/she is taking to get a better result. The adult can also let the student work on his own, and can be there if the student has any questions.

Academic coaching

Academic coaching is an evolution of mentoring applied to academics. Mentoring implies the student is an empty vessel into which knowledge is poured. Coaching involves a more collaborative approach, assuming the student is already in the "game" of learning. Coaches help students learn how they best learn and how to operate in an academic environment. Tutors help students learn the material in individual courses while coaches help students learn how to be successful in school. In college, that includes such topics as: study skills, time management, stress management, effective reading, note-taking, test-taking, and understanding how to use a syllabus. Academic coaches meet with the student regularly throughout the semester, usually once a week. Coaches work with students in all kinds of situations, not just those who are struggling academically. Some highly motivated, high-achieving students will have a coach to improve their learning efficiency. Academic coaching also occurs to help students prepare for entrance exams to gain entry to schools or universities. Academic coaching is a huge industry in Asia. For example, in India, a majority of students be it of any class or stream, visit a coaching centre or a 'study circle'. [1]

Academic tutoring

Students currently enrolled in a type of higher education passing down the knowledge to other peers in an academic field of study is known as academic tutoring. This is seen as important for students who are struggling to get help from others in academic setting so that they can excel. A class room setting is typically not enough for students to learn all of the material that they need to know in order to pass the test or to go on to harder classes. Academic tutoring from students at a higher grade level or experience (Ivy League Schools) in an academic setting can help to encourage and strengthen a student so that they do not fall behind. [2]

Peer tutoring

Students tutoring other students at the same or within close proximity of age or grade level is known as peer tutoring.

Online tutoring

Online tutoring is a new way for a student to receive help, either scheduled or on-demand. Sessions are done through a proprietary application where a student and tutor can communicate. Common tools include chat, whiteboard, web conferencing, teleconferencing and other specialized applets which make it easier to convey information back and forth. For example, there may be a specialized applet designed specifically for mathematics which allow the use of symbols.

On-line tutoring has been gaining popularity over the past couple of years due ease of being able to connect to a tutor at moment's notice when help is required. This is especially effective when a student is studying for a test that is scheduled for the next day at school and is stumped on a particular problem. Not all online tutoring companies offer an on-demand tutoring service.

Solution assistance

Solution assistance is a growing trend in the field of mathematics tutoring. This method of checking the accuracy of answers is particularly helpful for students without a computer or those students that live in remote areas.

See also


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

TUTOR (Lat. tutor, guardian, tueri, to watch over, protect), properly a legal term, borrowed from Roman law, for a guardian of an infant (see Roman Law and Infant). Apart from this usage, which survives particularly in Scots law, the word is chiefly current in an educational sense of a teacher or instructor. It is thus specifically applied to a fellow of a college at a university with particular functions, connected especially with the supervision of the undergraduate members of the college. These functions differ in various universities. Thus, at Oxford, a fellow, who is also a tutor, besides lecturing, or taking his share of the general teaching of the college, has the supervision and responsibility for a certain number of the undergraduates during their period of residence; at Cambridge the tutor has not necessarily any teaching functions to perform, but is more concerned with the economic and social welfare of the pupils assigned to his care. In American universities the term is applied to a teacher who is subordinate to a professor, his appointment being for a year or a term of years.

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Simple English

The English Wiktionary has a dictionary definition (meanings of a word) for:

In British, Australian, New Zealand, and some Canadian universities, a tutor is often but not always a postgraduate student or a lecturer who conducts a seminar for undergraduate students. These seminars are often known as a tutorial. In the United States and the rest of Canada, a tutor is known as a teaching assistant.[1]


Secondary school form tutors

In English and Irish secondary schools, form tutors are similar to American home room teachers. They are in charge of a group of students in a particular year group.

Peer Tutoring

In the United States, peer tutors are students teaching other students of the same or similar age or grade level. When peer tutors are trained how to tutor correctly, peer tutoring is both academically and cost effective.

Other pages


  1. At St. John's College the professors are referred to as tutors. They serve the function of guiding the conversation and attempting to keep it focused, whether in tutorials or in seminar.

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