Tutor - Encyclopedia

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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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