Middle English tutour, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin tutor, from tueri
- Date: 14th century
- b : a teacher in a British university who gives individual instruction to undergraduates
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.
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.