A Brief History of Tutoring (Infographic)

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Updated  Tom Hamilton Stubber


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Whether you are a tutor, a student or a business owner tutoring is likely a very normal part of your day to day life. Even for those not getting tutoring themselves, the concept is very familiar. That is why you might be surprised to learn that modern tutoring has only excited for about 60 years!

This fact made us wonder: how much do we really know about the history of tutoring? To find out more we decided to do a little bit of research and try to see how far back this useful teaching method actually dates.

We've created a useful infographic to take you through a (very) brief history of Tutoring!

Infographic taking you through a brief history of tutoring (See image to text transcription)

Image to Text Transcription:

A Brief History of Tutoring

Ancient Tutoring (400 B.C.):

The origins of Tutoring date back as far as the Ancient Greeks! During this time scholars like Socrates would meet with fellow academics and students to discuss and share philosophical thoughts.

Fun fact: Socrates' most famous student was Plato!

University Tutoring (11th C):

The first European Universities were founded in the 11th century. Students were taught by Masters. These medieval tutors were so important to education that graduates would often only mention who they studied under, rather than which university they attended.

Fun fact: Oxford University was founded in 1096!

Church Education (12th C):

Before the 12th-century education was only accessible to the most elite people. However, in 1179 the Church began a mission to educate the poor. This meant some young boys from poor families were taught basic reading, writing and maths by Priests.

Officially Tutoring (16th-17th C):

Tutoring officially began in universities in the 1700s. Classes consisted of a tutor and 1 or 2 students meeting regularly. The tutor would guide their learning and check if they are ready for university exams.

Fun fact: Tutors would also be seen as parental figures!

Free Education for all (19th-20th C):

In the UK, education only became legally mandatory from 1800 to 1900s. It was only in the financial boom of the 1950s that tutoring became the industry we know today.

Fun fact: Primary school education only became mandatory in England in 1880!

Modern Day Tutoring:

Modern tutoring has only become common practice about 20 years ago. In 2020 the NTP in the UK will offer tutoring to more students than ever.

Fun fact: As of 2016, over 40% of students from London have had some form of private tuition!

What do you think the future of tutoring will be like?

Want to learn more about this topic? Read our other tutoring blogs about it here!

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