Tutoring as a way to compliment traditional teaching approaches has been around for centuries. In fact, tutoring is one of the oldest teaching methods, dating back to the ancient Greeks, which used to educate their children by getting them together in small groups to exchange knowledge and discuss topics.
The Socratic method, for instance, named after its inventor, is a way of questioning students in order to help them arrive at the right answer themselves. It’s a form of teaching that allows the student to explore a topic and use their previous knowledge to find the correct answer. Aristotle, just like Socrates, was well known tutor and, in fact, was referred to by many as “The First Teacher”.
Following the example, set by the ancient Greeks, tutoring was one of the most preferred teaching techniques, employed during the Middle Ages. Children of wealthy families would be scheduled for one-to-one tutoring sessions with well-known scientists and teachers, while students from poorer families would often become apprentices to learn about a particular skill or craft during a similar one-to-one session. Even the knights would initially start off as squires, serving a single knight so they can learn the craft from an expert.
With the development of education and the appearance of first formalized educational institutions, tutoring still remained an important way of learning. Most of the textbooks during colonial times were written in Latin, so students who wished to study a particular subject, would take courses in Latin, often in one-to-one tutoring sessions. Many of the students that were accepted in renowned universities were not academically ready for the challenging course programs and would turn to tutoring in order to succeed.
Today, tutoring is an efficient way to learn more, or focus on a particular subject, available to students from all levels of education. It helps master basic skills such as math or reading, can help explore a variety of subjects in more depth, and also enrich the horizon and common knowledge of the pupils.