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A tutor ( Latin tutor for, guardian ',' protector ') is in the academic field a person who at universities or colleges is responsible for accompanying, information and guidance of others. This special form of the course is also called tutorial , tutorial or tutorial , in which the tutor observes and intervenes to help with problems of the students . The tutor is usually also (still) a student.

There are also tutors in schools and in the field of e-learning ( tele-tutors ). A tutor is not always entrusted with learning support or teaching. He can also be a supervisor, contact person or confidant in other respects.


In Roman law , the tutor is the guardian of persons to whom the legal system, although they are sui iuris (“own law”) (they are not under anyone's authority), does not allow them to act independently:

  • tutor impuberum for minors, divided into
    • Guardianship for children ( infantes ): up to language skills or in the post-classical period up to the age of 7 ( infantia )
    • Guardianship for minors ( impubes ): until reaching sexual maturity, d. H. for boys up to 14 years of age, for girls up to 12 years of age ( infantia maior )
  • tutor mulieris for women ( gender guardianship )

Guardianship ( tutela ) could be triggered in three ways: by testament ( tutela testamentaria ), by law ( tutela legitima ) and by judicial appeal ( tutela dativa ).

The tutor has a rule over the property and the ward similar to the domestic authority of the pater familias , but the ward is protected against abuse of property by the tutor by a large number of legal regulations . The tutor is only the trustee of the ward's assets, the ward itself remains the owner.

The tutor as a learning companion

Tutorial learning guidance requires a structurally predetermined and pre-covered learning process. This type of learning has its roots in cognitivism . With this teaching strategy, the learner works with a so-called “red thread” through a largely linear learning process. The tutor knows the requirements and solutions. He can intervene at any time in the event of mistakes or excessive demands on the learner. Many learners find this strategy very pleasant because they hardly perceive the guidance as restrictive and learn to master clearly defined learning content in an efficient way. Proponents of constructivism reject this strategy and rely on discovery learning , for which the coach is better suited.

Academic tutors

At the university, tutors are students or doctoral candidates who are employed as student assistants and who lead exercises or tutorials.

A tutorial or tutoring can be connected to a university be a course in the study phase, in which a graduate student supports a course by einübt deepened with the participants basic knowledge and skills. In contrast to this, a course that supports a lecture and is given by a professor or a member of a department is usually called an exercise . The terms "tutorial" and "exercise" can, however, vary depending on the university and the size of the course.

In recent years, other types of tutorials have spread at universities. In orientation units (OE), tutors usually instruct the students for a week in the elementary skills of everyday student life. In first-semester tutorials, interdisciplinary topics such as exam preparation or time management are discussed.

In the meantime, organizational units have been created at many universities that take care of the qualification and support of tutors, so-called tutorial programs. These have joined forces since 2009 to form the tutorial work network at universities and regularly exchange ideas twice a year. To mark the tenth anniversary of this network, September 1st was designated as the annual tutorial day .

Tutors in the school system

In addition, at many grammar schools and secondary schools, “tutors”, i.e. students from higher grades, are used to make it easier for the youngest students in particular to enter the new type of school and to build up a class community. In addition, they take part in class group excursions (for example hiking days) and are contact persons and confidants for the young students in many ways. Tutors are increasingly being used in addition to teaching in subject-related courses (training courses, small groups) or in open (all-day) courses ( learning center , tutorial learning ). For this purpose, they are usually prepared in seminars or tutor training specifically for their tasks in the areas of conflict resolution, dealing with children, methodology and didactics .

In Baden-Württemberg , Berlin , Brandenburg , Hesse , Hamburg , Lower Saxony , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , Saarland , Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony , teachers are taught in grades 12 and 13 ( G9 ) or 11 and 12 ( G8 ) who perform the tasks of the class teacher , called tutor. In Berlin and Lower Saxony, the tutor i. d. Usually be an advanced course teacher .

In Schleswig-Holstein , tutors are also elected in grades 12 and 13 ( G9 ) or 11 and 12 ( G8 ) . These replace the class teacher in the old advanced course system and can be freely chosen. They support the class leader by taking care of the students they have chosen. Most of the time, these teachers are also the LK teachers - but they are freely selectable. With the expiry of the advanced course model in Schleswig-Holstein in the 2010/2011 school year, the choice of tutors is no longer necessary, as there are still class associations in the upper profile level .

Tele tutors

Meanwhile, have a lot of freelance and salaried coaches to Tele-tutors further training. There are a number of national and international tutor training courses that enable trainers to accompany and promote learning processes with the support of the new media. Furthermore, there are now also virtual tutors who are among the educational agents.

Tutors as student representatives

In student dormitories , tutors are usually students who live in the dormitory themselves and represent the residents' interests towards the student union (and vice versa). In various positions such as IT tutor, foreigner tutor, culture tutor, etc., they take care of certain tasks and events in the dormitory, e.g. B. Setting up the Internet, international cooking evenings or sporting events.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Network tutorial work. Accessed January 30, 2019 .