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A frustrated music teacher uses a violin bow as a percussion instrument. Ostra Studio (c. 1930s).

A teacher is a male or female adult whose profession is the teaching of knowledge, behavior norms, arts, crafts, physical and intellectual skills to other people by means of verbal instruction, demonstration and media.

This process transports the knowledge, skills and cultural achievements of one generation to the next generation and is thus the key factor to cultural progress.

The art and science of teaching is also known as pedagogy.

School teachers

A ballet teacher whips her students with a martinet. Photo: Ostra Studio (c. 1930s).
Classroom illustration by Eric Stanton.

The most common form of professional teaching is the teaching of children. For better efficiency, typically a teacher teaches not a single child but a group of children simultaneously, called a class. The rooms in which the class is seated for this purpose are called classrooms and the buildings and institutions of this teaching are called schools; the whole process of education in schools, which today has a typical minimum duration of 8 years, is known as schooling.

Individual teaching sessions are called lectures or lessons. The children who attend lessons (the "teachees") are called schoolchildren (schoolboys and schoolgirls), pupils or students.

The history of schools reaches back to antiquity. The level of intellectual, cultural and economical achievement of a people was usually in direct proportion to its quality of schooling.

For a very long time only boys were educated by private teachers and in public or private schools, and the teachers were usually male as well. They were also referred to as schoolmasters. This has changed in the last two to three centuries; today in most countries girls attend schools the same as boys, and teachers can be either men or women.

The methods and techniques of teaching, as well as the subjects taught, have evolved slightly over the centuries since antiquity, and changed dramatically within the past century.

The stereotype of the schoolmaster as a punisher

From the earliest depictions of teachers in the Middle Ages up to the Renaissance era, the birch rod was depicted as the typical tool of the teaching profession.

For example, this old woodcut shows six "civic professions": clockmaker, schoolmaster, organ builder, painter, goldsmith, sculptor. Every man is depicted in doing his work, and the schoolmaster is depicted birching a student. For many more images on the cliche of the teacher as an instructor through the means of corporal punishment, and his inseparability from the birch rod, see historic illustrations: schools and teaching.

Other forms of teaching

Other forms of professional teaching include privately hired governesses, homeschooling, private institutions such as dance or music schools, coaching in sports clubs, university teaching and adult education.

Forms of semi-professional teaching include private lessons (usually in the afternoon or evening, after the regular school) and mentoring. Such semi-professional teachers are called tutors or mentors.

See also

More information on this topic is available at [ Wikipedia:Teacher ]


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Articles related to School(s)
Levels PreschoolPrimary schoolIntermediate schoolSecondary schoolTertiary school
Types Boarding schoolOne-room schoolPublic schoolPrivate schoolHome school
Parts AuditoriumCafeteriaClassroomDormitoryOfficeSchoolyard
People SchoolchildStudentCheerleaderTeacherTutorPrefectDeanHeadmasterHousemasterMatron
Concepts ClassSchool uniformSchool (game)ApposingDetentionTruancy
FaggingEducationSchool corporal punishmentSchoolieSchool spanking story
"Howta's" How to run an institution with strict discipline


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