AskDefine | Define preceptorship

Dictionary Definition

preceptorship n : the position of preceptor

Extensive Definition

A Preceptor is a teacher responsible to uphold a certain law or tradition, a precept.

Christian Military Orders

A Preceptor was historically in charge of a Preceptory, the headquarters of certain orders of monastic Knights, such as the Knights Hospitaller and Knights Templar, within a given geographical area. The Preceptor had supreme control of his brethren and only answerable to the Grand Master of his particular order.


Musically, the title Preceptor usually refers to a monk responsible for making music in a monastery. He trained the monks in the traditions of plain chant for daily services and prayers.


Some North American universities have a special student position called Preceptor. Preceptors are student volunteers who assist the staff professor and teaching assistants of a large lecture class by helping design certain lessons and holding their own office hours and review sessions. In some cases, volunteers are required to take an outside class focused on leadership development, where their final grade is determined by both the lecture professor and leadership development teacher. Thus, the preceptor earns credit for their preceptorship. It is considered a good leadership experience and reflects well on the student in their transcript. Preceptor can also refer to a paid student grader.
At some old universities (Harvard, Cambridge, and Oxford), "preceptors" are not students at all but faculty members teaching courses in expository writing (Expos), music, mathematics and languages. Famous past Harvard Expos preceptors include New Yorker staff writer George Packer, novelist Tom Perrotta, former Globe music critic Richard Dyer, poet Dan Chiasson, and scholar Mark Gaipa. At Columbia University, on the other hand, "preceptors" are senior graduate students (one or two years from award of the doctoral degree) who, along with veritable senior faculty, teach the courses on "Literature Humanities" and "Contemporary Civilization," and in rare cases, other subjects.
In medical education, a preceptor is a skilled practitioner or faculty member who supervises students in a clinical setting to allow practical experience with patients.
preceptorship in Czech: Preceptor
preceptorship in Slovak: Preceptor
preceptorship in Swedish: Preceptor
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