Teaching is one of the noblest, perhaps the noblest, professions known to us. It means making students aware of the experiences of the previous generations. Teaching is also one of the oldest professions on the planet. Therefore it has changed a lot in the past few millennia.
While education was the privilege of the rich and the powerful as early as only in 16th century Europe, the Industrial Revolution has ushered in an era of mass education. This has its effects on the teacher-student relationship. Though many famous relationships from antiquity are between an erudite teacher and a royal student, the 20th century saw the rise of mass educators in form of Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman and the like. Here we will quickly glance through some of the most famous teacher-student relationships the world has ever seen.
Socrates, Plato, & Aristotle
Together these three Hellenic philosophers were the backbone of Western philosophy until the Renaissance, and they still play a vital role in those societies. Socrates was poisoned to death for his views, but before dying he instilled his love of philosophy in his pupil Plato. Plato went on to become another influential teacher in Greece and was the mentor of another Greek polymath Aristotle. Together, these teacher-student relationships are the best known in the West.
Chanakya & Chandragupta
Known as India’s Machiavelli, he used to teach at the highly regarded Takshila University in Bihar. He wrote several treatises on economics and political science. And it was under his guidance that Chandragupta founded a vast empire when he was only 20. Later his empire will be known as the Maurya Empire, spanning from Assam in the east to Afghanistan in the West, covering almost all of South Asia.
Carl Sagan was an American astrophysicist, founder of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute and a celebrated educator. He took on a bigger challenge, of imparting science education to the masses, his medium was television. Thanks to the numerous books he authored and his popular TV series Cosmos, he is widely held as the first teacher celebrity. A lot of people cite Carl Sagan as their reason to come to science; famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of them.
If you’d like to learn another sport or activity other than tutoring, we have other instructors and classes in your area on HeyKiki too.