PRECEPTOR, a teacher or instructor, the classical meaning of the Latin praeceptor, from praecipere, literally to take in advance, hence to give rules or " precepts," advise, teach. As an educational term in English the word is familiar through the College of Preceptors, a chartered society chiefly composed of private teachers; it was incorporated in 1849 and was one of the first professional bodies to institute regular courses of pedagogic lectures and to award after examination the titles of licentiate and associate to teachers. It also holds examinations for pupils. In post-classical Latin praeceptor meant a commander, praecipere, to order, enjoin, and the term was adopted by the Knights Templars for the heads of the provincial communities of knights established on their estates. These communities and the estates themselves were known as " preceptories," and answered to the " commanderies " of the Hospitallers.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)