PUPIL (Lat. pupillus, orphan, minor, dim. of pupus, boy, allied to puer, from root pu- or peu-, to beget, cf. "pupa," Lat. for " doll," the name given to the stage intervening between the larval and imaginal stages in certain insects), properly a word taken from Roman law for one below the age of puberty ( impubes), and not under patria potestas, who was under the protection of a tutor, a ward or minor (see INFANT; and ROMAN LAW). The term was thus taken by the Civil Law and Scots Law for a person of either sex under the age of puberty in the care of a guardian. Apart from these technical meanings the word is generally used of one who is undergoing instruction or education by a teacher. In education the term " pupil- teacher " is applied to one who, while still receiving education, is engaged in teaching in elementary schools. The system was introduced into England from Holland about 1840. At first the education which the pupil-teachers received was given at the schools to which they were attached. During the last quarter of the 19th century was developed a system of " pupil-teacher centres " where training and education was given. In 1907 was introduced " bursaries," as an alternative; these enable those intending to become teachers to continue their education at training colleges or selected schools as " student teachers." (See EDUCATION.)
A special use of the Lat. feminine diminutive pupilla has been adopted in English and other languages for the central orifice in the iris of the eye, the pupil. The origin of the sense may be found in the parallel use in early English of " baby," referring to small images seen reflected in that part of the eye (see EYE and VISION).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)