Most people will use the terms “pupil” and “student” interchangeably. Most people would use the pupil when referring to learners that are younger than usual. For example, those who are in secondary school and below can still be called pupils. Students are those who are older. Even adults who would decide to start learning again can be called students.
The term pupil is also used more in school. Yet, the term student can be used for any person who would decide to learn even when they are outside the college or university. For example, someone who is learning about nature with the help of a mentor can be considered a student even if the person is not officially enrolled in any school.
One of the fundamental things that we all share in life is that we will obtain an education. Whether it is a formal school education or by learning from people around us, an education is obtained by us all. There are different words to describe people who are learning. They can be called students or pupils.
A pupil is used to describe a person in the early stages of learning. For example, a person that is in kindergarten or in nursery school would be called a pupil. A student is a person at the higher stages of education, such as a person in high school or college.
"Student" is a word from the middle age English which simply means to study. One can be a student of anything. We have students of law, students of the bible, and so on and so forth. While pupil, on the other hand, actually refers to a person or a learner who has been enrolled in a formal or educational institution of learning.
Also used to refer to someone who is under the direct supervision of a teacher because he is either a minor or has special needs. In many parts of the world, including countries like England and in Asia, the term “pupil” is used to refer to school children who are in the primary and elementary grades and also those in the secondary schools. Young people who are below eighteen years old and are enrolled in a learning facility or institution are basically referred to using the term “pupil.”
The terms pupil and students are generally used to refer to some sets of people who are still under a particular learning process. The earlier stage of the two is actually the pupil learning stage. The pupil is a term that is used to refer to those that are still in the nursery and kindergarten.
However, that is not the end of it. The ones that are in the elementary stage in school are also referred to as pupils. Any stage after this learning stage, you can be referred to as a student. Students are generally in the secondary and tertiary stages of learning. At this stage, the students start gaining more freedom, and the learning process starts becoming flexible.
For pupils, learning is still kind of rigid at their stage, in the sense that they are closely monitored and most likely forced to learn. The teachers put them through every single process of learning and ensure they carry out the processes as due. The students, however, are expected to be matured enough to handle some learning processes, and they are less monitored.
Some people may become confused between pupils and students because they are not exactly sure if these words mean the same thing. One thing that you should realize is that the word pupil usually refers to someone who is still young while a student is someone who may be a bit older.
This means that if you would say that you are a student, you may already be enrolled in a university or a college. Up until you are in secondary education, you may be considered as a pupil. Yet, there are also some schools that can use these two terms interchangeably probably because there is not much difference between the two.