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A Brief History of Western Education

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A Brief History of Western Education

  1. 1. A Brief History of Western Education Since Antiquity
  2. 2. Athens, 5th-4th Century BCE The primary goal of education was to prepare students at low-cost private schools for citizenship, democracy, oratory, and ethical decision-making.
  3. 3. Athens, 5th-4th Century BCE The primary goal of education was to prepare students at low-cost private schools for citizenship, democracy, oratory, and ethical decision-making. Education focused on the mind, the body, and the sense of aesthetics.
  4. 4. Athens, 5th-4th Century BCE The primary goal of education was to prepare students at low-cost private schools for citizenship, democracy, oratory, and ethical decision-making. Education focused on the mind, the body, and the sense of aesthetics. Students learned the “seven liberal arts”:
  5. 5. Athens, 5th-4th Century BCE The primary goal of education was to prepare students at low-cost private schools for citizenship, democracy, and ethical decision- making. Education focused on the mind, the body, and the sense of aesthetics. Students learned the “seven liberal arts”: First grammar, logic, and rhetoric (later called the trivium);
  6. 6. Athens, 5th-4th Century BCE The primary goal of education was to prepare students at low-cost private schools for citizenship, democracy, oratory, and ethical decision-making. Education focused on the mind, the body (athletics), and the sense of aesthetics. Students learned the “seven liberal arts”: First grammar, logic, and rhetoric (later called the trivium); Then arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy (later called the quadrivium).
  7. 7. Athens, 5th-4th Century BCE The primary goal of education was to prepare students at low-cost private schools for citizenship, democracy, oratory, and ethical decision-making. Education focused on the mind, the body, and the sense of aesthetics. Students learned the “seven liberal arts”: First grammar, logic, and rhetoric (later called the trivium); Then arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy (later called the quadrivium). They could then continue with the study of philosophy or one of the “practical arts,” such as medicine or architecture.
  8. 8. The Roman Empire The Romans continued the Greek tradition, focusing chiefly on athletics, rhetoric, and oratory.
  9. 9. The Roman Empire The Romans continued the Greek tradition, focusing chiefly on athletics, rhetoric, and oratory. Romans referred to the Greek tradition as a “liberal” education, meaning education for free men (cf. liberty).
  10. 10. The Early Middle Ages The primary goal of education was to prepare students at monastic and cathedral schools to become members of the clergy and scribes.
  11. 11. The Early Middle Ages The primary goal of education was to prepare students at monastic and cathedral schools to become members of the clergy and scribes. In contrast to the Greeks and Romans, students prepared not for this life (rhetoric, politics), but for life after death.
  12. 12. The Early Middle Ages The primary goal of education was to prepare students at monastic and cathedral schools to become members of the clergy and scribes. In contrast to the Greeks and Romans, students prepared not for this life (rhetoric, politics), but for life after death. They copied Church writings, learned basic mathematics, and practiced singing.
  13. 13. The Early Middle Ages The primary goal of education was to prepare students at monastic and cathedral schools to become members of the clergy or scribes. In contrast to the Greeks and Romans, they prepared not for this life (rhetoric, politics), but for life after death. They copied Church writings, learned basic mathematics, and practiced singing. Physical exercise was not part of the curriculum.
  14. 14. The High Middle Ages The rise of universities began in the 12th-13th centuries.
  15. 15. The High Middle Ages The rise of universities began in the 12th-13th centuries. The goal of education was to understand God through both theology and this world.
  16. 16. The High Middle Ages The rise of universities began in the 12th-13th centuries. The goal of education was to understand God through both theology and this world. Students studied first the trivium (language) and then the quadrivium (numbers).
  17. 17. The High Middle Ages The rise of universities began in the 12th-13th centuries. The goal of education was to understand God through both theology and this world. Students studied first the trivium (language) and then the quadrivium (numbers). One could also receive a chivalric education at noble and court homes that included physical training, battle skills, poetry, history, and music.
  18. 18. The Renaissance The goal of education was to develop one’s physical, spiritual, and intellectual capacities as a human being (humanism).
  19. 19. The Renaissance The goal of education was to develop one’s physical, spiritual, and intellectual capacities as a human being (humanism). Education returned to the ancient Greek model, with less emphasis on theology than during the Middle Ages.
  20. 20. The Renaissance The goal of education was to develop one’s physical, spiritual, and intellectual capacities as a human being (humanism). Education returned to the ancient Greek model, with less emphasis on theology than during the Middle Ages. Students also began to study classical languages and literature, as well as the natural sciences.
  21. 21. The Reformation Students studied chiefly reading, writing, and religion in vernacular schools, first established in 16th-century Germany.
  22. 22. The 17th and 18th Centuries As a result of the Counter-Reformation, in Catholic Europe the classical curriculum continued to predominate, and Latin remained the language of instruction, although it was no longer used in Europe. The teaching of science was temporarily banned.
  23. 23. The 17th and 18th Centuries As a result of the Counter-Reformation, in Catholic Europe the classical curriculum continued to predominate, and Latin remained the language of instruction, although it was no longer used in Europe. The teaching of science was temporarily banned. The first schools in the U.S. were established in the 17th century, emphasizing reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion.
  24. 24. The 17th and 18th Centuries As a result of the Counter-Reformation, in Catholic Europe the classical curriculum continued to predominate, and Latin remained the language of instruction, although it was no longer used in Europe. The teaching of science was temporarily banned. The first schools in the U.S. were established in the 17th century, emphasizing reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion. Harvard College, founded in 1636, had a liberal arts curriculum that included classical languages and literature, ancient history, rhetoric, geometry, logic, and ethics.
  25. 25. 18th-Century U.S. Benjamin Franklin founded an academy with a more diverse and practical curriculum, including modern history and languages, geography, accounting, surveying, agriculture, and navigation.
  26. 26. 18th-Century U.S. Benjamin Franklin founded an academy with a more diverse and practical curriculum, including modern history and languages, geography, accounting, surveying, agriculture, and navigation. Franklin also promoted the idea of a residential college, where students would learn from discussions outside of classes as well as in class.
  27. 27. 18th-Century U.S. Benjamin Franklin founded an academy with a more diverse and practical curriculum, including modern history and languages, geography, accounting, surveying, agriculture, and navigation. Franklin also promoted the idea of a residential college, where students would learn from discussions outside of classes as well as in class. Thomas Jefferson promoted greater secularism, science, and preparation for citizenship in a democracy.
  28. 28. 18th-Century U.S. Benjamin Franklin founded an academy with a more diverse and practical curriculum, including modern history and languages, geography, accounting, surveying, agriculture, and navigation. Franklin also promoted the idea of a residential college, where students would learn from discussions outside of classes as well as in class. Thomas Jefferson promoted greater secularism, science, and preparation for citizenship in a democracy. These trends became influential particularly in the 19th century.
  29. 29. 19th-Century U.S. Curricula broadened to include many additional disciplines.
  30. 30. 19th-Century U.S. Curricula broadened to include many additional disciplines. Science became more popular than the study of classical languages and literature.
  31. 31. 19th-Century U.S. Curricula broadened to include many additional disciplines. Science became more popular than the study of classical languages and literature. Education gradually shifted from an emphasis on memorization of facts to a focus on direct observation and individual development.
  32. 32. 20th-Century U.S. Curricula came to stress general skills, realization of students’ full potential, and preparation of students for citizenship. Students were encouraged to take a wide range of courses (a liberal arts education).
  33. 33. 20th-Century U.S. Curricula came to stress general skills, realization of students’ full potential, and preparation of students for citizenship. Students were encouraged to take a wide range of courses (a liberal arts education). Higher education became more secular, with a greater choice of disciplines, including scientific and vocational training.
  34. 34. 20th-Century U.S. Curricula came to stress general skills, realization of students’ full potential, and preparation of students for citizenship. Students were encouraged to take a wide range of courses (a liberal arts education). Higher education became more secular, with a greater choice of disciplines, including scientific and vocational training. The student body and teaching methods also became more diverse, as women and minorities were gradually permitted to enter institutions of higher education.
  35. 35. 20th-Century U.S. Curricula came to stress general skills, realization of students’ full potential, and preparation of students for citizenship. Students were encouraged to take a wide range of courses (a liberal arts education). Higher education became more secular, with a greater choice of disciplines, including scientific and vocational training. The student body and teaching methods also became more diverse, as women and minorities were gradually permitted to enter institutions of higher education. By the 1950s universities were offering a wide array of programs in both the humanities and the sciences.
  36. 36. Select Bibliography Kaufman, Clare. “The History of Higher Education in the United States.” WorldWideLearn. 2015. Web. 6 Sept 2015. Guisepi, Robert, ed. “The History of Education.” International World History Project. Jan 2006. Web. 6 Sept 2015. Zakaria, Fareed. In Defense of a Liberal Arts Education. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2015. Print.

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