The History of Education
Training is the fastest and most effective form of adaptation to environment. At all times, training aimed at preparation for living conditions. At the beginning, the process of training of a person took place in daily activity and communication. In the complicated civilizations, in the river valleys of Egypt and Babylonia, it became too difficult to transfer knowledge from one person to another, from generation to generation. With the rise of trade, system of state and religion had had to invent the writing by about 3100 BC (Guisepi). Thus, to be up to live in a complex society, human beings needed to accumulate record and serve their cultural and ethnic heritage. The firsthand experience people could not train writing and reading, therefore, the school appeared. Thus, the teachers were required to teach a lot of children. The method of education included memorizing, motivation and fear to be punished physically.
People believed in gods ages ago. For example, in ancient Greece, the Greek gods were more practical and less miraculous than eastern gods. The Greek gods had human qualities and always presented the material world by the moon, sun and other aspects of the environment. The Greeks could live without domination of priesthood. They were closer to real life unlike those who lived in compliance with strict canons of their beliefs. The main aim in education was to prepare the child for adulthood in order to stand up for one own and be a strong soldier. That way, Athens produced a citizen who was trained in the military art. The boys in Sparta had to leave home at age of 7 and join serious discipline groups under the supervision of senior officers. At the age of 7 to 18, the boys had intensive learning including walking without footwear, sleeping on stiff beds, studying gymnastics, running, throwing javelin, swimming and hunting. The boys were taught to be disciplined and take pride of the pain they were exposed. At 18, these boys became cadets and studied the art of war. By 20 years, they joined the standing reserve force available in time for emergency situations where they served until 60 years. For a wonder, usual Spartans may or may not have been able to know literature, writing and other arts, but music and dancing were needed if they served to military goals. Training was also provided to girls. It was not only domestic cares: the girls were taught to run, to jump, throw the javelin and wrestle.
The ideal citizen of Athens was a person who was educated in art of war and peace. The military training began at the age of 18, and the schools were private. Fortunately, the tuition in these schools was affordable enough so that even poor families could send their child to study at least a few years. The elementary school was measured on children from six or seven to thirteen and fourteen years. Gymnastics, calisthenics, playing a ball and a lot of other games were taught to the boys. When the boys grow up, they learnt to run, jump, box, wrestle and other things. They were also taught to read and write. The music was an important part of education; thus the young boys were educated to play the lyre and sing. The richest boys studied under the tuition of philosophers; the poorest boys, as a rule, ended their education in trade.
In ancient Rome, parents sent their boys and sometimes girls to study at the elementary school. The children were taught reading, writing and accounting. When the boys became older, they learned grammar and literature first of all. The grammar includes declensions and conjugations of different forms of the verb. They studied Greek and Latin languages. The teacher read lectures, and students made notes. There was the difference between Rome and Greek education despite the fact the Greek influence was great. Roman education was beyond the real life and student’s interests. The authorities ignored such subjects as science, philosophy, dancing, and music. The main subjects were only literature and charisma to produce great orators.
In the middle ages, the Rome school system disappeared. The priesthood domination was set. Human beings returned to quite a primitive level of education. The schools were operated by the clergy in Western Europe. In these schools, students did not take care about their health and body as Greeks. The students studied in strict and cold schools, their physical activity was suppressed. As Romans, the scientific of Middle Ages accepted the content of the Greek education and adapted it for their own culture, but traditional subjects were saddened with religious assumptions. The astronomy was permeated by astrology. Even arithmetic was covered by a mystical meaning. Medieval education had a plenty of disadvantages. The influence of the church, as a rule, drugged rather than developed thinking; thus, in that time, there were many dropouts.
After the middle ages, there was Renaissance when people returned to Greek ideals again. It began in Italy in the 14th century. This time was exciting and pleasant for education but had two ways of educating. There was classical education including studying Latin language and education for those who was aimed at trade. The girls usually studied at home. (Education in the Renaissance).
In the 16th century, a lot of children were taught to read and write on a special wooden board with a handle (Lambert). The Discipline in Tudor schools was awesome. The teacher had a stick with birch twigs, and boys were hurt with that on their naked buttocks. The smartest boys who reached 15 and 16 years could go to Oxford or Cambridge. The girls of upper and middle class were educated, but those who had little money were not.
The attitude towards women was changed by the end of the 19 century. Two secondary schools were opened for girls in France and Germany.
Today, we live in the world of information technologies. None of teachers has a right to punish their students physically as in the past. Nowadays, it is prohibitive and unacceptable. Young people can also gain knowledge from the Internet, printed books, electronic books, movies, acquaintances and people from different cultures. The students study through the inquiry. They ask questions, wonder, experiment and investigate new ideas. They communicate with people from other parts of the earth and explore faraway places (What Ed Said).
Comparing to other times, today, a lot of means of communication are available for youth. For example, in the past, the students gained knowledge only from teachers and books, but now, the modern equipment makes wonders. Every student regardless from his social and material status can get the information he wants through the Internet from every spot of the globe. Everyone can study by watching videos and movies through the World Wide Web because it is available at any time. On the other hand, the information technologies entered the education system, and people ceased to read books. It results in the fact that nowadays, students can find necessary information, but they have less knowledge comparing with the past generations. The 21th century is the time of great possibilities and new inventions; thus, people should use the achievements of mankind sensibly.
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