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Chapter Five . Classical and Global Roots of Education. Classical and Global Roots of Education. The history of our profession is ancient and noble. Education stands on the broad shoulders of some of the most remarkable figures of the past.

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chapter five

Chapter Five

Classical and Global Roots of Education

classical and global roots of education
Classical and Global Roots of Education
  • The history of our profession is ancient and noble.
  • Education stands on the broad shoulders of some of the most remarkable figures of the past.
  • It reaches deep into antiquity and represents contributions from our rich multicultural heritage.
education in primitive societies
Education in Primitive Societies
  • Humankind has existed for over a million years.
  • Only relatively recently, however, have we developed a distinctive human culture.
  • Education was at the heart of the gradual transition from primitive savagery to a human culture.
  • Over the centuries, millions of men and women (the first teachers) passed on their collective knowledge and skills to the next generation.
ancient multicultural roots of education
Ancient Multicultural Roots of Education
  • From various multicultural threads, the basis of our educational history has gradually emerged.
  • These threads come from the ancient Egyptians, the Jews, the Hindus, and the Chinese.
contributions from ancient civilizations
Contributions from Ancient Civilizations
  • Egyptians were the first to formalize education in the West to venerate their secular and religious leaders and to help build their great empire.
  • The Jews were the first to record their own history to provide their descendents with a story of their past and a plan for the future.
  • From the ancient Hindus of India comes the idea that knowledge was of great value to both the spiritual and secular world.
  • In China Lao Tse (Taoism) saw education promoting the goodness of human kind, while Confucius saw education as important in developing good citizens.
contributions from the new world
Contributions from the New World
  • The Aztecs of central America promoted universal education for both boys and girls.
  • The Incas of South America encouraged education in advanced mathematics and engineering.
  • These forms would be adapted by the Spanish and eventually would make their way into the southwestern areas of the future United States.
ancient greece
Ancient Greece
  • The basis of Western education developed from the Greeks.
  • Two traditions in education would emerge:
    • Spartans gradually developed a system of education that emphasized the virtue of valor – the patriotic warrior.
    • Athenians developed the tradition of academic learning and democratic citizenship.
  • The greatest of the Greek educators was Socrates (469-399 BCE).
  • Socrates’ educational approach was one of critical analysis based on logical argumentation - what we call the Socratic Method.
    • First he challenged students’ preconceived ideas and perceptions.
    • Then he revealed the faulty logic of their assumptions and guided them to a better understanding of the question.
socrates the first educational martyr
Socrates – The First Educational Martyr
  • Socrates became embroiled in bitter partisan politics and in 399 BCE he was charged with impiety toward the gods and “corrupting the youth of Athens.”
  • During his trial, Socrates infuriated the judges with his logic and his rhetorical skills and was sentenced to death.
  • Socrates accepted his punishment, drank poison hemlock, and died. In so doing, he became the first real educational martyr in history.
  • Much of what we know about Socrates comes from his brilliant student, Plato (427-347 BCE).
  • In 387 BCE, Plato established The Academy – which eventually became the centerpiece of formal education in Athens.
  • Plato’s dialectic was at the heart of his teaching.
    • The dialectic involved oral questioning and student responses.
    • Plato felt that this method of instruction allowed the unfolding of knowledge (universal ideas) that were already present in the mind.
  • Aristotle was born in 384 BCE in the Greek city of Stagira.
  • He was responsible for promoting modern educational ideas outside of Greece (as tutor to Alexander the Great).
  • He was also the first to conceptualize the basis of the empirical method and the idea of causality – the basis of the scientific method.
  • The Greeks had a powerful influence on the Romans through their system of education.
  • The critical link between Greek and Roman education was made possible by Cicero (106-46 BCE).
  • He argued that Greek education should be the model for Rome.
  • His three-volume De oratore (55 BCE) became the basis of Roman education – public speaking.
the maturing of roman education
The Maturing of Roman Education
  • Gradually a formal system of Roman education took shape.
  • The system had four components:

1) basic elementary education

2) the grammar school

3) military service

4) higher education

roman elementary school
Roman Elementary School
  • The vast majority of Roman boys went to elementary school (ludus). A few girls also attended.
  • The teacher (Litterator) instructed children ages seven to twelve in reading and writing using the wax covered tablet or tabella -introduced by the Greeks centuries before.
  • Once a student had learned to read he began to memorize lines from poets and the speeches of great orators.
  • This general method of memorization, repetition and recitation persisted in elementary schools well into the modern era.
roman grammar school
Roman Grammar School
  • Young boys in their twelfth year progressed to the grammar school instructed by the Grammaticus.
  • Roman grammar schools typically focused on literature.
  • Some schools also embraced the traditional seven disciplines of grammar, logic, rhetoric, music, astronomy, geometry, and arithmetic.
  • The work of Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (Quintilian 35-90 AD) represents the first major reform of elementary education in the classical world.
  • His Institutio Oratoria or The Education of the Orator was the most important teachers’ training text of this period, focusing on the aims, methods and content of elementary education.
    • He felt that teachers should not only be scholarly but must also have good moral character.
    • He rejected corporal punishment as ineffective, favoring instead encouragement and praise for successful completion of work.
    • One of his most important educational ideas was the developmental level of the child.
the decline of roman education
The Decline of Roman Education
  • The great reforms of Quintilian signaled the end of a “golden” era of classical education in Rome.
    • Support for education declined during this period as did the general status and salaries of teachers.
    • The overindulgence of children encouraged general laziness and deteriorated the traditional Roman work ethic.
    • Following the fall of Rome in the mid-400s, Roman secular education collapsed and Europe plunged into the dark ages.
the role of the church
The Role of the Church
  • The one remaining element of the Roman Empire, was the Christian Church - the Roman Catholic Church.
  • The Church demanded absolute adherence to its doctrines and as a result, intellectual freedom gradually faded.
  • Open criticism of Church teachings literally became dangerous.
  • The teachings of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian were ridiculed because they did not align directly with Christian theology.
the monastery
The Monastery
  • During this period the monastery had a profound effect on Christian education.
  • In the late 400s and early 500s, monasteries became havens for pious monks seeking refuge.
  • In 529 Bishop Benedict created his monastery at Monte Cassino and established the so-called Rule of Benedict which establishedthe model of Christian education.
  • In England the famous Bishop Bede (known as the venerable Bede) taught in the Monastic school - later known as the Cathedral School of York.
  • Bede’s student, Egbert, continued the York school, established rigorous standards of scholarship and expanded the curriculum beyond religion to include the liberal arts.
charlemagne and alcuin
Charlemagne and Alcuin
  • Alcuin studied at the Cathedral School of York.
  • In the early 800s, Charlemagne recruited Alcuin as his personal tutor and established the School of Tours which was the intellectual center of the Carolingian Empire.
  • Charlemagne also encouraged the Church to establish village schools throughout Christendom.
    • He called for improved education in the monasteries.
    • He also engaged scribes to copy the bible for distribution throughout the empire.
  • Despite efforts of the monasteries, much of Western Europe remained in intellectual darkness since the fall of Rome (400s).
  • Byzantium was a beacon of intellectual light and hope in the East.
    • Byzantine scholars maintained an intellectual curiosity and freedom that had all but disappeared in Europe.
    • They studied the ancient classics, expanded secular knowledge and writing, and they maintained classical education.
the rise of islam
The Rise of Islam
  • Islam emerged during the early 600s and expanded rapidly.
  • By 750 Muslims controlled most of northern Africa and pushed into present day Spain.
  • Islamic scholars translated a great deal of classical Greek literature and philosophy into Arabic.
  • They also translated Persian, Indian, and Chinese science and philosophy.
  • They developed the study of astronomy based on the works of Persian and Hindu science.
  • In short, they preserved the educational traditions of the ancient world.
the renaissance and the rise of humanism
The Renaissance and the Rise of Humanism
  • Humanism was the heart and soul of the Renaissance.
  • It focused on the importance of the individual and looked to the educational ideas of the Greeks and Romans for intellectual nourishment.
  • It sought to reconcile religion with science and it embraced a secular vision for the future.
  • Major educational figures of the humanist movement:
        • Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374)
        • Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494)
        • Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536).
the reformation counter reformation
The Reformation – Counter Reformation
  • In the early 1400s, Christian humanists such as Erasmus challenged the power, materialism, and worldliness of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • This reform tradition would grow over the years and led to a major schism within the Christian Church.
  • Major educational figures of the Reformation – Counter Reformation
    • Martin Luther
    • Ignatius Loyola
    • John Amos Comenius
    • John Calvin.
educational contributions during this period
Educational Contributions During this Period
  • Luther recommended a state supported system of universal education that would focus on the study of Greek and Latin, mathematics, science, history and physical education.
  • Ignatius Loyola established the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) that focused on rigorous teaching and helped spread education to the New World.
  • Comenius wrote The Great Didactic - the first work on discipline in education and Orbis Pictus - anillustrated textbook designed to help students learn to read. His concept of combining reading lessons with pictures revolutionized elementary classroom instruction.
  • John Calvin (Puritan) emphasized universal education for boys and girls to help them read the Bible.