History of Education

History of Education

The learned men of ancient times, by default became the teachers. Priests and prophets taught children of the wealthy and noble, the skills to take up their roles as leaders and businessmen.

The priests’ position was elevated above many strata of society, and they were treated accordingly for their knowledge, and wisdom.

One of the most learned men of all time, Confucius, became the first private teacher in history.

Because all the teachers were government officials, there was no way around the State policy. He solved it by going to work for a nobleman, whom he could accompany on his extensive travels.

Such was his reputation, people sought him out to teach their sons. Confucius took any student eager to learn, and with the regular subjects, imparted his personal wisdoms for developing responsibility and moral character through discipline.

In ancient Greece, long acknowledged as the seat of philosophy and wisdom, the value of educating their children was recognized very early on, with some households engaging their own teacher.

Learned men, continued to impart wisdom on into the first years of Christianity, including the scribes in the Bible, who were often men that taught law as well. Through the first centuries A.D. Roman families often had educated slaves to teach their children, some of which were captives from other countries.

Education in the modern world tended to be a “hit and miss” proposition until the Middle Ages, when the Roman Catholic Church took charge of teaching the sons of nobility, entrusting that charge to monasteries or specially designated learning “centres.” Many of these centres evolved into the distinguished learning institutions of today, including Cambridge University, whose first college was St. Peter’s, founded in 1284. The 17th and 18th centuries saw the greatest growth in education for more than the privileged, and also a dramatic rise in the training of teachers, and propounding of educational theories.

Education in America took root with the landing of the Pilgrims in the early 1600s.

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