Education in medieval times

In medieval times education had been almost exclusively the privilege of the Church, but due to the influence of Humanism and the new scientific and geographical discoveries a new wave of interest was aroused in the question of the best education for children.

The grammar schools which once were established as teaching institutions were attached to monasteries or cathedrals. Sometimes, especially after the Reformation and dissolution of monasteries, they were founded by groups of merchants. The curriculum included Latin, Greek, ancient history, religion, and, increasingly, English. Typically, all the 50 or so students in a school were taught together in the same class by the same teacher. Discipline was strict. The school day started at six in the morning and ended at about six in the evening, when it was light enough to study. The students were the sons of the local middle class: merchants, farmers, lawyers and shopkeepers.

There also existed 'dame' schools which gave an extremely elementary education: the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. They were usually run by an old lady in the village.

Girls were not normally sent to school, since the only education considered appropriate to them was to learn how to run the home, to sew, to embroider and perhaps to play a musical instrument. These skills were best learnt in the service of some rich man. A few enlightened families (such as that of Sir Thomas More) had private tutors to provide for the formal education of their daughters.

After Brodey K., Malgaretti F.


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  11. , 2 ( Times New Roman, 14).

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