Evolution Of Schooling Essay

1714 words - 7 pages

Benjamin R. Barber, author of the best selling Jihad vs. McWorld, asserts that public schools are “the very foundation of our democratic civic culture…institutions where we learn what it means to be a public and start down the road toward common national and civic identity. They are the forges of our citizenship and the bedrock of our democracy.” (USA Today Magazine). Schooling has evolved over the years between the requirements for students and teachers. Back in the day the method of learning was memorization and motivating students was threatened through harsh discipline. These days most kids want to do well in school and there are more curriculum that is taught by teachers.
The chief goals of education are different now from back then. One-room schoolhouses were built between the 1800s and the early 1900s. They were most common in rural areas of the Midwest. Iowa alone had more than 12,000 one-room schoolhouses. They were placed so that they were no more than a few miles from any student. The schoolhouses were strictly utilitarian, which is the belief that a morally good action is one that helps the greatest number of people. The rooms consisted of four wooden walls, a few windows on each wall, and an entrance door. A wood stove provided heat and the bathroom was an outhouse (Pieper).
The American educator Horace Mann once said: “As an apple is not in any proper sense and apple until it is ripe, so a human being is not in any proper sense a human being until he is educated.” The goals of formal education back then were cultural beliefs and values from scribes and priests. The method of learning was memorization, and the motivation was the fear of harsh physical discipline. On ancient Egyptian clay tablet a child had written: “Thou didst beat me and knowledge entered my head.” (“education”).
Many anthropologists believe that the educational practices of prehistoric times were things like hunting and gathering. Formal instruction was given before the child reached adulthood. Children learned most of the skills, duties, customs, and beliefs of the tribe through an apprenticeship; they took part in adult activities like hunting, fishing, farming, tool making, and cooking (Pattern 1B). Life itself back then was school (“education”).
Originally, the Romans placed the responsibility for a child’s education with an inexperienced teacher; which took place at home (Pattern 1). The 12th and 13th centuries began developing universities and colleges. Like the Romans, the scholars of the middle Ages took over the content of Greek education and adapted it to their own culture. By the 12th century the education of women was no longer ignored, through only a small percentage of girls actually attended schools. The Protestants encouraged the need for education for both boys and girls. The teachers in the 17th and 18th centuries still used strict discipline and learning methods like memorization of words, sentences, and facts that the children often did...

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