The history of higher post-secondary learning is a long, interesting, and fruitful one. Universities date back close to a thousand years and has been seen grow, expand, and now become a center for the future of every nation. The fast increasing pace that technology has education and technology has been closely linked and now have their future, success, and fate are carefully intertwined. Because of technology we’re now seeing education finally moving away from the traditional setting and expanding without much restriction.
The word University comes from Latin word meaning “a whole”. Universities were largely established to educate the clergy but because of demand of the merchant class to develop skills in reading, writing, and mathematics the curriculum was amplified. Student and masters were influenced by other industries and, following societies example, created guilds of their own. The guilds created a standard that anyone who wanted to become a teacher was required to do six years of liberal arts studies. Most universities followed this example and added other requirements such as the University of Paris requiring a future teacher to be 20 years old at least. The statues also read “[sic] is to promise what he will lecture for at least two years.” Theology was still the champion at universities and pretty much dictated the school curriculum and student life. Becoming a Theology teacher also had a stricter set of requirements they had to achieve before being accepted such as at least 35 years of age and 8 years of further education. Universities in Europe were very popular for example, University of Paris by 1250 had about 7,000 students and Oxford University had 2,000 students. Oxfords numbers are even more remarkable considering it was in a small city.
It is astounding to see that in modern university under normal settings we have yet to diverge from medieval university teaching techniques. Just like today students in medieval times would sit and take notes on a professor’s lecture usually on wax tablets, or parchments but very rarely paper since it was so expensive. After the professor was done lecturing he would open up the classroom for discussion or questions from students. Debates between professors were another tool used to supplement lectures. Since the debates were about theology they were called disputations and were set in a Q and A format. A committee of master or a single master would give the student an oral test after three or four years in school. This could be comparable to how in the present times for example how a math department gets together and creates test for every class taking the same course. This would entitle him to become a baccalaureus which is essentially receiving a bachelor’s degree which will then allow him to become a teacher’s assistant, but he still needed to do 3 more years of studying and take more written exams to become a master himself at a university.
Colonial universities were much of the same...