Assignment 2a. Philosophy and History of Education
What is a University? The rise of universities in Mediaeval Europe.
In the world today we all seem to take both schools and universities for granted, I am going to take a closer look at what exactly a university is. A university is an institution of higher education and research which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects and provides both undergraduate education and post graduate education. (Wikipedia, Online). The world university finds its origins in Latin and means, ‘universitas magistrorum et scholarium’ this was first used in the early 13th century and means a ‘community of teachers and scholars’ (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1985)
When we consider what a university is, it’s ancient title some significance ‘ stadium generale’ which means ‘school of universal learning’ (Newman, 1854, online). A university according to philosophers generally have ‘aims which provide a unity of purpose (Hirst and peters, 1970, p107) this means we go to better ourselves by gaining qualification. History shows that in 1209 scholars migrated to Cambridge from oxford, by the ear 1226 they had enough members to start their first educational establishment this offered regular courses of study taught by their own members (university of Cambridge, 2009, online). It is also to be remembered that universities were for long placed in very difficult positions they were ‘scholae publicae to which all might go, fit or unfit. (Laurie studies in the history of educational opinion from the renaissance, p31)
Both philosophers and historians seem to agree that location of a university is NOT important, but authority and rules are crucial to their success. But ‘behind the idea of a rule stands the idea of their being a right and wrong way of doing things (Hirst and peters, 1970, p113)
I have found their to be many differences between medieval European universities and the universities of today, with just authority and rules one example. Professors and doctors had to swear “ Abosolute obedience to the student elected, student rector “ these could pass or change any rule within the university (Rempel, 2005, Online). This was because medieval universities mainly in Italy had no central organization, and so the student eventually took over and were able to run the universities how they wanted too. I also found differences how education was seen and what it was used for, this also shows differences in how lessons are given and the subjects taught. Firstly I am going to look at how medieval universities started. The earliest universities were formed in france and Italy, these were mainly controlled by church who believed that their sole aim was to train priests for them, some of these cathedral schools had extensive numbers of students and they eventually instigated new universities to accommodate them all. ( Gutek, 1972.) Medieval Europe’s three main universities, Bologna, Paris, Oxford, were a spontaneous growth of the...