History of education

History of education

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Encyclopedia
The history of education its part of the past and present teaching and learning
Learning
Learning is acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals and some machines. Progress over time tends to follow learning curves.Human learning...

. Each generation, since the beginning of human existence, has sought to pass on cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 and social values, traditions, morality, religion and skills to the next generation. The passing on of culture is also known as enculturation
Enculturation
Enculturation is the process by which a person learns the requirements of the culture by which he or she is surrounded, and acquires values and behaviours that are appropriate or necessary in that culture. As part of this process, the influences which limit, direct, or shape the individual include...

 and the learning of social values and behaviours is socialization
Socialization
Socialization is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists and educationalists to refer to the process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies...

. The history of the curricula of such education reflects human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 itself, the history of knowledge, beliefs, skills and cultures of humanity.

In pre-literate societies, education was achieved orally and through observation and imitation. The young learned informally from their parents, extended family and grand parents. At later stages of their lives, they received instruction of a more structured and formal nature, imparted by people not necessarily related, in the context of initiation, religion or ritual.

As the customs and knowledge of ancient civilizations became more complex, many skills would have been learned from an experienced person on the job, in animal husbandry
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock.- History :Animal husbandry has been practiced for thousands of years, since the first domestication of animals....

, agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

, preparation and preservation
Food preservation
Food preservation is the process of treating and handling food to stop or slow down spoilage and thus allow for longer storage....

 of food, construction
History of construction
People have constructed buildings and other structures since prehistory, including bridges, amphitheatres, dams, electricity pylons, roads and canals. Building materials in present use have a long history and some of the structures built thousands of years ago can still be regarded as remarkable....

, stone work, metal work, boat building
Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

, the making of weapon
Weapon
A weapon, arm, or armament is a tool or instrument used with the aim of causing damage or harm to living beings or artificial structures or systems...

s and defensis, the military skills and many other occupations.

With the development of writing
Writing
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols . It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio.Writing most likely...

, it became possible for stories, poetry, knowledge, beliefs, and customs to be recorded and passed on more accurately to people out of earshot and to future generations. In many societies, the spread of literacy was slow; orality
Orality
Orality is thought and verbal expression in societies where the technologies of literacy are unfamiliar to most of the population. The study of orality is closely allied to the study of oral tradition...

 and illiteracy remained predominant for much of the population for centuries and even millennia. Literacy in preindustrial societies was associated with civil administration, law, long distance trade or commerce, and religion. A formal schooling in literacy was often only available to a small part of the population, either at religious institutions or for the wealthy who could afford to pay for their tutors. The earliest known universities, or places of higher education, started teaching a millennium or more ago.

Universal education of all children in literacy has been a recent development, not occurring in many countries until after 1850 CE. Even today, in some parts of the world, literacy rates are below 60 per cent (for example, in Afghanistan
Education in Afghanistan
Education in Afghanistan includes K-12 and Higher education, which is supervised by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education in Kabul, Afghanistan...

, Pakistan
Education in Pakistan
Education in Pakistan is overseen by the government Ministry of Education and the provincial governments, whereas the federal government mostly assists in curriculum development, accreditation and some financing of research....

, Bangladesh
Education in Bangladesh
The educational system in Bangladesh is three-tiered and highly subsidized. The government of Bangladesh operates many schools in the primary, secondary, and higher secondary levels. It also subsidizes parts of the funding for many private schools...

).
School
School
A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools...

s, college
College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

s and universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 have not been the only methods of formal education and training. Many profession
Profession
A profession is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain....

s have additional training requirements, and in Europe, from the Middle Ages until recent times, the skills of a trade
Tradesman
This article is about the skilled manual worker meaning of the term; for other uses see Tradesperson .A tradesman is a skilled manual worker in a particular trade or craft. Economically and socially, a tradesman's status is considered between a laborer and a professional, with a high degree of both...

 were not generally learnt in a classroom, but rather by serving an apprenticeship
Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

.

Nowadays, formal education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 consists of system
System
System is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole....

atic instruction, teaching and training by professional teachers
Teacher
A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils and students . The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional...

. This consists of the application of pedagogy
Pedagogy
Pedagogy is the study of being a teacher or the process of teaching. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction....

 and the development of curricula.

Education in prehistory


Most of human history lies in history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, the period before the use of writing, and before written history
Recorded history
Recorded history is the period in history of the world after prehistory. It has been written down using language, or recorded using other means of communication. It starts around the 4th millennium BC, with the invention of writing.-Historical accounts:...

. Throughout pre-history, most education was achieved orally and through observation and imitation.

From the origin of our species until about 10,000 BC, most human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

s lived as hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

s. Some were settled in a given locale/region and others exhibited a nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

ic lifestyle across a large territory.

These bands
Band society
A band society is the simplest form of human society. A band generally consists of a small kin group, no larger than an extended family or clan; it has been defined as consisting of no more than 30 to 50 individuals.Bands have a loose organization...

 or tribe
Tribe
A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.Many anthropologists use the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups .Some theorists...

s had traditions
Traditional knowledge
Traditional knowledge , indigenous knowledge , traditional environmental knowledge and local knowledge generally refer to the long-standing traditions and practices of certain regional, indigenous, or local communities. Traditional knowledge also encompasses the wisdom, knowledge, and teachings...

, beliefs, values, practices and local knowledge which was passed orally for generations from person to person. The young learned informally from their parents, extended family and kin. At later stages of their lives, they received instruction of a more structured and formal nature, imparted by people not necessarily related, in the context of initiation, religion or ritual.

Some forms of traditional knowledge were expressed through stories
Storytelling
Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images and sounds, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instill moral values...

, legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

s, folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

, ritual
Ritual
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers....

s, and song
Song
In music, a song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing.A song may be accompanied by musical instruments, or it may be unaccompanied, as in the case of a cappella songs...

s, without the need for a writing system
Writing system
A writing system is a symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in language.-General properties:Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that the reader must usually understand something of the associated spoken language to...

. Tools to aid this process include poetic devices
Figures of Speech
Figures of Speech is a hip hop group consisting of MCs Eve and Jyant. They performed at the Good Life Cafe in the early 1990s and were featured on the Project Blowed compilation....

 such as rhyme
Rhyme
A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words and is most often used in poetry and songs. The word "rhyme" may also refer to a short poem, such as a rhyming couplet or other brief rhyming poem such as nursery rhymes.-Etymology:...

 and alliteration
Alliteration
In language, alliteration refers to the repetition of a particular sound in the first syllables of Three or more words or phrases. Alliteration has historically developed largely through poetry, in which it more narrowly refers to the repetition of a consonant in any syllables that, according to...

. These methods are illustrative of orality
Orality
Orality is thought and verbal expression in societies where the technologies of literacy are unfamiliar to most of the population. The study of orality is closely allied to the study of oral tradition...

. The stories thus preserved are also referred to as part of an oral tradition
Oral tradition
Oral tradition and oral lore is cultural material and traditions transmitted orally from one generation to another. The messages or testimony are verbally transmitted in speech or song and may take the form, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants...

.

The advent of agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 prompted the Neolithic Revolution
Neolithic Revolution
The Neolithic Revolution was the first agricultural revolution. It was the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and settlement. Archaeological data indicates that various forms of plants and animal domestication evolved independently in 6 separate locations worldwide circa...

, when access to food surplus led to the formation of permanent human settlements
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

, the domestication
Domestication
Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. In the Convention on Biological Diversity a domesticated species is defined as a 'species in which the evolutionary process has been...

 of some animals and the use of metal tools.

Settlement, agriculture and metalwork brought new knowledge and skills to be learned and taught by each generation. As communities grew larger, there was more opportunity for some members to specialize in one skill or activity or another, becoming priests, artisans, traders, builders or labourers. Many skills would have been learned from an experienced person on the job.

The increased size of communities also brought changes to methods of leadership, politics and organization, together with early institutions. Society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

 became less egalitarian as chiefdom
Chiefdom
A chiefdom is a political economy that organizes regional populations through a hierarchy of the chief.In anthropological theory, one model of human social development rooted in ideas of cultural evolution describes a chiefdom as a form of social organization more complex than a tribe or a band...

s, state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

, city states and early civilisations replaced the earlier bands
Band society
A band society is the simplest form of human society. A band generally consists of a small kin group, no larger than an extended family or clan; it has been defined as consisting of no more than 30 to 50 individuals.Bands have a loose organization...

 and tribe
Tribe
A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states.Many anthropologists use the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups .Some theorists...

s. For example, the Uruk period
Uruk period
The Uruk period existed from the protohistoric Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age period in the history of Mesopotamia, following the Ubaid period and succeeded by the Jemdet Nasr period. Named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia. It was...

 (c. 4000 to 3100 BC) saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia. These early city-states had strong signs of government organization. The cities grew to cover up to 250 acres (1 km²) and up to 10,000–20,000 people by the end of the period.

In large settlements, social stratification began to develop, a hierarchical
Hierarchy
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another...

 arrangement of social class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

es or caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

s within the society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

. There might be a king
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 and nobles. There were often priests or other religious leaders, because religious beliefs in deities or spirits
Animism
Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

 often formed an important part of a culture. In some societies, the status of women was lower than that of men; in some there were slaves. A person's social class, caste or gender might in turn determine or limit the occupations which he or she might follow and the education that he or she would receive.

Before the development of writing, it is probable that there were already epic poems
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

, hymns to gods and incantations (such as those later found written in the ancient library at Ninevah, and the Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

), and other oral literature
Oral literature
Oral literature corresponds in the sphere of the spoken word to literature as literature operates in the domain of the written word. It thus forms a generally more fundamental component of culture, but operates in many ways as one might expect literature to do...

 (for example, see ancient literature
Ancient literature
The history of literature begins with the history of writing, in Bronze Age Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.Writing develops out of proto-literate sign systems by the 30th century BC, although the oldest literary texts that have come down to us are several centuries younger, dating to the 27th or...

).

In ancient India, the Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 were learnt by repetition of various forms of recitation. By means of memorization
Memorization
Memorization is the process of committing something to memory. The act of memorization is often a deliberate mental process undertaken in order to store in memory for later recall items such as experiences, names, appointments, addresses, telephone numbers, lists, stories, poems, pictures, maps,...

, they were passed down through many generations.

The development of writing


Starting in about 3500 BC, various writing systems were developed in ancient civilizations around the world. In Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 fully developed hieroglyphs that could be read in rebus
Rebus
A rebus is an allusional device that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words. It was a favourite form of heraldic expression used in the Middle Ages to denote surnames, for example in its basic form 3 salmon fish to denote the name "Salmon"...

 fashion were in use at Abydos as early as 3400 BC. Later, the world's oldest known alphabet
Middle Bronze Age alphabets
Proto-Sinaitic is a Middle Bronze Age script attested in a very small collection of inscriptions at Serabit el-Khadim in the Sinai Peninsula. Due to the extreme scarcity of Proto-Sinaitic signs, very little is known with certainty about the nature of the script...

 was developed in central Egypt around 2000 BC from a hieroglyphic prototype. One hieroglyphic script was used on stone monuments, other cursive scripts were used for writing in ink on papyrus
Papyrus
Papyrus is a thick paper-like material produced from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, a wetland sedge that was once abundant in the Nile Delta of Egypt....

, a flexible, paper-like material, made from the stems of reeds that grow in marshes and beside rivers such as the River Nile.

The Phoenician writing system was adapted from the Proto-Canaanite script in around the 11th century BC, which in turn borrowed ideas from Egyptian hieroglyphics. This script was adapted by the Greeks
Greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since at least 730 BC . The alphabet in its classical and modern form consists of 24 letters ordered in sequence from alpha to omega...

. A variant of the early Greek alphabet gave rise to the Etruscan alphabet, and its own descendants, such as the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

. Other descendants from the Greek alphabet
Greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since at least 730 BC . The alphabet in its classical and modern form consists of 24 letters ordered in sequence from alpha to omega...

 include the Cyrillic alphabet
Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

, used to write Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

, among others.

The Phoenician system was also adapted into the Aramaic script, from which the Hebrew script and also that of Arabic are descended.

In China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, the early oracle bone script
Oracle bone script
Oracle bone script refers to incised ancient Chinese characters found on oracle bones, which are animal bones or turtle shells used in divination in Bronze Age China...

 has survived on tens of thousands of oracle bones dating from around 1400-1200 BC in the Shang Dynasty
Shang Dynasty
The Shang Dynasty or Yin Dynasty was, according to traditional sources, the second Chinese dynasty, after the Xia. They ruled in the northeastern regions of the area known as "China proper" in the Yellow River valley...

. Out of more than 2500 written characters in use in China in about 1200 BC, as many as 1400 are identifiable as the source of later standard Chinese characters.

Of several pre-Columbian
Pre-Columbian
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during...

 scripts in Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

, the one that appears to have been best developed, and the one to be deciphered the most, is the Maya script
Maya script
The Maya script, also known as Maya glyphs or Maya hieroglyphs, is the writing system of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, presently the only Mesoamerican writing system that has been substantially deciphered...

. The earliest inscriptions which are identifiably Maya date to the 3rd century BC, and writing was in continuous use until shortly after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century AD.

Other surfaces used for early writing include wax-covered writing boards (used, as well as clay tablets, by the Assyrians), sheets or strips of bark from trees (in Indonesia, Tibet and the Americas), the thick palm-like leaves of a particular tree, the leaves then punctured with a hole and stacked together like the pages of a book (these writings in India and South east Asia include Buddhist scriptures and Sanskrit literature), parchment
Parchment
Parchment is a thin material made from calfskin, sheepskin or goatskin, often split. Its most common use was as a material for writing on, for documents, notes, or the pages of a book, codex or manuscript. It is distinct from leather in that parchment is limed but not tanned; therefore, it is very...

, made of goatskin that had been soaked and scraped to remove hair, which was used from at least the 2nd century BC, vellum
Vellum
Vellum is mammal skin prepared for writing or printing on, to produce single pages, scrolls, codices or books. It is generally smooth and durable, although there are great variations depending on preparation, the quality of the skin and the type of animal used...

, made from calfskin, and wax tablet
Wax tablet
A wax tablet is a tablet made of wood and covered with a layer of wax, often linked loosely to a cover tablet, as a "double-leaved" diptych. It was used as a reusable and portable writing surface in Antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages...

s which could be wiped clean to provide a fresh surface (in Roman times).

History of Formal education in ancient civilizations


In many early civilizations, education was associated with wealth and the maintenance of authority, or with prevailing philosophies, beliefs, or religion.

The Middle East


In what became Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

, the early logographic system of cuneiform script took many years to master. Thus only a limited number of individuals were hired as scribes
Scribes
Scribes is a minimalist and extensible text editor for GNOME that combines simplicity with power. Scribes focuses on ways workflow and productivity can be intelligently automated and radically improved...

 to be trained in its reading and writing. Only royal offspring and sons of the rich and professionals such as scribes, physicians, and temple administrators, went to school. Most boys were taught their father's trade or were apprenticed out to learn a trade. Girls had to stay home with their mothers to learn housekeeping
Housekeeping
Housekeeping is the act of cleaning the rooms and furnishings of a home. It is one of the many chores included in the term housework. Housecleaning includes activities such as disposing of rubbish, cleaning dirty surfaces, dusting and vacuuming. It may also involve some outdoor chores, such as...

 and cooking
Cooking
Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training...

, and to look after the younger children. Later, when a syllabic
Syllabary
A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent syllables, which make up words. In a syllabary, there is no systematic similarity between the symbols which represent syllables with the same consonant or vowel...

 script became more widespread, more of the Mesopotamian population became literate. Later still in Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

ian times there were libraries in most towns and temples; an old Sumer
Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

ian proverb averred that "he who would excel in the school of the scribes must rise with the dawn." There arose a whole social class of scribes, mostly employed in agriculture, but some as personal secretaries or lawyers. Women as well as men learned to read and write, and for the Semitic Babylonians, this involved knowledge of the extinct Sumerian language
Sumerian language
Sumerian is the language of ancient Sumer, which was spoken in southern Mesopotamia since at least the 4th millennium BC. During the 3rd millennium BC, there developed a very intimate cultural symbiosis between the Sumerians and the Akkadians, which included widespread bilingualism...

, and a complicated and extensive syllabary. Vocabularies, grammars, and interlinear translations were compiled for the use of students, as well as commentaries on the older texts and explanations of obscure words and phrases. Massive archives of texts were recovered from the archaeological contexts of Old Babylonian scribal schools, through which literacy was disseminated. The Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Mesopotamia and is among the earliest known works of literature. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems about the protagonist of the story, Gilgamesh king of Uruk, which were fashioned into a longer Akkadian epic much...

, an epic poem
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

 from Ancient Mesopotamia is among the earliest known works of literary fiction
Ancient literature
The history of literature begins with the history of writing, in Bronze Age Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.Writing develops out of proto-literate sign systems by the 30th century BC, although the oldest literary texts that have come down to us are several centuries younger, dating to the 27th or...

. The earliest Sumer
Sumer
Sumer was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, modern Iraq during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age....

ian versions of the epic date from as early as the Third Dynasty of Ur
Third Dynasty of Ur
The Third Dynasty of Ur, also known as the Neo-Sumerian Empire or the Ur III Empire refers simultaneously to a 21st to 20th century BC Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur and a short-lived territorial-political state that some historians regard as a nascent empire...

 (2150-2000 BC) (Dalley 1989: 41-42).

Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal |Ashur]] is creator of an heir"; 685 BC – c. 627 BC), also spelled Assurbanipal or Ashshurbanipal, was an Assyrian king, the son of Esarhaddon and the last great king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire...

 (685 – c. 627 BC), a king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, was proud of his scribal education. His youthful scholarly pursuits included oil divination, mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, reading and writing as well as the usual horsemanship, hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

, chariot
Chariot
The chariot is a type of horse carriage used in both peace and war as the chief vehicle of many ancient peoples. Ox carts, proto-chariots, were built by the Proto-Indo-Europeans and also built in Mesopotamia as early as 3000 BC. The original horse chariot was a fast, light, open, two wheeled...

ry, soldierliness, craftsmanship, and royal decorum. During his reign he collected cuneiform texts from all over Mesopotamia, and especially Babylonia, in the library in Nineveh
Library of Ashurbanipal
-External links:. In our time discussion programme. 45 minutes....

, the first systematically organized library in the ancient Middle East, which survives in part today.

In ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, literacy was concentrated among an educated elite of scribe
Scribe
A scribe is a person who writes books or documents by hand as a profession and helps the city keep track of its records. The profession, previously found in all literate cultures in some form, lost most of its importance and status with the advent of printing...

s. Only people from certain backgrounds were allowed to train to become scribes, in the service of temple, pharaonic, and military authorities. The hieroglyph system was always difficult to learn, but in later centuries was purposely made even more so, as this preserved the scribes' status. The rate of literacy in Pharaonic Egypt during most periods from the third to first millennium BC has been estimated at not more than one percent, or between one half of one percent and one percent.

One thousand years later, in ancient Israel and Judah a basic education eventually became more widespread. The Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 (the fundamental religious text) includes commands to read, learn, teach and write the Torah, thus requiring literacy and study. In 64 AD the high priest
Kohen Gadol
The High Priest was the chief religious official of Israelite religion and of classical Judaism from the rise of the Israelite nation until the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem...

 caused public schools to be opened in every town
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 and hamlet
Hamlet
The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601...

 for all children above six or seven years of age (Babylonian Talmud, Bava Batra 21a). The expense
Expense
In common usage, an expense or expenditure is an outflow of money to another person or group to pay for an item or service, or for a category of costs. For a tenant, rent is an expense. For students or parents, tuition is an expense. Buying food, clothing, furniture or an automobile is often...

 was borne by the community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

, and strict discipline
Discipline
In its original sense, discipline is referred to systematic instruction given to disciples to train them as students in a craft or trade, or to follow a particular code of conduct or "order". Often, the phrase "to discipline" carries a negative connotation. This is because enforcement of order –...

 was observed. Raba
Rava (amora)
For the third generation Amora sage of Babylon, with a similar name, see: Joseph b. Hama .Abba ben Joseph bar Ḥama, who is exclusively referred to in the Talmud by the name Rava , was a Jewish Talmudist who lived in Babylonia, known as an amora, born in 270. He is one of the most often-cited Rabbis...

 fixed the number of pupils at twenty-five for one teacher; if the number was between twenty-five and forty an assistant teacher
Assistant teacher
Assistant teachers are additional teachers assisting a primary teacher, often in the same class room. An example for the use of assistant teachers is the German Assistant teacher programme of the Educational Exchange Service....

 was necessary; and for over forty, two teachers were required. The standard education texts were all hand-written until the invention of printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

. However significant emphasis was placed on developing good memory skills in addition to comprehension
Understanding
Understanding is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to deal adequately with that object....

 by practice
Practice (learning method)
Practice is the act of rehearsing a behavior over and over, or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it, as in the phrase "practice makes perfect". Sports teams practice to prepare for actual games. Playing a musical instrument well takes a lot of...

 of oral repetition. For details of the subjects taught, see History of education in ancient Israel and Judah
History of education in ancient Israel and Judah
Education has been defined as, "teaching and learning specific skills, and also something less tangible, but more profound: the imparting of knowledge, positive judgement and well-developed wisdom. Education has as one of its fundamental aspects the imparting of culture from generation to...

. Although girls were not provided with formal education in the yeshivah, they were required to know a large part of the subject areas to prepare them to maintain the home after marriage, and to educate the children before the age of seven. Despite this schooling system, it would seem that many children did not learn to read and write, because it has been estimated that "at least ninety percent of the Jewish population of Roman Palestine [in the first centuries AD] could merely write their own name or not write and read at all", or that the literacy rate was about 3 percent.

India


In ancient India, during the Vedic period
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

 from about 1500 BC to 600 BC, most education was based on the Veda (hymns, formulas, and incantations, recited or chanted by priests of a pre-Hindu tradition) and later Hindu texts and scriptures.

Vedic education included: proper pronunciation and recitation of the Veda, the rules of sacrifice, grammar and derivation, composition, versification and meter, understanding lalala of secrets of nature, reasoning including logic, the sciences, and the skills necessary for an occupation. Some medical knowledge existed and was taught. There is mention in the Veda of herbal medicines for various conditions or diseases, including fever, cough, baldness, snake bite and others.

Education, at first freely available in Vedic society, became over time more discriminatory as the caste system, originally based on occupation, evolved, with the brahman (priests) being the most privileged of the castes.

The oldest of the Upanishads - another part of Hindu scriptures - date from around 500 BC. These texts encouraged an exploratory learning process where teachers and students were co-travellers in a search for truth. The teaching methods used reasoning and questioning. Nothing was labeled as the final answer.

The Gurukul
Gurukul
A gurukul is a type of school in India, residential in nature, with shishyas living in proximity to the guru, often within the same house...

 system of education supported traditional Hindu residential schools of learning; typically the teacher's house or a monastery. Education was free, but students from well-to-do families paid "Gurudakshina," a voluntary contribution after the completion of their studies. At the Gurukuls, the teacher imparted knowledge of Religion, Scriptures, Philosophy
Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools of thought, or , which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. Three other schools do not accept the Vedas as authoritative...

, Literature
Sanskrit literature
Literature in Sanskrit begins with the Vedas, and continues with the Sanskrit Epics of Iron Age India; the golden age of Classical Sanskrit literature dates to late Antiquity . Literary production saw a late bloom in the 11th century before declining after 1100 AD...

, Warfare, Statecraft, Medicine
Ayurveda
Ayurveda or ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, words , meaning "longevity", and , meaning "knowledge" or "science". The earliest literature on Indian medical practice appeared during the Vedic period in India,...

, Astrology and History. The corpus of Sanskrit literature
Sanskrit literature
Literature in Sanskrit begins with the Vedas, and continues with the Sanskrit Epics of Iron Age India; the golden age of Classical Sanskrit literature dates to late Antiquity . Literary production saw a late bloom in the 11th century before declining after 1100 AD...

 encompasses a rich tradition of poetry and drama
Sanskrit drama
The earliest-surviving fragments of Sanskrit drama date from the 1st century CE. The Mahābhāṣya by Patañjali contains the earliest reference to what may have been the seeds of Sanskrit drama. This treatise on grammar from 140 BCE provides a feasible date for the beginnings of theatre in India.Its...

 as well as technical scientific
Science and technology in ancient India
The history of science and technology in the Indian subcontinent begins with prehistoric human activity at Mehrgarh, in present-day Pakistan, and continues through the Indus Valley Civilization to early states and empires. The British colonial rule introduced some elements of western education in...

, philosophical
Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools of thought, or , which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. Three other schools do not accept the Vedas as authoritative...

 and generally Hindu religious texts, though many central texts of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 and Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

 have also been composed in Sanskrit.

Two epic poems
Indian epic poetry
Indian epic poetry is the epic poetry written in the Indian subcontinent, traditionally called Kavya . The Ramayana and Mahabharata, originally composed in Sanskrit and translated thereafter into many other Indian languages, are some of the oldest surviving epic poems on earth and form part of...

 formed part of ancient Indian education. The Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

, part of which may date back to the 8th century BC, discusses human goals (purpose, pleasure, duty, and liberation), attempting to explain the relationship of the individual to society and the world (the nature of the 'Self
Ātman (Hinduism)
Ātman is a Sanskrit word that means 'self'. In Hindu philosophy, especially in the Vedanta school of Hinduism it refers to one's true self beyond identification with phenomena...

') and the workings of karma
Karma
Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies....

. The other epic poem, Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

, is shorter, although it has 24,000 verses. It is thought to have been compiled between about 400 BC and 200 AD. The epic explores themes of human existence and the concept of dharma
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

.

An early center of learning in India dating back to the 5th century BC was Taxila
Taxila
Taxila is a Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab province of Pakistan. It is an important archaeological site.Taxila is situated about northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in Panjab; just off the Grand Trunk Road...

 (also known as Takshashila), which taught the three Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 and the eighteen accomplishments. It was an important Vedic
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

/Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 and Buddhist centre of learning from the 6th century BC
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

 to the 5th century
AD
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

.'

China


During the Zhou Dynasty
Zhou Dynasty
The Zhou Dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty. Although the Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history, the actual political and military control of China by the Ji family lasted only until 771 BC, a period known as...

 (1045 BC to 256 BC), there were five national schools in the capital city, Pi Yong (an imperial school, located in a central location) and four other schools for the aristocrats and nobility, including Shang Xiang. The schools mainly taught the Six Arts
Six Arts
The Six Arts formed the basis of education in ancient Chinese culture. During the Zhou Dynasty , students were required to master the "liù yì" :# Rites# Music# Archery# Charioteering# Calligraphy# Mathematics...

: rites, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, and mathematics. According to the Book of Rituals, at age twelve, boys learned arts related to ritual (i.e. music and dance) and when older, archery and chariot driving. Girls learned ritual, correct deportment, silk production and weaving.

It was during the Zhou Dynasty that the origins of native Chinese philosophy
Chinese philosophy
Chinese philosophy is philosophy written in the Chinese tradition of thought. The majority of traditional Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States era, during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was characterized by significant intellectual and...

 also developed. Confucius
Confucius
Confucius , literally "Master Kong", was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period....

 (551 BC – 479 BC) founder of Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

, was a Chinese philosopher who made a great impact on later generations of Chinese, and on the curriculum of the Chinese educational system for much of the following 2000 years.

During the Han Dynasty (206 BC- 221 AD), boys were thought ready at age seven to start learning basic skills in reading, writing and calculation.

In 124 BC, the Emperor Wudi
Emperor Wu of Han
Emperor Wu of Han , , personal name Liu Che , was the seventh emperor of the Han Dynasty of China, ruling from 141 BC to 87 BC. Emperor Wu is best remembered for the vast territorial expansion that occurred under his reign, as well as the strong and centralized Confucian state he organized...

 established the Imperial Academy, the curriculum of which was the Five Classics of Confucius. By the end of the Han Dynasty (220 AD) the Academy enrolled more than 30,000 students, boys between the ages of fourteen and seventeen years. However education through this period was a luxury.

Later, during the Ch'in dynasty (246-207 BC), a hierarchy of officials was set up to provide central control over the outlying areas of the empire. To enter this hierarchy, both literacy and knowledge of the increasing body of philosophy was required: "....the content of the educational process was designed not to engender functionally specific skills but rather to produce morally enlightened and cultivated generalists". The Nine rank system was a civil service
Civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....

 nomination system during the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
The Three Kingdoms period was a period in Chinese history, part of an era of disunity called the "Six Dynasties" following immediately the loss of de facto power of the Han Dynasty rulers. In a strict academic sense it refers to the period between the foundation of the state of Wei in 220 and the...

 (220-280 AD) and the Southern and Northern Dynasties
Southern and Northern Dynasties
The Southern and Northern Dynasties was a period in the history of China that lasted from 420 to 589 AD. Though an age of civil war and political chaos, it was also a time of flourishing arts and culture, advancement in technology, and the spreading of Mahayana Buddhism and Daoism...

 (420-589 AD) in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. Theoretically, local government authorities were given the task of selecting talented candidates, then categorizing them into nine grades depending on their abilities. In practice, however, only the rich and powerful would be selected. The Nine Rank System was eventually superseded by the Imperial examination
Imperial examination
The Imperial examination was an examination system in Imperial China designed to select the best administrative officials for the state's bureaucracy. This system had a huge influence on both society and culture in Imperial China and was directly responsible for the creation of a class of...

 system for the civil service in the Sui Dynasty
Sui Dynasty
The Sui Dynasty was a powerful, but short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it ended nearly four centuries of division between rival regimes. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty....

 (581-618 AD)

Greece and Rome


In the city-states of ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, most education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 was private, except in Sparta. For example, in Athens, during the 5th and 4th century BC, aside from two years military training, the state played little part in schooling. Anyone could open a school and decide the curriculum. Parents could choose a school offering the subjects they wanted their children to learn, at a monthly fee they could afford. Most parents, even the poor, sent their sons to schools for at least a few years, and if they could afford it from around the age of seven until fourteen, learning gymnastics (including athletics, sport and wrestling), music (including poetry, drama and history) and literacy. Girls rarely received formal education. At writing school, the youngest students learned the alphabet by song, then later by copying the shapes of letters with a stylus on a waxed wooden tablet. After some schooling, the sons of poor or middle class families often learnt a trade by apprenticeship, whether with their father or another tradesman. By around 350 BC, it was common for children at schools in Athens to also study various arts such as drawing, painting, and sculpture. The richest students continued their education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 by studying with sophists, from whom they could learn subjects such as rhetoric, mathematics, geography, natural history, politics, and logic. Some of Athens' greatest schools of higher education included the Lyceum
Lyceum
The lyceum is a category of educational institution defined within the education system of many countries, mainly in Europe. The definition varies between countries; usually it is a type of secondary school.-History:...

 (the so-called Peripatetic school founded by Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 of Stageira
Stageira
Stageira was an ancient Greek city on the Chalkidiki peninsula and is chiefly known for being the birthplace of Aristotle. The city lies approximately 8 kilometres north northeast of the present-day village of Stagira, close to the town of Olympiada....

) and the Platonic Academy
Platonic Academy
The Academy was founded by Plato in ca. 387 BC in Athens. Aristotle studied there for twenty years before founding his own school, the Lyceum. The Academy persisted throughout the Hellenistic period as a skeptical school, until coming to an end after the death of Philo of Larissa in 83 BC...

 (founded by Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 of Athens). The education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 system of the wealthy ancient Greeks is also called Paideia
Paideia
In ancient Greek, the word n. paedeia or paideia [ to educate + - -IA suffix1] means child-rearing, education. It was a system of instruction in Classical Athens in which students were given a well-rounded cultural education. Subjects included rhetoric, grammar, mathematics, music, philosophy,...

. In the subsequent Roman empire, Greek was the primary language of science. Advanced scientific research and teaching was mainly carried on in the Hellenistic side of the Roman empire, in Greek.

The education system in the Greek city-state of Sparta
Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

 was entirely different, designed to create warriors with complete obedience, courage, and physical perfection. At the age of seven, boys were taken away from their homes to live in school dormitories or military barracks. There they were taught sports, endurance and fighting, and little else, with harsh discipline. Most of the population was illiterate.

The first schools in Ancient Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 arose by the middle of the 4th century BC. These schools were concerned with the basic socialization and rudimentary education of young Roman children. The literacy rate in the 3rd century BC has been estimated as around one percent to two percent. We have very few primary sources or accounts of Roman educational process until the 2nd century BC, during which there was a proliferation of private schools in Rome. At the height of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 and later the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, the Roman educational system gradually found its final form. Formal schools were established, which served paying students (very little in the way of free public education as we know it can be found). Normally, both boys and girls were educated, though not necessarily together. In a system much like the one that predominates in the modern world, the Roman education system that developed arranged schools in tiers. The educator Quintilian
Quintilian
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus was a Roman rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing...

 recognized the importance of starting education as early as possible, noting that “memory … not only exists even in small children, but is specially retentive at that age”. A Roman student would progress through schools just as a student today might go from elementary school to middle school, then to high school, and finally college. Progression depended more on ability than age with great emphasis being placed upon a student’s ingenium or inborn “gift” for learning, and a more tacit emphasis on a student’s ability to afford high-level education. Only the Roman elite would expect a complete formal education. A tradesman or farmer would expect to pick up most of his vocational skills on the job. Higher education in Rome was more of a status symbol than a practical concern.

It has been argued that literacy rates in the Greco-Roman world were seldom more than 20 percent; averaging perhaps not much above 10 percent in the Roman empire, though with wide regional variations, probably never rising above 5 percent in the western provinces, and that the literate in classical Greece did not much exceed 5 percent of the population. The argument for these claims is that ancient governments did not invest in public education.

Europe



During the Early Middle Ages, the monasteries of the Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 were the centres of education and literacy, preserving the Church's selection from Latin learning and maintaining the art of writing. Prior to their formal establishment, many medieval universities were run for hundreds of years as Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 cathedral school
Cathedral school
Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them ultimately evolving into medieval universities. Throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, they were complemented by the monastic schools...

s or monastic school
Monastic school
Monastic schools were, along with cathedral schools, the most important institutions of higher learning in the Latin West from the early Middle Ages until the 12th century. Since Cassiodorus's educational program, the standard curriculum incorporated religious studies, the Trivium, and the...

s (Scholae monasticae), in which monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

s and nun
Nun
A nun is a woman who has taken vows committing her to live a spiritual life. She may be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live her life in prayer and contemplation in a monastery or convent...

s taught classes; evidence of these immediate forerunners of the later university at many places dates back to the early 6th century AD.

The first medieval institutions generally considered to be universities were established in Italy, France, and England in the late 11th and the 12th centuries for the study of arts, law, medicine, and theology.[1] These universities evolved from much older Christian cathedral schools and monastic schools, and it is difficult to define the date at which they became true universities, although the lists of studia generalia for higher education in Europe held by the Vatican are a useful guide.

Ireland became known as the island of saints and scholars. Monasteries were built all over Ireland and these became centres of great learning (see Celtic Church).

Northumbria
Northumbria
Northumbria was a medieval kingdom of the Angles, in what is now Northern England and South-East Scotland, becoming subsequently an earldom in a united Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England. The name reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom's territory, the Humber Estuary.Northumbria was...

 was famed as a centre of religious learning and arts. Initially the kingdom was evangelized
Hiberno-Scottish mission
The Hiberno-Scottish mission was a mission led by Irish and Scottish monks which spread Christianity and established monasteries in Great Britain and continental Europe during the Middle Ages...

 by monks from the Celtic Church, which led to a flowering of monastic life, and Northumbria played an important role in the formation of Insular art
Insular art
Insular art, also known as Hiberno-Saxon art, is the style of art produced in the post-Roman history of Ireland and Great Britain. The term derives from insula, the Latin term for "island"; in this period Britain and Ireland shared a largely common style different from that of the rest of Europe...

, a unique style combining Anglo-Saxon, Celtic
Celtic Christianity
Celtic Christianity or Insular Christianity refers broadly to certain features of Christianity that were common, or held to be common, across the Celtic-speaking world during the Early Middle Ages...

, Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 and other elements. After the Synod of Whitby
Synod of Whitby
The Synod of Whitby was a seventh century Northumbriansynod where King Oswiu of Northumbria ruled that his kingdom would calculate Easter and observe the monastic tonsure according to the customs of Rome, rather than the customs practised by Iona and its satellite institutions...

 in 664 AD, Roman church practices officially replaced the Celtic ones but the influence of the Anglo-Celtic style continued, the most famous examples of this being the Lindisfarne Gospels
Lindisfarne Gospels
The Lindisfarne Gospels is an illuminated Latin manuscript of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the British Library...

. The Venerable Bede
Bede
Bede , also referred to as Saint Bede or the Venerable Bede , was a monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, England, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow , both in the Kingdom of Northumbria...

 (673-735) wrote his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum
Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum
The Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum is a work in Latin by Bede on the history of the Christian Churches in England, and of England generally; its main focus is on the conflict between Roman and Celtic Christianity.It is considered to be one of the most important original references on...

(Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731) in a Northumbrian monastery, and much of it focuses on the kingdom.

During the reign of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

, King of the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 from 768 – 814 AD, whose empire united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Romans, there was a flowering of scholarship
Scholarship
A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.-Types:...

, literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, and architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 sometimes referred to as the Carolingian Renaissance
Carolingian Renaissance
In the history of ideas the Carolingian Renaissance stands out as a period of intellectual and cultural revival in Europe occurring from the late eighth century, in the generation of Alcuin, to the 9th century, and the generation of Heiric of Auxerre, with the peak of the activities coordinated...

. Brought into contact with the culture and learning of other countries through his vast conquests, Charlemagne greatly increased the provision of monastic schools and scriptoria (centres for book-copying) in Francia. Most of the surviving works of classical Latin were copied and preserved by Carolingian scholars.

Charlemagne took a serious interest in scholarship, promoting the liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

 at the court, ordering that his children and grandchildren be well-educated, and even studying himself under the tutelage of Paul the Deacon, from whom he learned grammar, Alcuin, with whom he studied rhetoric, dialect and astronomy (he was particularly interested in the movements of the stars), and Einhard, who assisted him in his studies of arithmetic. His great scholarly failure, as Einhard relates, was his inability to write.

The English monk Alcuin
Alcuin
Alcuin of York or Ealhwine, nicknamed Albinus or Flaccus was an English scholar, ecclesiastic, poet and teacher from York, Northumbria. He was born around 735 and became the student of Archbishop Ecgbert at York...

 was invited to Charlemagne's court at Aachen
Aachen
Aachen has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, ...

, and brought with him the precise classical Latin education that was available in the monasteries of Northumbria
Northumbria
Northumbria was a medieval kingdom of the Angles, in what is now Northern England and South-East Scotland, becoming subsequently an earldom in a united Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England. The name reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom's territory, the Humber Estuary.Northumbria was...

. The return of this Latin proficiency to the kingdom of the Franks is regarded as an important step in the development of mediaeval Latin. Charlemagne's chancery made use of a type of script currently known as Carolingian minuscule
Carolingian minuscule
Carolingian or Caroline minuscule is a script developed as a writing standard in Europe so that the Roman alphabet could be easily recognized by the literate class from one region to another. It was used in Charlemagne's empire between approximately 800 and 1200...

, providing a common writing style that allowed for communication across most of Europe. After the decline of the Carolingian dynasty, the rise of the Saxon Dynasty in Germany was accompanied by the Ottonian Renaissance
Ottonian Renaissance
The Ottonian Renaissance was a limited "renaissance" of economy and art in central and southern Europe that accompanied the reigns of the first three emperors of the Saxon Dynasty, all named Otto: Otto I , Otto II , and Otto III , and which in large part depended upon their patronage.One of three ...

.


Cathedral schools and monasteries remained important throughout the Middle Ages; at the Third Lateran Council of 1179 the Church mandated that priests provide the opportunity of a free education to their flocks, and the 12th and 13th century renascence known as the Scholastic Movement
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

 was spread through the monasteries.

These however ceased to be the sole sources of education in the 11th century when universities
Medieval university
Medieval university is an institution of higher learning which was established during High Middle Ages period and is a corporation.The first institutions generally considered to be universities were established in Italy, France, and England in the late 11th and the 12th centuries for the study of...

, which grew out of the monasticism began to be established in major European cities. Literacy became available to a wider class of people, and there were major advances in art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 and architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

. Large cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

s were built across Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, first in the Romanesque
Romanesque architecture
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style,...

, and later in the more decorative Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 style.

It should be noted, also, that art and architecture were vital educational mediums through which religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 were taught to masses of peoples who were primarily illiterate. These 'picture books in stone' were akin to other cultures in Asia, Africa and South America who passed on history and ideas through representative forms as well.

Islamic world


During the 6th and 7th centuries AD, the Academy of Gundishapur
Academy of Gundishapur
The Academy of Gondishapur , also Jondishapur , was a renowned academy of learning in the city of Gundeshapur during late antiquity, the intellectual center of the Sassanid empire. It offered training in medicine, philosophy, theology and science. The faculty were versed in the Zoroastrian and...

, originally the intellectual center of the Sassanid empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

 and subsequently a Muslim centre of learning, offered training in medicine, philosophy, theology and science. The faculty were versed not only in the Zoroastrian and Persian traditions, but in Greek and Indian learning as well.

The House of Wisdom
House of Wisdom
The House of Wisdom was a library and translation institute established in Abbassid-era Baghdad, Iraq. It was a key institution in the Translation Movement and considered to have been a major intellectual centre during the Islamic Golden Age...

 in Bagdad was a library, translation and educational centre from the 9th to 13th centuries AD. Works on astrology
Astrology
Astrology consists of a number of belief systems which hold that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world...

, mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, and philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 were translated. Drawing on Persian, Indian
History of India
The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from...

 and Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 texts—including those of Pythagoras
Pythagoras
Pythagoras of Samos was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. Most of the information about Pythagoras was written down centuries after he lived, so very little reliable information is known about him...

, Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

, Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

, Hippocrates
Hippocrates
Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles , and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine...

, Euclid
Euclid
Euclid , fl. 300 BC, also known as Euclid of Alexandria, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "Father of Geometry". He was active in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I...

, Plotinus
Plotinus
Plotinus was a major philosopher of the ancient world. In his system of theory there are the three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. His teacher was Ammonius Saccas and he is of the Platonic tradition...

, Galen
Galen
Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus , better known as Galen of Pergamon , was a prominent Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher...

, Sushruta, Charaka
Charaka
Charaka, sometimes spelled Caraka, born c. 300 BC was one of the principal contributors to the ancient art and science of Ayurveda, a system of medicine and lifestyle developed in Ancient India...

, Aryabhata
Aryabhata
Aryabhata was the first in the line of great mathematician-astronomers from the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy...

 and Brahmagupta
Brahmagupta
Brahmagupta was an Indian mathematician and astronomer who wrote many important works on mathematics and astronomy. His best known work is the Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta , written in 628 in Bhinmal...

—the scholars accumulated a great collection of knowledge in the world, and built on it through their own discoveries. The House was an unrivalled centre for the study of humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

 and for sciences
Islamic science
Science in the medieval Islamic world, also known as Islamic science or Arabic science, is the science developed and practised in the Islamic world during the Islamic Golden Age . During this time, Indian, Iranian and especially Greek knowledge was translated into Arabic...

, including mathematics
Islamic mathematics
In the history of mathematics, mathematics in medieval Islam, often termed Islamic mathematics or Arabic mathematics, covers the body of mathematics preserved and developed under the Islamic civilization between circa 622 and 1600...

, astronomy
Islamic astronomy
Islamic astronomy or Arabic astronomy comprises the astronomical developments made in the Islamic world, particularly during the Islamic Golden Age , and mostly written in the Arabic language. These developments mostly took place in the Middle East, Central Asia, Al-Andalus, and North Africa, and...

, medicine
Islamic medicine
In the history of medicine, Islamic medicine, Arabic medicine or Arabian medicine refers to medicine developed in the Islamic Golden Age, and written in Arabic, the lingua franca of Islamic civilization....

, chemistry, zoology
Zoology
Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...

 and geography
Islamic geography
Geography and cartography in medieval Islam refers to the advancement of geography, cartography and the earth sciences in the medieval Islamic civilization....

. Baghdad was known as the world's richest city and centre for intellectual development of the time, and had a population of over a million, the largest in its time.

The commonly accepted view is that the Islamic mosque school (better known as Madrasah
Madrasah
Madrasah is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious...

),was an institution distinct from the medieval university
Medieval university
Medieval university is an institution of higher learning which was established during High Middle Ages period and is a corporation.The first institutions generally considered to be universities were established in Italy, France, and England in the late 11th and the 12th centuries for the study of...

, and that the university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 with all its facets, including the granting of academic degree
Academic degree
An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

s such as bachelor
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 (Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

: Baccalaureus), master
Master's degree
A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

 (Magister) and doctorate
Doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

 (licentia docendi), was a proper medieval European development unrelated to contemporaneous Islamic learning. This view is indirectly supported by the entry on the "Madrasa" in the Encyclopedia of Islam which draws no parallels between Islamic and Christian medieval institutions of higher learning and does not refer to any transmission process either way.

Also in the 9th century, Bimaristan
Bimaristan
Bimaristan is a Persian word meaning hospital, with Bimar- from Middle Persian of vīmār or vemār, meaning "sick" plus -stan as location and place suffix...

 medical schools were formed in the medieval Islamic world
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

, where medical diploma
Diploma
A diploma is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as a university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study or confers an academic degree. In countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, the word diploma refers to...

s were issued to students of Islamic medicine
Islamic medicine
In the history of medicine, Islamic medicine, Arabic medicine or Arabian medicine refers to medicine developed in the Islamic Golden Age, and written in Arabic, the lingua franca of Islamic civilization....

 who were qualified to be a practicing Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine is a doctoral degree for physicians. The degree is granted by medical schools...

. Al-Azhar University
Al-Azhar University
Al-Azhar University is an educational institute in Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 970~972 as a madrasa, it is the chief centre of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the world. It is the oldest degree-granting university in Egypt. In 1961 non-religious subjects were added to its curriculum.It is...

, founded in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in 975, was a Jami'ah ("university" in Arabic) which offered a variety of post-graduate degrees, had a Madrasah
Madrasah
Madrasah is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious...

 and theological seminary
Seminary
A seminary, theological college, or divinity school is an institution of secondary or post-secondary education for educating students in theology, generally to prepare them for ordination as clergy or for other ministry...

, and taught Islamic law
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

, Islamic jurisprudence
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

, Arabic grammar
Arabic grammar
Arabic grammar is the grammar of the Arabic language. Arabic is a Semitic language and its grammar has many similarities with the grammar of other Semitic languages....

, Islamic astronomy
Islamic astronomy
Islamic astronomy or Arabic astronomy comprises the astronomical developments made in the Islamic world, particularly during the Islamic Golden Age , and mostly written in the Arabic language. These developments mostly took place in the Middle East, Central Asia, Al-Andalus, and North Africa, and...

, early Islamic philosophy
Early Islamic philosophy
Early Islamic philosophy or classical Islamic philosophy is a period of intense philosophical development beginning in the 2nd century AH of the Islamic calendar and lasting until the 6th century AH...

 and logic in Islamic philosophy
Logic in Islamic philosophy
Logic played an important role in Islamic philosophy .Islamic Logic or mantiq is similar science to what is called Traditional Logic in Western Sciences.- External links :*Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: , Routledge, 1998...

.

It has been argued that the ijazah
Ijazah
An ijazah is a certificate used primarily by Sunni Muslims to indicate that one has been authorized by a higher authority to transmit a certain subject or text of Islamic knowledge...

 is the origin of the modern doctorate
Doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

. However, The generally accepted view expounded by the internationally renowned Lexikon des Mittelalters
Lexikon des Mittelalters
The Lexikon des Mittelalters is a German encyclopedia on the history of the Middle Ages. Written by authors from all over the world, it comprises more than 36,000 articles in 9 volumes. The first six volumes were published by Artemis , Munich and Zürich; volumes seven through nine by LexMA, Munich...

 is that the origin of the doctorate lies in European high medieval teaching with its roots going back to late antiquity
Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in both mainland Europe and the Mediterranean world. Precise boundaries for the period are a matter of debate, but noted historian of the period Peter Brown proposed...

 and the early days of Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 teaching of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

. This view is indirectly supported by the entry on the "Madrasa" in the internationally renowned Encyclopedia of Islam which draws no parallels between Islamic and Christian medieval learning and does not refer to any transmission process either way.

Under the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, the towns of Bursa and Edirne
Edirne
Edirne is a city in Eastern Thrace, the northwestern part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne...

 became major centers of learning. The Ottoman system of Kulliye, a building complex containing a mosque, a hospital, madrassa, and public kitchen and dining areas, revolutionized the education system, making learning accessible to a wider public through its free meals, health care and sometimes free accommodation.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the town of Timbuktu
Timbuktu
Timbuktu , formerly also spelled Timbuctoo, is a town in the West African nation of Mali situated north of the River Niger on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. The town is the capital of the Timbuktu Region, one of the eight administrative regions of Mali...

 in the West African nation of Mali became an Islamic centre of learning with students coming from as far away as the Middle East. The town was home to the prestigious Sankore University
Sankore University
Sankoré Madrasah, The University of Sankoré, or Sankore Masjid is one of three ancient centers of learning located in Timbuktu, Mali, West Africa. The three mosques of Sankoré, Djinguereber Mosque and Sidi Yahya compose the famous University of Timbuktu...

 and other madrasas. The primary focus of these schools was the teaching of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, although broader instruction in fields such as logic, astronomy, and history also took place. Over time, there was a great accumulation of manuscripts in the area and an estimated 100,000 or more manuscript
Manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

s, some of them dated from pre-Islamic times and 12th century, are kept by the great families from the town. Their contents are didactic, especially in the subjects of astronomy, music, and botany. More than 18,000 manuscripts have been collected by the Ahmed Baba centre.

China


Although there are more than 40,000 Chinese characters in written Chinese, many are rarely used. Studies have shown that full literacy in the Chinese language
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 requires a knowledge of only between three and four thousand characters.

In China, three oral texts were used to teach children by rote memorization the written characters of their language and the basics of Confucian thought.

The Thousand Character Classic
Thousand Character Classic
The Thousand Character Classic is a Chinese poem used as a primer for teaching Chinese characters to children. It contains exactly one thousand unique characters. It is said that Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty commissioned 周興嗣 to compose this poem for his prince to practice calligraphy...

, a Chinese poem originating in the 6th century AD, was used for more than a millennium as a primer for teaching Chinese characters to children. The poem is composed of 250 phrases of four characters each, thus containing exactly one thousand unique characters, and was sung in the same way that children learning the Latin alphabet may use the "alphabet song
Alphabet song
An alphabet song is any of various songs used to teach children an alphabet, used in kindergartens, pre-schools and homes around the world. Alphabet songs typically follow the alphabetic principle...

".

Later, children also learn the Hundred Family Surnames
Hundred Family Surnames
The Hundred Family Surnames is a classic Chinese text composed of common surnames in ancient China. The book was composed in the early Song Dynasty. It originally contained 411 surnames, but was later expanded to 504. Of these, 444 are single-character surnames, and 60 are double-character surnames...

, a rhyming poem in lines of eight characters composed in the early Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 (i.e. in about the 11th century AD) which actually listed more than four hundred of the common surnames in ancient China.

From around the 13th century AD until the latter part of the 19th century, the Three Character Classic
Three Character Classic
The Three Character Classic, Trimetric Classic or San Zi Jing is one of the Chinese classic texts. It was probably written in the 13th century and attributed to Wang Yinglin during the Song Dynasty...

, which is an embodiment of Confucian thought
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 suitable for teaching to young children, served as a child's first formal education at home. The text is written in triplets of characters for easy memorization. With illiteracy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 common for most people at the time, the oral tradition of reciting the classic ensured its popularity and survival through the centuries. With the short and simple text arranged in three-character verses, children learned many common characters, grammar structures, elements of Chinese history and the basis of Confucian morality.

After learning Chinese characters, students wishing to ascend in the social hierarchy needed to study the Chinese classic texts
Chinese classic texts
Chinese classic texts, or Chinese canonical texts, today often refer to the pre-Qin Chinese texts, especially the Neo-Confucian titles of Four Books and Five Classics , a selection of short books and chapters from the voluminous collection called the Thirteen Classics. All of these pre-Qin texts...

.

The early Chinese state depended upon literate, educated officials for operation of the empire. In 605 AD, during the Sui Dynasty
Sui Dynasty
The Sui Dynasty was a powerful, but short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it ended nearly four centuries of division between rival regimes. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty....

, for the first time, an examination system was explicitly instituted for a category of local talents. The merit-based imperial examination system
Imperial examination
The Imperial examination was an examination system in Imperial China designed to select the best administrative officials for the state's bureaucracy. This system had a huge influence on both society and culture in Imperial China and was directly responsible for the creation of a class of...

 for evaluating and selecting officials gave rise to schools that taught the Chinese classic texts and continued in use for 1,300 years, until the end the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

, being abolished in 1911 in favour of Western education methods. The core of the curriculum for the imperial civil service examinations from the mid 12th century AD onwards was the Four Books, representing a foundational introduction to Confucianism.

Theoretically, any male adult in China, regardless of his wealth or social status, could become a high-ranking government official by passing the imperial examination, although under some dynasties members of the merchant class were excluded. In reality, since the process of studying for the examination tended to be time-consuming and costly (if tutors were hired), most of the candidates came from the numerically small but relatively wealthy land-owning gentry. However, there are vast numbers of examples in Chinese history in which individuals moved from a low social status to political prominence through success in imperial examination. Under some dynasties the imperial examinations were abolished and official posts were simply sold, which increased corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 and reduced morale.

In the period preceding 1040–1050 AD, prefectural
Zhou (political division)
Zhou were historical political divisions of China. Formally established during the Han Dynasty, zhou continued to exist until the establishment of the Republic of China — a period of over 2000 years...

 schools had been neglected by the state and left to the devices of wealthy patrons who provided private finances. The chancellor of China at that time, Fan Zhongyan
Fan Zhongyan
Fan Zhongyan , born in Wuxian , Suzhou , was a prominent politician and literary figure in Song dynasty China. He was also a strategist and educator...

, issued an edict that would have used a combination of government funding and private financing to restore and rebuild all prefectural schools that had fallen into disuse and abandoned. He also attempted to restore all county-level schools in the same manner, but did not designate where funds for the effort would be formally acquired and the decree was not taken seriously until a later period. Fan's trend of government funding for education set in motion the movement of public schools that eclipsed private academies, which would not be officially reversed until the mid 13th century.

India


The first millennium and the few centuries preceding it saw the flourishing of higher education at Nalanda
Nalanda
Nālandā is the name of an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India.The site of Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from the fifth or sixth century CE to 1197 CE. It has been called "one of the...

, Takshashila University, Ujjain
Ujjain
Ujjain , is an ancient city of Malwa region in central India, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River , today part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the administrative centre of Ujjain District and Ujjain Division.In ancient times the city was called Ujjayini...

, & Vikramshila
Vikramshila
University was one of the two most important centers of Buddhist learning in India during the Pala dynasty, along with University. was established by King Dharmapala in response to a supposed decline in the quality of scholarship at Nālandā...

 Universities. Amongst the subjects taught were Art, Architecture, Painting, Logic, mathematics, Grammar, Philosophy, Astronomy, Literature, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, Arthashastra
Arthashastra
The Arthashastra is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy which identifies its author by the names Kautilya and , who are traditionally identified with The Arthashastra (IAST: Arthaśāstra) is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and...

 (Economics & Politics), Law, and Medicine. Each university specialized in a particular field of study. Takshila specialized in the study of medicine, while Ujjain laid emphasis on astronomy. Nalanda, being the biggest centre, handled all branches of knowledge, and housed up to 10,000 students at its peak.

Nalanda
Nalanda
Nālandā is the name of an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India.The site of Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from the fifth or sixth century CE to 1197 CE. It has been called "one of the...

 was a Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 center of learning founded in Bihar
Bihar
Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India....

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 around the 5th century AD and conferred academic degree titles to its graduates, while also offering post-graduate courses. It has been called "one of the first great universities in recorded history."

Vikramaśīla University, another important center of Buddhist learning in India, was established by King Dharmapala
Dharmapala of Bengal
Dharama Pala was the second ruler of the Pala Empire of Bengal region in the Indian Subcontinent. He was the son and succeessor of Gopala , the founder of the Pala Dynasty. He greatly expanded the boundaries of the Pala Empire founded by his father and made the Palas the most dominant power in...

 (783
783
Year 783 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 783 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* Campaigns of the Byzantine...

 to 820
820
Year 820 was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar.- Asia :* Tahir, the son of a slave, is rewarded with the governorship of Khurasan for supporting the caliphate...

) in response to a supposed decline in the quality of scholarship at Nālandā.

British records show that indigenous education was widespread in India in the 18th century, with a school for every temple, mosque or village in most regions of the country. The subjects taught included Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Theology, Law, Astronomy, Metaphysics, Ethics, Medical Science and Religion. The schools were attended by students representative of all classes of society.

Japan


The history of education in Japan
Education in Japan
In Japan, education is compulsory at the elementary and lower secondary levels. Approximately 98% of all students progress to the upper secondary level, which is voluntary . Most students attend public schools through the lower secondary level, but private education is popular at the upper...

 dates back at least to the 6th century, when Chinese learning was introduced at the Yamato
Yamato period
The is the period of Japanese history when the Japanese Imperial court ruled from modern-day Nara Prefecture, then known as Yamato Province.While conventionally assigned to the period 250–710 , the actual start of Yamato rule is disputed...

 court. Foreign civilizations have often provided new ideas for the development of Japan's own culture.

Chinese teachings and ideas flowed into Japan from the sixth to the 9th century. Along with the introduction of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 came the Chinese system of writing and its literary tradition
Chinese literature
Chinese literature extends thousands of years, from the earliest recorded dynastic court archives to the mature fictional novels that arose during the Ming Dynasty to entertain the masses of literate Chinese...

, and Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

.

By the 9th century, Heian-kyo (today's Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

), the imperial capital, had five institutions of higher learning, and during the remainder of the Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, other schools were established by the nobility and the imperial court. During the medieval period (1185-1600), Zen
Zen
Zen is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism founded by the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma. The word Zen is from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word Chán , which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as "meditation" or "meditative state."Zen...

 Buddhist monasteries
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 were especially important centers of learning, and the Ashikaga School, Ashikaga Gakko
Ashikaga Gakko
is Japan's oldest academic institution. It is located in Ashikaga city, Tochigi Prefecture, about 70 kilometres north of Tokyo. There has been some controversy as to when it was built, but it is said that it was founded in the ninth century and restored in 1432 by Deputy Shogun Uesugi Norizane; he...

, flourished in the 15th century as a center of higher learning.

Aztec


Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

 is a term used to refer to certain ethnic groups of central Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who achieved political and military dominance over large parts of Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

 in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the Late post-Classic period in Mesoamerican chronology
Mesoamerican chronology
Mesoamerican chronology divides the history of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica into several periods: the Paleo-Indian , the Archaic , the Preclassic , the Classic , and the Postclassic...

.

Until the age of fourteen, the education of children was in the hands of their parents, but supervised by the authorities of their calpōlli. Part of this education involved learning a collection of sayings, called huēhuetlàtolli ("sayings of the old"), that embodied the Aztecs' ideals. Judged by their language, most of the huēhuetlatolli seemed to have evolved over several centuries, predating the Aztecs and most likely adopted from other Nahua cultures.

At 15, all boys and girls went to school. The Mexica, one of the Aztec groups, were one of the first people in the world to have mandatory education for nearly all children, regardless of gender, rank, or station. There were two types of schools: the telpochcalli, for practical and military studies, and the calmecac
Calmecac
The Calmecac was a school for the children of Aztec nobility in the Late Postclassic period of Mesoamerican history, where they would receive rigorous religious and military training. The calmecac is to be contrasted with the Tēlpochcalli where mostly commoners received military training...

, for advanced learning in writing, astronomy, statesmanship, theology, and other areas. The two institutions seem to be common to the Nahua people, leading some experts to suggest that they are older than the Aztec culture.

Aztec teachers (tlatimine) propounded a spartan regime of education with the purpose of forming a stoical people.

Girls were educated in the crafts of home and child raising. They were not taught to read or write. All women were taught to be involved in religion; there are paintings of women presiding over religious ceremonies, but there are no references to female priests.

Inca


Inca education
Inca education
Inca education during the time of the Inca Empire was divided into two principal spheres: education for the upper classes and education for the general population...

 during the time of the Inca Empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

 in the 15th and 16th centuries was divided into two principal spheres: education for the upper classes and education for the general population. The royal classes and a few specially-chosen individuals from the provinces
Provinces of Peru
The provinces of Peru, known in Spanish as provincias, are the second-level administrative subdivisions of the country. They are divided into districts . There are 195 provinces in Peru, grouped into 25 regions except for the Lima Province which does not belong to any region. This makes an average...

 of the Empire were formally educated by the Amautas (wise men), while the general population learned knowledge and skills from their immediate forbears.

The Amautas constituted a special class of wise men similar to the bards of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

. They included illustrious philosophers, poets, and priests who kept the oral histories of the Incas alive by imparting the knowledge of their culture, history, customs and traditions throughout the kingdom. Considered the most highly-educated and respected men in the Empire, the Amautas were largely entrusted with educating those of royal
Royal family
A royal family is the extended family of a king or queen regnant. The term imperial family appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress, while the terms "ducal family", "grand ducal family" or "princely family" are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning...

 blood, as well as other young members of conquered cultures
Cultural periods of Peru
This is a chart of cultural periods of Peru and the Andean Region developed by Edward Lanning and used by some archaeologists studying the area...

 specially-chosen to administer the regions. Thus, education throughout the territories of the Incas was socially discriminatory, most people not receiving the formal education that royalty received.

The official language of the empire was Quechua
Quechua languages
Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

, although dozens if not hundreds of local languages were spoken. The Amautas did ensure that the general population learn Quechua as the language of the Empire, much in the same way the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 promoted Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 throughout Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

; however, this was done more for political reasons than educational ones.

Europe overview


Modern systems of education in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 derive their origins from the schools of the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

. Most schools during this era were founded upon religious principles with the primary purpose of training the clergy. Many of the earliest universities, such as the University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

 founded in 1160, had a Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 basis. In addition to this, a number of secular universities existed, such as the University of Bologna
University of Bologna
The Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna is the oldest continually operating university in the world, the word 'universitas' being first used by this institution at its foundation. The true date of its founding is uncertain, but believed by most accounts to have been 1088...

, founded in 1088. Free education for the poor was officially mandated by the Church at the Third Lateran Council (1179), which decreed that every cathedral must assign a master to teach boys too poor to pay the regular fee; parishes and monasteries also established free schools teaching at least basic literary skills. With few exceptions, priests and brothers taught locally, and their salaries were frequently subsidized by towns. Private, independent schools reappeared in medieval Europe during this time, but they, too, were religious in nature and mission.

The curriculum of the educational institutions of this period was frequently based around the trivium and quadrivium
Quadrivium
The quadrivium comprised the four subjects, or arts, taught in medieval universities, after teaching the trivium. The word is Latin, meaning "the four ways" , and its use for the 4 subjects has been attributed to Boethius or Cassiodorus in the 6th century...

 (the seven Artes Liberales or Liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

) and was conducted in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, the lingua franca of educated Western Europe throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

In northern Europe this clerical education was largely superseded by forms of elementary schooling following the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

. In Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, for instance, the national Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

 set out a programme for spiritual reform in January 1561 setting the principle of a school teacher for every parish church and free education for the poor. This was provided for by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

, passed in 1633, which introduced a tax to pay for this programme. Although few countries of the period had such extensive systems of education, the period between the 16th and 18th centuries saw education become significantly more widespread.

In Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

, the 17th century scientist and educator John Amos Comenius promulgated a reformed system of universal education that was widely used in Europe.

This growth resulted in increased government interest in education. In the 1760s, for instance, Ivan Betskoy
Ivan Betskoy
Ivan Ivanovich Betskoi or Betskoy was a Russian school reformer who served as Catherine II's advisor on education and President of the Imperial Academy of Arts for thirty years...

 was appointed by the Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n Tsarina, Catherine II
Catherine II of Russia
Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great , Empress of Russia, was born in Stettin, Pomerania, Prussia on as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg...

, as educational advisor. He proposed to educate young Russians of both sexes in state boarding schools, aimed at creating "a new race of men". Betskoy set forth a number of arguments for general education of children rather than specialized one: "in regenerating our subjects by an education founded on these principles, we will create... new citizens." Some of his ideas were implemented in the Smolny Institute that he established for noble girls in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

.

Betskoy's work in Russia was soon followed by the Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 establishment in 1773 of a Commission of National Education (Polish: Komisja Edukacji Narodowej, Lithuanian: Nacionaline Edukacine Komisija). The commission functioned as the first government Ministry of Education in a European country.

Meanwhile, there was an increasing academic interest in education and the first attempts to create what might be considered academic rationales for teaching methods. This led, in the 1770s, to the establishment of the first chair of pedagogy
Pedagogy
Pedagogy is the study of being a teacher or the process of teaching. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction....

 at the University of Halle in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Contributions to the study of education elsewhere in Europe included the work of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was a Swiss pedagogue and educational reformer who exemplified Romanticism in his approach....

 in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and Joseph Lancaster
Joseph Lancaster
Joseph Lancaster was an English Quaker and public education innovator.-Life:Lancaster was born the son of a shopkeeper in Southwark, south London....

 in Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

.

Under the guidance of Wilhelm von Humboldt
Wilhelm von Humboldt
Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand Freiherr von Humboldt was a German philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of Humboldt Universität. He is especially remembered as a linguist who made important contributions to the philosophy of language and to the theory and practice...

 a new university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 was founded in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 in 1810 which became the model for many research universities. Herbart developed a system of pedagogy widely used in German-speaking areas.

In the late 19th century, most of West, Central, and parts of East Europe began to provide elementary education in reading, writing, and arithmetic, partly because politicians believed that education was needed for orderly political behavior. As more people became literate, they realized that most secondary education was only open to those who could afford it. Having created primary education, the major nations had to give further attention to secondary education by the time of World War 1.

In the 20th century, new directions in education included, in Italy, Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator, a noted humanitarian and devout Catholic best known for the philosophy of education which bears her name...

's Montessori schools
Montessori method
Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. Montessori education is practiced in an estimated 20,000 schools worldwide, serving children from birth to eighteen years old.-Overview:...

; and in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. He gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher...

's development of Waldorf education.

France



While the French trace the development of their educational system to Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

, the modern era of French education begins at the end of the 19th century. Jules Ferry
Jules Ferry
Jules François Camille Ferry was a French statesman and republican. He was a promoter of laicism and colonial expansion.- Early life :Born in Saint-Dié, in the Vosges département, France, he studied law, and was called to the bar at Paris in 1854, but soon went into politics, contributing to...

, a lawyer holding the office of Minister of Public Instruction in the 1880s, is widely credited for creating the modern Republican school (l'école républicaine) by requiring all children under the age of 15—boys and girls—to attend. He also made public instruction free of charge
Free education
Free education refers to education that is funded through taxation, or charitable organizations rather than tuition fees. Although primary school and other comprehensive or compulsory education is free in many countries, for example, all education is mostly free including...

 and secular
Secular education
Secular education is the system of public education in countries with a secular government or separation between religion and state.An example of a highly secular educational system would be the French public educational system, going as far as to ban conspicuous religious symbols in schools.In...

 (laïque
Laïcité
French secularism, in French, laïcité is a concept denoting the absence of religious involvement in government affairs as well as absence of government involvement in religious affairs. French secularism has a long history but the current regime is based on the 1905 French law on the Separation of...

).

India


Education was widespread for elite young men in the 18th century, with a schools in most regions of the country. The subjects taught included Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Theology, Law, Astronomy, Metaphysics, Ethics, Medical Science and Religion.

The current system of education, with its western style and content, was introduced and founded by the British during the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

, following recommendations by Lord Macaulay. Traditional structures were not recognized by the British government and have been on the decline since.

Public education expenditures in the late 19th and early 20th centuries varied dramatically across regions with the western and southern provinces spending three to four times as much as the eastern provinces. Much of the inter-regional differential was due to historical differences in land taxes, the major source of revenue.

Lord Curzon, the Viceroy 1899-1905, made mass education a high priority after finding that no more than 20% of India's children attended school. His reforms centered on literacy training and on restructuring of the university systems. They stressed ungraded curricula, modern textbooks, and new examination systems. Curzon's plans for technical education laid the foundations which were acted upon by later governments.

Japan


By 1603 Japan had been reunified by the Tokugawa
Tokugawa shogunate
The Tokugawa shogunate, also known as the and the , was a feudal regime of Japan established by Tokugawa Ieyasu and ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family. This period is known as the Edo period and gets its name from the capital city, Edo, which is now called Tokyo, after the name was...

 regime (1600–1867), and by 1640 foreigners had been ordered out of Japan, Christianity banned, and virtually all foreign contact prohibited. The nation then entered a period of isolation and relative domestic tranquillity, which was to last 200 years. When the Tokugawa period began, few common people in Japan could read or write. By the period's end, learning had become widespread. Tokugawa education left a valuable legacy: an increasingly literate populace, a meritocratic ideology, and an emphasis on discipline and competent performance. Under subsequent Meiji
Meiji period
The , also known as the Meiji era, is a Japanese era which extended from September 1868 through July 1912. This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan.- Meiji Restoration and the emperor :...

 leadership, this foundation would facilitate Japan's rapid transition from feudal country to modern nation.

One of the things that amazed Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

ans that arrived in Japan at the end of the Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

 was that the Japanese were very well educated. It is estimated that the literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 rate was already over 80% for men and somewhere in the 60s or 70s for women and much higher in cities like Edo
Edo
, also romanized as Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of the Japanese capital Tokyo, and was the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868...

 and Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

.

Samurai curricula stressed morality and included both military and literary studies. Confucian classics were memorized, and reading and recitating them were common methods of study. Arithmetic
Arithmetic
Arithmetic or arithmetics is the oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple day-to-day counting to advanced science and business calculations. It involves the study of quantity, especially as the result of combining numbers...

 and calligraphy
Calligraphy
Calligraphy is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering . A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner"...

 were also studied. Most samurai attended schools sponsored by their han
Han (Japan)
The or domain was the name of the estate belonging to a warrior in Japan after the 17th century. The fiefs of the daimyos of the samurai class of Japan during the Edo period were called han.-Edo period:...

 (domains), and by the time of the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

 of 1868, more than 200 of the 276 han had established schools. Some samurai and even commoners also attended private academies, which often specialized in particular Japanese subjects or in Western medicine, modern military science
Military science
Military science is the process of translating national defence policy to produce military capability by employing military scientists, including theorists, researchers, experimental scientists, applied scientists, designers, engineers, test technicians, and military personnel responsible for...

, gun
Gun
A gun is a muzzle or breech-loaded projectile-firing weapon. There are various definitions depending on the nation and branch of service. A "gun" may be distinguished from other firearms in being a crew-served weapon such as a howitzer or mortar, as opposed to a small arm like a rifle or pistol,...

nery, or Rangaku
Rangaku
Rangaku is a body of knowledge developed by Japan through its contacts with the Dutch enclave of Dejima, which allowed Japan to keep abreast of Western technology and medicine in the period when the country was closed to foreigners, 1641–1853, because of the Tokugawa shogunate’s policy of national...

 (Dutch studies), as European studies
European studies
European studies is a field of study offered by many academic colleges and universities that focuses on current developments in European integration....

 were called.

Education of commoners was generally practically oriented, providing basic training in reading, writing
Writing
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols . It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio.Writing most likely...

, and arithmetic
Arithmetic
Arithmetic or arithmetics is the oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple day-to-day counting to advanced science and business calculations. It involves the study of quantity, especially as the result of combining numbers...

, emphasizing calligraphy
Calligraphy
Calligraphy is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering . A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner"...

 and use of the abacus
Abacus
The abacus, also called a counting frame, is a calculating tool used primarily in parts of Asia for performing arithmetic processes. Today, abaci are often constructed as a bamboo frame with beads sliding on wires, but originally they were beans or stones moved in grooves in sand or on tablets of...

. Much of this education was conducted in so-called temple schools (terakoya
Terakoya
Terakoya were private educational institutions that taught writing and reading to the children of Japanese commoners during the Edo period.-History:...

), derived from earlier Buddhist schools. These schools were no longer religious institutions, nor were they, by 1867, predominantly located in temples. By the end of the Tokugawa period, there were more than 11,000 such schools, attended by 750,000 students. Teaching techniques included reading from various textbooks, memorizing, abacus, and repeatedly copying Chinese characters and Japanese script.

The origins of education in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 are closely related to religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

. Schooling was conducted at temples for youngsters who wanted to study Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 to become priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

s. Later, children who were willing to study started to meet at places called, "Tera-koya" (literally meaning temple huts) and learned how to read and write Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

.

Norway


Organized education in Norway dates as far back as medieval times
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. Shortly after Norway became an archdiocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 in 1152, cathedral school
Cathedral school
Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them ultimately evolving into medieval universities. Throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, they were complemented by the monastic schools...

s were constructed to educate priests in Trondheim
Trondheim
Trondheim , historically, Nidaros and Trondhjem, is a city and municipality in Sør-Trøndelag county, Norway. With a population of 173,486, it is the third most populous municipality and city in the country, although the fourth largest metropolitan area. It is the administrative centre of...

, Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

, Bergen and Hamar
Hamar
is a town and municipality in Hedmark county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Hedmarken. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Hamar. The municipality of Hamar was separated from Vang as a town and municipality of its own in 1849...

.

After the reformation
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 of Norway in 1537, (Norway entered a personal union with Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 in 1536) the cathedral schools were turned into Latin schools, and it was made mandatory for all market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

s to have such a school.

In 1736 training in reading was made compulsory for all children, but was not effective until some years later. In 1827, Norway introduced the folkeskole, a primary school which became mandatory for 7 years in 1889 and 9 years in 1969. In the 1970s and 1980s, the folkeskole was abolished, and the grunnskole was introduced.

New Zealand


Education began with provision made by the provincial government, the missionary Christian churches and private education. The first act of parliament for education was passed in 1877, and sought to establish a standard for primary education. It was compulsory for children to attend school until the age of 14 years.

Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union



In Imperial Russia, according to the 1897 Population Census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, literate people made up 28.4 percent of the population
Population
A population is all the organisms that both belong to the same group or species and live in the same geographical area. The area that is used to define a sexual population is such that inter-breeding is possible between any pair within the area and more probable than cross-breeding with individuals...

. During the 8th Party Congress
Party Congress
A party congress is a general conference of a political party. The congress is attended by delegates who represent the party membership. In most parties the party congress is the highest decision making body of the organisation and elects the party's leadership bodies such as the National Executive...

 of 1919, the creation of the new Socialist system of education was proclaimed the major aim of the Soviet government. The abolition of illiteracy became the primary task in the Russian SFSR.

In accordance with the Sovnarkom decree of December 26, 1919, signed by its head Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

, the new policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

 of likbez
Likbez
Likbez was a campaign of eradication of illiteracy in Soviet Russia and Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s. The term was also used for various schools and courses established during the campaign...

, was introduced. The new system of universal compulsory education
Compulsory education
Compulsory education refers to a period of education that is required of all persons.-Antiquity to Medieval Era:Although Plato's The Republic is credited with having popularized the concept of compulsory education in Western intellectual thought, every parent in Judea since Moses's Covenant with...

 was established for child
Child
Biologically, a child is generally a human between the stages of birth and puberty. Some vernacular definitions of a child include the fetus, as being an unborn child. The legal definition of "child" generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority...

ren. Millions of illiterate adult people all over the country, including residents of small towns and villages, were enrolled in special literacy school
Literacy school
Literacy Schools were special evening schools in the Soviet Union for adults, to teach the illiterate or those that didn't finish school....

s. Komsomol
Komsomol
The Communist Union of Youth , usually known as Komsomol , was the youth division of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Komsomol in its earliest form was established in urban centers in 1918. During the early years, it was a Russian organization, known as the Russian Communist Union of...

 members and Young Pioneer
Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union
The Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union, also Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization The Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union, also Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization The Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union, also Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer...

 detachments played an important role in the education of illiterate people in villages. The most active phase of likbez lasted until 1939. In 1926, the literacy rate was 56.6 percent of the population. By 1937, according to census data
Soviet Census (1937)
The Soviet Census held on January 6, 1937 was the most controversial of the censuses taken within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The census results were destroyed and its organizers were sent to the Gulag as saboteurs because the census showed much lower population figures than...

, the literacy rate was 86% for men and 65% for women, making a total literacy rate of 75%.

An important aspect of the early campaign for literacy and education was the policy of "indigenization" (korenizatsiya
Korenizatsiya
Korenizatsiya sometimes also called korenization, meaning "nativization" or "indigenization", literally "putting down roots", was the early Soviet nationalities policy promoted mostly in the 1920s but with a continuing legacy in later years...

). This policy, which lasted essentially from the mid-1920s to the late 1930s, promoted the development and use of non-Russian languages in the government, the media, and education. Intended to counter the historical practices of Russification, it had as another practical goal assuring native-language education as the quickest way to increase educational levels of future generations. A huge network of so-called "national schools" was established by the 1930s, and this network continued to grow in enrollments throughout the Soviet era. Language policy changed over time, perhaps marked first of all in the government's mandating in 1938 the teaching of Russian as a required subject of study in every non-Russian school, and then especially beginning in the latter 1950s a growing conversion of non-Russian schools to Russian as the main medium of instruction.

Africa


Until at least 1900 AD, in most African countries south of the Sahara, children received traditional informal education on matters such as artistic performances, ceremonies, rituals, games, festivals, dancing, singing, and drawing. Boys and girls were taught separately to help prepare each sex for their adult roles. Every member of the community had a hand in contributing to the educational upbringing of the child. The high point of the African educational experience was the ritual passage ceremony from childhood to adulthood.

Nowadays, many sub-Saharan African countries have low rates of participation in formal education. Schools often lack basic facilities, and African universities
Universities in Africa
This is a list of universities in Africa, along with many in the developing world, face problems like fast-growing student numbers and competition from unregulated degree programmes...

 may suffer from overcrowding and the difficulties of retaining staff attracted overseas by higher pay and better conditions.

Africa has more than 40 million children. According to UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

's Regional overview on sub-Saharan Africa, in 2000 only 58% of children were enrolled in primary schools, the lowest enrollment rate of any region. The USAID Center reports as of 2005, forty percent of school-aged children in Africa do not attend primary school.

Recent world-wide trends


Nowadays some kind of education is compulsory to all people in most countries. Due to population growth and the proliferation of compulsory education, UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 has calculated that in the next 30 years more people will receive formal education than in all of human history thus far.

Illiteracy and the percentage of populations without any schooling have decreased in the past several decades. For example, the percentage of population without any schooling decreased from 36% in 1960 to 25% in 2000.

Among developing countries, illiteracy and percentages without schooling in 2000 stood at about half the 1970 figures. Among developed countries, figures about illiteracy rates differ widely. Often it is said that they decreased from 6% to 1%. Illiteracy rates in less economically developed countries (LEDCs) surpassed those of more economically developed countries (MEDCs) by a factor of 10 in 1970, and by a factor of about 20 in 2000. Illiteracy decreased greatly in LEDCs, and virtually disappeared in MEDCs. Percentages without any schooling showed similar patterns.

Percentages of the population with no schooling varied greatly among LEDCs in 2000, from less than 10% to over 65%. MEDCs had much less variation, ranging from less than 2% to 17%.

External links