Why do we have to study? Who was the first to realize that a society cannot exist without schools and universities? What was done to fight the lack of literacy and ensure equal access to education among people?
We all study but know surprisingly little about the history of education and its evolution. It, however, reflects the stages of societal development that we passed to achieve the place we are in today.
Nonetheless, this topic has now been getting more and more attention at colleges. Education has been transforming. We now have lots of additional services available for students to make their learning process more effective and smooth. They can easily access information, even study remotely in the university of their choice, and address an essay writing service online. All of these opportunities are products of the modern era requiring students to optimize their resources to be more competitive.
Transformations in education are evident, and people need to understand them to accept and implement the change. In this article, we are going to discuss the world’s history of education. This cross-border journey into history will help us understand where the existing education system won and failed.
So, let’s go!
We all start with self-education as kids, and we did the same years back. Before schools, colleges, and universities, children educated themselves through play and exploration.
Parents now assist their kids in learning from a very young age. They buy lots of toys to help their children learn earlier and faster. However, the very idea of learning based on self-directed play and exploration dates thousands of years back.
Agriculture and Education
With the rise of agriculture, children’s labor became exploited, leaving them less time to explore and learn. The knowledge acquired by kids became very limited. For example, families specializing in hunting usually had a skill-intensive and knowledge-intensive way of life. They observed and learned from animals’ behavior.
However, those involved in agriculture had a labor-intensive way of life. They did not need many skills to grow crops. Children’s life changed from a pursuit of knowledge to a continuous need to serve their families.
Feudalism in the Middle Ages
Agriculture allowed people to settle in permanent dwellings and supply themselves with food. They began to develop a notion of the ownership of land. Some people grew their wealth, engaging others to work for them. Society was becoming hierarchical, and this couldn’t but reflect on education.
The first universities were opened when feudals with resources earned by exploiting slaves’ labor understood the need to pass on their knowledge to future generations. Skills obtained in practice combined with philosophy and theology were the main subjects taught at colleges back then.
Even though education was seen as a privilege, only a few people could attend lectures. A new bourgeoise class was growing largely because they could now utilize their skills and knowledge to manage large masses and profit from it.
Education, however, was slowly dividing. Some people attended colleges to get hands-on knowledge and apply it in practice. It was needed to manage people in the fields they owned. Others were interested in gaining knowledge beyond that. They studied law, medicine, etc.
After a while, education led to industrialization. Basic knowledge of physics, chemistry, and other sciences allowed to automate labor. Now people needed to run and maintain the machines rather than crop the land by hand.
Specialization and Vocational Education
Factories and fields no longer required hands. They required brains. People were hired to fix machines, run them properly, and account for products manufactured. This gave a powerful boost to education, especially vocational and occupational studies.
It was now made public, with rich people building colleges to train the workforce for their plants, fabrics, and fields. Universities also prepared qualified cadres in law, medicine, policymaking, and so on that contributed to societal development and advancement.
Capital growth and new opportunities for income generation resulted in further development of education. The world demanded first-class professionals in asset management, investment planning, law, and business administration.
Capitalism changed the philosophy of education. It now became proactive rather than reactive. People were trained to think and come up with new opportunities rather than do what duty requires.
Learning in the Era of Technologies
The advancement of technologies brought education to a new level. People started questioning if they need formal education or they can earn specific skills and apply them immediately. This debate is still ongoing. Yet, classic education with vast background knowledge is still appreciated.
Education is currently undergoing a large transformation. It has been seriously tested during the pandemic but managed to sustain with minimal damage. It’s hard to even imagine what we should expect in the near future. Yet, the education of the future will obviously be technology-facilitated and specialized. The world needs narrow specialists to advance further.
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