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How has education changed from prehistoric times to today?

Discuss the how education changed over time. How were students educated and what kind of subjects were considered important in different points in history? Make sure you discuss education in ancient times, the Middle Ages (including the development of universities) and the early modern period (including the concept of the "Renaissance Man").

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In the prehistoric (prior to writing) era the most important subjects studied referred to survival. Native Americans taught their children to hunt, track, make war, sew, cook, etc. Non-essential subjects mostly had to do with the telling of folkloric stories as well as their concepts of religion. Children would learn these non-essential subjects informally as they lived in community with their parents and grandparents. Essential subjects were also learned in a hands-on manner with girls helping their mothers and boys hunting and working with their fathers.

In ancient Greece the development of city states and the fierce love of democracy led the people to value the art of rhetoric and philosophy. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are known around the world as teachers who passed on knowledge and values to their students. They were in a search for goodness, beauty and purpose and sought to find the answer to these through intellectual endeavors. Questions were a big part of the curriculum and we still refer to this style of teaching as the Socratic method. Students were challenged to consider what elements of life were good, what behaviors were excellent and more desirable than others, and what made a good citizen. The art of rhetoric was valued above all other skills. The Greeks loved hearing a good argument and it mattered little if the information the speaker was conveying was true or not as long as he could make a good, interesting and entertaining argument.

Throughout most of history the majority of education has been dedicated to improving one's life and making a living. Apprenticeships were common way of doing this and many famous Americans in our early history as a ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines the changing face of education. Starting with prehistory and working through ancient Greece, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance education and the changes it has undergone are evaluated. Over 1,100 words of original text along with links to informative sources for additional research.