Billeder på siden






Even a brief survey of the history of education may greatly broaden one's view.

Starting with primitive man, we find that his training aims only at the necessities of life, and is acquired informally through the elders and the medicine-men.

In Oriental education, the next stage in progress, illustrated by India, a traditional knowledge is acquired through memoriter and imitative methods.

While Oriental, Jewish education afforded greater development of individuality, but it was late in organizing schools, memoriter in methods, and restricted in content.

Thus all education before the day of the Greeks was largely nonprogressive.

view obtained.

The Value of the History of Education.-The His- Breadth of tory of Education from the earliest times should contribute largely to one's breadth of view and prove a study of the greatest liberal culture. A record of typical instances of the moral, æsthetic, and intellectual development of man in all lands and at all periods should certainly enlarge one's vision and enable him to appreciate more fully the part that education has played in the

progress of civilization. Such cultural values may be found even in a limited survey of the world's educational development.

Training through elders and medicinemen ties the

Space and

Its Treatment in This Book. And this is all that


here given to will be undertaken here. For, while valuable as a liberal subject matter. study, the History of Education finds its justification chiefly in the degree to which it functions in the professional training of a teacher, and it will be necessary in a brief treatise to omit or pass over hastily much that might be of interest and value in a more complete account of the development of civilization. Therefore, the amount of space and the perspective afforded the various peoples, epochs, and leaders must here be determined in large measure by the part they have played in the evolution of educational institutions and practices, and by the light their history sheds upon the aim, organization, content, and method of education to-day. At times, too, the history of a single epoch, state, or educational leader will be selected as a type, to the exclusion of others equally important, and treated with considerable intensiveness, instead of describing all sides of the subject with encyclopædic monotony. Now the first historical epoch to leave a real impress upon modern practice is that of Athens at its height. Hence a mere statement of the salient features of education preceding that period is all that can be afforded in this brief survey. A detailed account of the educational processes used by savage tribes, Oriental nations, and even Judæa may prove interesting and important in other connections, but it must here be largely curtailed.

Primitive Education.-There is little to be noted in the training of the young among primitive peoples,


save that it is intended largely for the satisfaction of savage to the immediate wants-food, clothing, and shelter. Naturally no such actual institution as a school has yet been evolved, but the training is transmitted informally by the parents. The method used is simply that of example and imitation, or, more specifically, 'trial and success.' But a more conscious and formal education is given at puberty through the 'initiatory ceremonies' (Fig. 1). In these rites the youths are definitely instructed by the older men about their relation to the spirits and the totem animals, subordination to the elders, the relations of the sexes, the sacredness of the clansman's obligations, and other traditional usages. Strict silence is enjoined upon them concerning this information, and to impress it upon their minds, and test their endurance, they are required to fast for several days and are often tortured and mutilated. As the savage does not clearly distinguish between himself and the tribe to which he belongs, there is practically no development of individuality, and since the race has not yet learned to treasure its experience in writing, he has no record of past experience and is virtually tied to the present.

of the Orient.

Oriental Education.-The nations of the ancient Vocational training and Orient-Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, China, India, and class divisions Persia-may be said to represent the next higher stage in civilization. Their systems of education prepare mostly for vocations, and are not sufficiently advanced to undertake a training for manhood or citizenship. But since a division of labor has now been evolved, the training has become more clearly differentiated and fits for specific occupations. In this way, class divisions, or even castes, have generally arisen in society, and the

Mystic religion and caste system in India.

young people are educated according to the position in life they desire, or are required to fill. As an illustration of this stage of development, we may consider somewhat in detail the social environment and education of India.

India: Its Religion and Castes.-In India, largely as a result of the debilitating climate, there was formulated about 1200 B. C. a dreamy philosophy, according to which nothing except Brahma, the one universal spirit, really exists. While men would seem to be temporarily allowed a separate existence of their own, it was held that they should remain inactive as far as possible and seek an ultimate absorption into the great Eternal Spirit. Although somewhat modified by the infusion of Buddhism, between 500 B. C. and 500 A. D., and by the British occupation of the peninsula during the nineteenth century, this mystic and static religion still dominates in India. Connected with it is the caste system, by which the people are divided into four hereditary classes. These are (1) the brahmins, or sacerdotal class, which includes all those trained for law, medicine, teaching, and other professional occupations; (2) the warriors, or military and administrative caste; (3) the industrial group; and (4) the sudras, or menial caste. Altogether outside the social order are the pariahs, or outcasts. The caste system is exceedingly strict. One may fall into a lower caste, but he cannot rise, and loss of caste by one person in a family will degrade all the


The Hindu Education.-Hence Hindu education has always endeavored to fill the pupils with the tenets of their religion, and so prepare them for absorption into the Infinite, rather than for activities in this life, and to

sacred books

laws and traditions.

preserve the caste system and keep all within the sphere of their occupation. The three upper castes are, therefore, supposed to gain a knowledge of certain sacred Knowledge of works, especially the four Vedas or books of 'knowledge,' and training in the six Angas on philosophical and scientific subjects, and the Code of Manu, which is a collection of traditional customs; but few, outside the brahmin class, are ever allowed to take advantage of this opportunity. The warriors are expected to pay more attention to martial exercises, and the industrial caste to acquire through apprenticeship the arts necessary for its hereditary occupations. Sudras, pariahs, and women are generally allowed no education. Except the sudras, all the castes obtain elementary education from a study of the laws, traditions, and customs of the country through the medium of the family, and more recently through village schools held in the open air (Fig. 2). The higher education is largely carried on in brahminic colleges, called parishads, and, as also in the case of the elementary work, the teachers have to be brahmins. Since all learning has been preserved by tradition, the chief methods of instruction are those of memorizing and imitation. Even the later texts are so written as to be easily committed, and the lines are sung aloud by the pupils until they have memorized them. Writing is learned by imitating the teacher's copy on the sand with a stick, then on palm leaves with a stylus (Fig. 2), and finally on plane leaves with ink.

tional learning,

Effect of the Hindu Education.-Hence, among the Much tradiHindus education is forbidden to ninety-five per cent of but no progress the population, and, as far as it does exist, it is a mere stuffing of the memory. It concerns itself but little with


« ForrigeFortsæt »