Everything that is going on around us was developed in some point during history. We can assume that all ideas had to come from some prior idea. As students of history, it is in our ability to wonder what cultural and social constructions are still present today from the any other time in historical period. What particular concepts still exist within the world or specifically the United States?
An idea that is still very present in America is the university. When did the idea of schools first come into full importance? What was taught and when did the concept expand into colleges and universities?
The first universities were commenced in Paris during the Early Middle Ages. This is where the first concepts of higher learning were instituted and based off. In chapter seven of “Discovering the Western Past: A Look at the Evidence” Volume 1, the book explains the history of colleges and universities, they were simpler than modern schools but took hold of what general is taught today. In Europe during the medieval period, most education was handled in the small schools, where they taught Latin to male children. Students who would go to become clergymen were taught more advance subjects in cathedral schools.
When the schooling community grew too large, colleges were set in place for student housing. Most modern university or college has housing for students. Student housing was strict and much regulated in the middle ages. These students, most of them, were to go on and become part of the clergy. Those who ran the colleges wanted to keep watch of the behavior being displayed by students of their institution. Compared to the rules of most residence halls in American universities, these restrictions seem preposterous.
Rules included “…no one shall have loud shoes or clothing by which scandal might be generated in any way… also no fellow shall presume to sleep outside of the house in town, and if he did so for reason, he shall take pains to submit his excise to the bearer of the roll… also no women of any sort shall eat in the private rooms. If anyone violates this rule, he shall pay assessed penalty, namely, sixpence. ” You can see how important the curriculum was important during college in medieval life. There was no trace of extra activities and such like there are today.
Clubs and leagues are western concepts that came later. Residence halls now are still very strict but some can be lenient towards student desires. Then learning was the highest priority. In source 11, a description of student life in Paris during the Middle Ages is explained more clearly. It says,” Almost all the students at Paris, foreigners and natives, did absolutely nothing except learn or hear something new. ” Clearly now, the college of the university is not just the resident halls. Colleges are considered an institution in which a liberal arts degree can be acquired.
The difference between a college and a university is that a college just presents a set of degrees in specific areas while a university is a collection of colleges. Content and teaching styles varied during the middle ages, as they do now. Degrees for teaching were given out to people who could right acquire them, “Believing that the chancellor often either granted the right teach to unqualified parties or simply sold licenses outright, they began to require that prospective teachers pass an examination set by the university besides getting the chancellor’s approval.
“Many of these instructors had their own style teaching. In source five of the chapter seven’s content, one teacher lays out his expectations like how modern day professors give out syllabi, he says, “All writings belonging to this class are to be read with full freedom to criticize, and with no obligation to accept unquestioningly; otherwise the way would be blocked to all discussion, and posterity be deprived of the excellent intellectual exercise of debating difficult questions of language and presentation.
” The content of school was not very far off from what most places teach today. James Hannam of the University of Cambridge says, “A great deal of the business of natural philosophy, mathematics and medicine during the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern period took place in the setting of the universities… What almost all universities had in common was that they were self governing corporations that were supported by both church and state.
Their major purpose was to train men to be lawyers, theologians and physicians but they were also increasingly used by the gentry to educate their sons in the cultural skills necessary for courtly life. ” Some universities like the University of Bologna specialized in certain categories of learning. The University of Bologna would be considered a law school. “The university is historically notable for its teaching of canon and civil law; indeed, it was set up in large part with the aim of studying the Digest, a central text in Roman law, which had been rediscovered in Italy in 1070, and the university was central in the development of medieval Roman law.
” says universities Wikipedia page. The differences between universities of the middle Ages in Europe and modern day universities in America are quite apparent but their similarities suggest that some customs were brought to the west. These universities like Cambridge, Bologna, Paris, and Oxford are the models of what higher education is today. They are what came before what we have today. That is why it is important to study history as a whole thus we can see what aspects are being used in society today.
——————————————– [ 1 ]. Merry E. Wiesner, Julius R. Ruff, William Bruce Wheeler. “Discovering the Western Past: A Look at the Evidence”. V1. Ed:6th. pp 147. [ 2 ]. Merry E. Wiesner, Julius R. Ruff, William Bruce Wheeler. “Discovering the Western Past: A Look at the Evidence”. V1. Ed:6th. pp 158-9. [ 3 ]. Merry E. Wiesner, Julius R. Ruff, William Bruce Wheeler. “Discovering the Western Past: A Look at the Evidence”.
V1. Ed:6th. pp 166. [ 4 ]. Merry E. Wiesner, Julius R. Ruff, William Bruce Wheeler. “Discovering the Western Past: A Look at the Evidence”. V1. Ed:6th. pp 147. [ 5 ]. Merry E. Wiesner, Julius R. Ruff, William Bruce Wheeler. “Discovering the Western Past: A Look at the Evidence”. V1. Ed:6th. pp 160 [ 6 ]. http://www. hps. cam. ac. uk/research/memu. html [ 7 ]. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/University_of_Bologna.