European learning institutions in the Middle Ages

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 8 January 2017

European learning institutions in the Middle Ages

The Monastic schools provided the basis for the universities. The main purpose for the establishment of schools was to develop literacy in the society. Through the schools people were educated and hence became wiser. These schools led to the formation of universities as many individuals begun to pursue deeper meanings, verbal clarity and places for doing analysis. During the scholasticism period, the need for a place where intellectuals could do their studies increased greatly as the number of scholars and philosophers rose. Scholars started to analyze books and other information sources through reason and argumentation.

Individuals who had gone through schooling had no place to further their studies and their number was increasing. This therefore led to the rise of universities as they provided a place for further studies. During the scholastic period there were many discoveries which were meant to enhance learning. The universities came up because of the need to have intellectuals together so that they can share ideas and opinions thereby leading to more discoveries. The university was a good place to do research and for individuals to learn from others. Additionally, individuals wanted to understand the Bible better and thus get closer to its truth.

The university provided a good place where people could study the Bible and hence understand it better. Background of the students During this period, education was the privilege of the members of the upper classes and thus most of the students were from the upper classes in the society. There were few students from the lower classes who had the opportunity to have formal education. This could be attributed to insufficient educational resources thereby making them expensive and thus not affordable to the lower class members. Curriculum The schools curriculum was divided into two trivium and quadrivium.

Trivium was composed of grammar, dialectic and rhetoric while qaudrivium contained geometry, arithmetic, astronomy and music. In grammar, texts written by the Priscian who was a Latin grammarian were studied and applied. In dialectic, the works done by Aristotle were read while in rhetoric, the works of Cicero were studied. Arithmetic involved the study of multiplication and division, and in addition to that abacus and chronology were learned. Geometry mainly involved the study of Euclid while Astronomy involved studying the works of Bede and Pliny who was a Roman writer.

In Music, the students were taught proportion, scale, ‘music of the spheres’ and the harmony of the universe. During the Charlemagne period education was mainly based on written texts (Cunningham & Reich, 2006). During the scholasticism period, learning was based on reasoning and argumentation. Books were chosen, read and subjected to investigation. Points of disagreements between books and other sources of information were written down and subjected to analysis using dialectics. Through the dialectics a common ground was found.

During this period universities were formed and the curriculum of most universities primarily involved the study of philosophy, science, ancient culture and mathematics. In addition to studying the students were allowed to do research in their field of preference. The effects of formal educational institutions on the European society These institutions increased the gap between the rich and the poor people in the society. This can be attributed to background of the most students. Education was primarily the privilege of the upper class members and thus most of the lower class member never had the opportunity to have formal education.

However, in spite of the gap in the society, the formal educational institutions provided the basis for more discoveries and developments in the European society. Through the institutions literacy in the society increased as more people improved their knowledge and skills. Additionally, the institutions reconciled different societies as translators and intermediaries were required. For instance, in translating Greek to English Muslims and Jews were utilized as translators and intermediaries. This therefore led to reconciliation between different religions as they dependent on each in enhancing learning.

Furthermore, the learning institutions led to change in character as individuals begun to see things differently. This led to changes in the political scene as authoritative governments collapsed paving way for the democratic ones. Powers of the monasteries were reduced as democratic governments came into power. This is because more individuals understood their rights and hence started to fight for their rights. Word count: 717.

Reference list

Cunningham L. S. and J. Reich, (2006). Culture and values. Edition: 6. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. p. 199.


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