John H. (John Henry) Jackson.

History of education : from the Greeks to he present time online

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History of Education

From the GreeKs to the
Present Time


John H. JacKson

Ex-President of the KentucKy Normal and Industrial

Institute; also Ex-President of Lincoln

Institute, Jefferson City, Missouri



Western Newspaper Union



To my sons, Ethelbert, Arthur, Atwood and Earl, who
passed into the Great Beyond before they had an oppor-
unity to speaK for themselves, this booKis affectionately
dedicated by THE AUTHOR.

Motto: Multum in Parvo.




HIS booK has been prepared especially for the
ambitious teacher, the progressive minister
the hopeful editor, the diligent student, and
the general reader.

The desig^n of the author is to give, in an epitomized
form, the history of education from the earliest times
to the present, and thus save the reader valuable time
and much labor, as well as to direct the student prop-
erly in more thorough and detailed research.

This booK will embrace a period of more than 2,000
years of educational growth, and will be treated of under
the following captions: (1) The GreeKs, (2) The Romans,
(3) The Middle Ages, (4) The Renaissance, (5) Education in
Europe, (6) Education in the United States, (7) Education
Among the Negro Race.

While the worK is not intended to be in any sense ex-
haustive, yet the author has endeavored to set forth
clearly the salient points in the world's educational

It is the earnest desire of the author that those who
read this booK may be benefited, if not instructed, by a
careful perusal of its pages.


Table of Contents

('hai)ter I. Ediuatioii Amon^' the (Ireeks

Ta^e IT

Some' Definitions of Education— Plato— Aris-
totle— Socrates.

(^lapter TI. Education Aiiioni; the Tloiuaiis

Taiie 4()

Numa— Cicero— Quintillian.

(1iai)ter TIT. Education in the :\riddle Ages

Page 71

Charlemagne- Indifference of the Clergy-
Scholasticism— Thomas Aquinas— System of
Teaching— Character of Discipline— The Church
Absolute in Education— Character of Pedagogy.

Chapter IV. Education Durino the Renais-
sauce • • ;^; ^\

The Blending of Christianity and Classical
Literature— Dawn of the New Era— Groote—
Erasmus— Ramus— Montaigne— Bacon— Come-
nius— Melancthon— Luther— Sturm— Ascham
— Ratich— The Jesuits— Port Royal Schools-
Character of the System of Education.

diapter V. Education in Europe l*at»e 103

Age of Great Educators— Pestalozzi— Rous-
seau's Emile— Comenius and Pestalozzi Com-
pared—Reforms in Education— Froebel— Prin-
ciples of the Kindergarten— Rosei^ranz—Jaco-
tot— Dr. Arnold— Hughes— Hamilton— Payne-
Spencer— Raikes— Difference Between Manual
Training and Trade Schools.


Chapter VI. Education in tlie United

States Tajvc 135

Character of Education During Colonial Times
— Views of the Early Founders of the Repub-
lic — Channing — Mann — Difference Between Eu-
ropean and American Common School Sys-
tems — The Puritans and the Cavaliers Con-
trasted — Sir William Berkley — College of Wil-
liam and Mary Founded — Harvard College —
Popular Education in New England During
Colonial Times — Federal Aid to Education —
Education in the Several States.

Chapter ^^ll. Ediieation in th(^ ITnited

States PaiL^e 150

The Growth of Education Among the Negro
Population — Tables of Statistical Data — Benja-
min Banneker — Booker T. Washington — Du
Bois — Scarborough — Dunbar — Chestnut — Phyl-
lis Wheatley — Fannie .Jackson Coppin — Anna
J. Cooper — Educational Movements of Colored
Women — Mary Church Terrell.

Chapter YJII. Education Anions' tlie Xe^To

Race ' Pao-e 182

Wrong Conceptions of Education.

Chaptc^r IX. rniversal Education an<l Uni-
versal SuFfraoe Pa.t»v 191

Home Training — Address of John H. Jackson.

Chapter X. Coni;rei>ational Schools. Page 197

Chapter XL Independent Schools. . .I^age 205

Chapter Xll. State Schools Page 212



Chapter XIII. A. M. E. Schools Page 223

Chapter XIY. A. M. E. Zion Schools Page 242
Chapter XV. C. M. E. Schools. .... .Page 245

Chapter XYI. :\r. E. Schools Page 248

Chapter XVII. Baptist Schools Page 254

Chapter XVIII. Presbyterian Schools. . . .

Page 268

Chapter XIX. Episcopal Scliools. . .Page 274
Biographical Sketclies of Xegro Educators

Page 304



In treating of the History of Edn cation in
the chronological order, as indicated in the
preface, in the judgment of the author the sub-
ject is made much more simple and compre-
hensive to the average reader than if some
other more arbitrary division had been selected.

No special mention is made of the systems
of education among the Egyptians, the
Hebrews and the, however important
and useful their educational ideas and methods
may have been to the world; but for the pur-
pose of this book the author deems it sufficient
to beain with the educational historv of the
Greeks and the Romans, the two nations of
antiquity that have done the most to mould and
to influence the pedagogical thought of our own

— X3—


During the Middle Ages, from the eighth to
the fifteenth century, will be noted the remarka-
ble decline in the spirit of educational growth
from the high standard which had previoush^
obtained among the Greeks and the Romans.

The views of some of tlie early fathers of the
Church, and the apparent opposition of Chris-
tianity as a retarding influence to the growth of
educational sentiment in this age will also be

During the Renaissance, Avhicli embraces the
period of Avhat is known as the New Era, or the
Reformation, extending from the fifteenth 1o
the seventeenth century, we shall witness a
more rapid growth of educational sentiment
under the revival of letters; and the pedagogical
views held and methods of teaching advanced
by some of the most distinguished educators
will be noted.

Tender modern times those systems of educa-
tion, and many of those names in pedagogy will
be UKMitioned, botli in Europe and America,



that have been the lueaus of inauguratiug aud
preserviuo Avhatever is best iu schemes of edu-
cation for child training from past centuries,
with those modifications Avhich are the out-
groAvth of experience, and which have been so
fruitful of good results among all civilized na-

A special cha])ter is devoted to the educa-
tional growth of the Xegro race in the United
States, abounding in figures and facts, useful
for reference, which tell of the remarkable edu-
cational advancement of this race, especially
in the ex-slave states, during a little more than
a third of a century. An account is given of
the higher educational institutions of the col-
ored race, including botli State and denomina-
tional schools, in all sections of our country.
Several of the most distinguished educators of
tliis race, both men and women, are given, with
brief biographical sketches of their lives, and
an account of their worth to the world as edu-
cators. _



The plau of the author has followed very
closely the well-known German method of
instruction and research.

As far as possible, important pedagogical
events are grouped about the name of that
teacher Avhose potent personality has infused
educational s])irit into his age, and lent a
charm, by his example, to the generation in
which he lived.



The History of Education Among the Greeks
^-Som^ Definitions of Education — Plato —
Aristotle — Socrates,

The history of education is to be distin-
guished from related branches of education.

Pedagogics, or the science of education, aims
to present the great truths of education, as seen
in the school room, enters into the processes of
mental growth, and is concerned with the best
methods of accomplishing given results.

The history of education is designed to show
what has transpired among nations, along edu-
cational lines, at certain important periods.
For example, Ave should endeavor to know what
ideas the Greeks, the Romans and other nations
had upon education, as found in the records left
to us by them. Such facts belong properly to
the history of education.



The liistory of education Avill also deal with
those systems of ediieatioii, and methods of in-
struction, that have obtained in the remote past,
and also with those that have come down to us
throuo-h the centuries, Avith various moditica^
tions, until we reach the theory and practice of
education now extant amon<^' the most enlight-
ened nations of the world.

As has been said in the ])r(d'ace of this vol-
ume, the design of this book is to give bare out-
lines on the history of education for a i)eiiod of
nearly 2,300 years. Nothing exhaustive will be
promised nor attem^jted.

, If, in a cursory glance, we can give, in very
general outlines, some idea, however faint, of
the main trend of educational growth throuiih
the centuries, Ave shall consider the effort not to
have been in vain.

In order to trace its growth through the cen-
turies, it is important in tlie very beginning to
get a proper conception of Avhat education in



as a means rather tliau as an end upon individu-
als and nations.

Plato defines education as follows: "Good
education is that which gives to the body and to
the soul all the perfection of which they are
capable.- -

Cicero used the word education to represent
the earth as the nourisher and educator of all

Tacitus confined the term to the nursing and
training of one in infancy.

Quintillian, probably the ablest educator
among the Latins, applied the term to prepara-
tory instruction.

The founders of the most ])opular of modern
systems of education, that of Prussia, define ed-
ucation to be ''the harmonious and e(|uable evo-
lution of the human powers."

Bishop Temple expresses what education is,
chiefiy as an end, in the following words:

''It is the poAver Avhereby the ])resent ever
gathers into itself the results of the past, and



transforms the Immau race into a colossal man
whose life reaches from creation to the judg-
ment day. The successive generations of men
are days in this man's life. The discovery of
inventions which characterized the different
epochs of the world's history are his works. The
creeds and doctrines, the opinions and princi-
ples of the successive ages are all his thoughts.
The state of society at different times forms his
manners. He grows in knowledge, in self-con-
trol, in visible size, just as we do, and his educa-
tion is in the same way, and for the same rea-
son, precisely similar to ours.''

Profoundly conscious of our inability to do
justice to a subject so vast and so important as
tliat of a history of education, we shall invite
our readers to review for a few moments the
growth (I was about to say the origin) of educa-
tion among the Greeks.

While it is true that broad conceptions of
aims and processes in education are modern
rather than ancient, and where properly under-

—20 -


stood rid one of the idea that education consists
in merely turning over the leaves of a text-book,
in following dogmatically the courses of study
prescribed in our high schools, colleges and uni-
versities, in memorizing set formulas, and giving
rules by rote, rather than in the harmonious de-
velopment of all the mental powers by their joy-
ous and free exercise in the search of truth, yet
in the methods of Greek training and culture
tlie student of to-day will find a veritable store-
liouse of literary wealth which, though musty
with age, is unusually prolific in the character
and variety of the methods taught, full of the
experience of many of the most profound think-
ers and of the ablest educators of Avhicli antiq-
uity can boast.

Especially Avill this be found to be true of
the system of education, as it obtained among
the Athenians, and reaching its culmination
and fruition now in the great and comprehen-
sive educatifuial systems of modern times.

Plato, the earliest of the Grecian philos(j-



pliers and educators, divided all children into
four classes, viz.: children of gold, of silver, of
bronze, and of iron.

He held that from the children of gold must
come the leaders of the Greek race; hence he fa-
vored the education of these children, and paid
little attention to those children of the other
three classes. '^Plato's education," says Eein-
hart, 'Svas essentially aristocratic.-'

He did not tliiuk that education Avould prove
beneficial to the lower classes. To those, how-
ever, Avho were fitted by nature to become the
guardians of the state the people must look for
the protection of their rights and the preserva-
titon of tlieir liberties. '^Their natures/' said he,
"are different from the natures of other people;
in otlier words, they are philosophers by na-

He liad no conception of the doctrine of uni-
versal education, as it is now held by us, upon
the theory that tlie state should provide each
child Avithin its borders with a common school




JUit he denied this doctrine most emphat-
ically in the statement that ''only those can be
rnlers who have been educated and only those
can be educated Avhose natures are superior."

The rulers of the state, then, according to
Plato, must come from the children of i>;old oidy,
must be from the best class — patricians and ar-
istocrats — and only such need be trained for the
hi!L;her walks of life.

In such a scheme of education Ave neces-
sarily find more of the ideal than of the real,
more of the theoretical than of the i)ractic^il.

I'nder his scheme there must be a divinidy-
ai)pointed better class, a God-given ruling class,
and the masses must exist for no higher, no no-
bler, no holier purpose than that of serving
these their aristocratic rulers. His scheme min-
imizes the indiAidual but magnifies the state.
The philosophers represent the Avisdom of the
state, the Avarriors its courage, the mob its pas-
sions Avhich must be controlled.

The children of gold must be (Mlucated for


the sole purpose of subservJii<j;' tJie iutc^-est of
the state in all the hioher walks of life.

The branches taught were music, gymnasties,
grammar, rhetoric, philosophy, geometry and
astronomy, which continued through the Ro-
man period, and lasted, with yarious modifica-
tions, until the close of the Middle Ages.

The Greek day began with sunrise. Boys were
sent to school early in the morning, and a sec-
ond time after breakfast, being accompanied by
a pedagogue, a faithful slaye, w^ho had charge
of their moral training. Six hours a day wcvv
giyen to study, with occasional holidays, an<l
the hot time of year giyen to y a cation.

We must not infer, howeyer, that the sub
jects taught in tlie Greek course of study in tlie
time of Plato meant exactly wiiat a course of
study usually means among us, nor that tlic
branches contained therein were taught either
for the same purpose or in the same way.

Culture was sought for its own sake and
more as a liappy diyersion by students of leis-



lire than for purposes of practical jitility, as
a 11 long us.

AAliile music, gymnastics, and rhetoric meant
more, it is quite probable that grammar, geom-
etry, pliilosophv and astronomy meant far less.

In liis ''Kepublic'^ in which he sketclies an
ideal state, and an ideal system of education, it
indeed being the first great treatise upon educa-
tion, Plato attaches much importance to both
aesthetic and physical culture, music being the
means of attaining tlii^ former and gymnastics
the latter.

The physical sciences, as we now know them,
and understand them, were scarcely known to
the ancients.

Astronomy was, for the most part, regarded
as superstitious astrology; arithmetic, simply
the computation of accounts; chemistry was un-

In several respects the scheme of education,
as under-stood by Aristotle, who was for seven-



teen years the pupil of Plato, differed very
luiicli from that of his master.

Aristotle taught at tlie Lyceum after the
death of Plato, and was considered to be tlie
greatest mind of anti(iuity. ^'For twenty cen-
turies,'' says Keinhart, '4iis logical method ruled
Avitli a despotism unparalleled, the minds of Eu-
rope.'' This great mind was the creator and
formulator of the science of deductive logic.
His rhetoric deserves to rank among the very
best works upon that subject.

While his principal treatise on education is
lost, yet Ave find in his other writings that are
extant many remarks on pedagogy.

Aristotle makes the following three divi-
sions of education: (1) bodily, (2) moral, (3) in-

He retains music and gymnastics, so prom-
inent in Plato's scheme of education, but adds
drawing and regards mathematics as having
little moral influence upon the training of pu-



As an educator, Aristotle differed from
IMato cliieliy in bein;>i' more scientific in Ins
metliods of investigation, and in being more
practical in his researches for knoAvledge and

He thought the main object in securing an
education was not for aesthetic purposes, as did
Plato, but to consist cliiefiy in the attainment of
intellectual and moral force, which, combinvnl,
induce the highest happiness of which man is

First in his scheme of education came gym-
nastics, which are not intended to make men
athletes, nor brutal in their tastes, but for tlie
production of courage which is to be»a golden
mean between the fierceness of the wild animal
and the sluggish inactivity of the abject coav-
ard. (lymnastics are to be regarded simply as
the means of preparing for the education of the

He believed thoroughly in the idea of a
sound mind in ii sound body. The soul was to



be educated chiefly by music, but the term mu-
sic, as used by the Greeks, was more compreheu-
sive and far-reaching than as now used by us.

Music is to be used in a general scheme of ed-
ucation for one of three purposes as best suited
Ihe individual: (1) for one's proper education aw
an artist, a specialist; (2) for the training of the
affections; (3) for the employment of one's lei-

The term music was used by the Greeks in
its generic sense, and was made the principal
means by which appeals were made in order to
cultivate the affections, to direct and to control
the desires, and to curb the animal propensities
in man. ,

As gymnastics were intended to develop and
to beautify the body, so music was designed to
order, to regulate, and to cultivate the soul.
The term music was used among the Greeks
much in the same sense as we now use the word
culture, and included those studies which stim-
ulate the mind and refine the character.



lu counectiou with poetry, music inspired
the soul with the grandest, with tlie most loft;v'
eouceptious of courage and virtue.

Browning says, ''If a Greek youth had by
continuous practice become stronger than a
bull, more truthful than the Godhead, and wiser
than the most learned Egyptian priest, his fel-
low citizens would shrug their shoulders at him
Avitli contempt if he did not possess what a
series of music and gymnastics can alone give —
a sense of gracefulness and proportion."

What the Greeks expected to accomi3lisli
tlirough music we now hope to attain by means
of accurate scholarship during a course of
study for several years.

Drawing was considered an important
branch of training by the Greeks in their
scheme of education. It was studied with a
view to encourage and to develop a taste for the

While, as has been suggested, music Avas
tauglit for the purpose of arousing the affec-



tions, and cultivatiiiii; the soul Avitli its tiiier sen-
sibilities, the chief aim in the teaching of draw-
ing was to cultivate a taste for external beau-
ty, as it is learned b}^ means of the physical or-
ganism, and as manifested through the senses
of sight and feeling.

Mathematics was taught as a purely intel-
lectual science, having little or no bearing upon
one's moral nature, while rhetoric and philoso-
pln^ were taught for about the same purpose for
Avhich we now teach them, the former to induce
force, accuracy and elegance in spoken and
written forms, and the latter to develop

The Greeks taught politics, which they re-
garded as the greatest of practical sciences, and
wdiich had for its object the attainment of the
highest good — happiness to the state.

They, how^ever, restricted the study of poli-
tics to those of mature years who are thoughtful
and have deep moral natures, and did not think
it to be a study suitable for the young.


Before the time of Socrates the world had
produced no greater ethical philosopher, no
greater scientific educator than he; in his birth
we are to behold one of the greatest educational
figures in the world's history, greater and
grander than any one who had preceded him,
because he was regarded as the greatest orig-
inal thinker, most ])rofound reasoner, and ablest
educator among the ancients.

He was the first individual to consider tlie
claims of intellect as being superior to our*
animal propensities and bodily desires, and to
consider a thorough knowledge of things rather
tlian a mere belief in things as being Godlike.

With the breadth of his intellect, and his su-
perior, overmastering genius, he brushed aside,
as it were, false systems of philosophy, the crude
and theoretical cobwebs of sophistry which,
for ages, had held the minds of men imprisoned
in their frail meshes.

He thus brought daylight out of darkness,
hope out of despair, and in the search of knowl-


edge for its own sake, evinced the best proof of
man's divine origin and angelic kinship.

Dr. John Lord, in his ^^Beacon Lights of
History,'- thns speaks of Socrates:

'^To Socrates the world owes a new method
in philosophy and a great example in morals;
and it would be difficult to settle whether hUs
influence has been greater as a sage or a moral-
ist. In either light his is one of tlie august
names of history. He has been venerated for
more tlian two thousand years as a teacher of
wisdom, and as a martyr for the truths ]w

''He did not commit his precious tlioughts to
writing; that work was done by his disciples,
even as liis exalted Avortli has been published by
them, especially by Plato and Xenophon. And
if the Greek philosophy did not culminate in
him, yet he laid down those i)rinciples by which
onlv it could be advanced.


^'As a system maker, both Plato and Aristo-
tle were greater than he; yet for original genius
he was probably their superior, and in import-
ant respects he was their master. As a good
man, battling with infirmities and temptations
and coming off triumphantly, the ancient world
has furnished no prouder example."

Myers says of him, ^^He loved to gather a lit-
tle circle about him in the Agora or in the
streets, and then draw^ out his listeners by a
series of ingenious questions. His method was
so peculiar to himself that it has received the
designation of the ^Socratic dialogue.'

''He has very happily been called an edu-
cator, as opposed to an instructor. In the young
men of his time Socrates found many devoted
pupils. The youthful Alcibiades declared that
he was forced to stop his ears and flee away that
he might not sit down by the side of Socrates
and grow old in listening.''

While nature was generous in gifts of the
soul to this great philosopher who has taught



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Online LibraryJohn H. (John Henry) JacksonHistory of education : from the Greeks to he present time → online text (page 1 of 12)