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A World History of Education in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Centuries

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Lee, Jaehyun
Term Paper, AP World History Class, November 2010

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Purpose of Study and Definition
II.1 Purpose of Study
II.2 Definition
III. Western Europe
III.1 Renaissance
III.2 Protestant Reformation
III.3 Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
III.4 Impact of the Enlightenment
III.5 Women's Education
IV. North America
IV.1 Puritans and New England Colonies
IV.2 Middle and Southern Colonies
IV.3 Early Independent Era
V. West Asia
VI. East Asia
VI.1 China
VI.1.1 Ming Dynasty
VI.1.2 Qing Dynasty
VI.2 Korea
VI.2.1 Educational Institutions
VI.2.2 Education and Social Status
VI.3 Japan
VII. South Asia
VII.1 Educational Policy by Emperor
VII.2 Mughal Education as a Whole
VIII. Conclusion
VIII.1 Western Europe
VIII.2 North America
VIII.3 West Asia
VIII.4 East Asia
VIII.5 South Asia
Reference List

I. Introduction
            Education shapes a man. Values upheld by societies were naturally ingrained into the minds of children, affected their way of thought, and eventually, shaped future societies. Therefore, education was indispensible to planning the society of the future. This is why the Puritans emphasized the ability to read the bible, why Muslims pushed their children to attend Madrasas. Furthermore, a study of education provides insight into various aspects of society. What was the desirable man at the time? What was the role of women ? Which wielded a greater influence?the state or the church ? These are all questions a study of education may provide decisive hints in drawing a compelling conclusion.

II. Purpose of Study and Definition

II.1 Purpose of Study
            In the broad topic of education, this paper seeks to provide a general outlook into the history of education in different regions. Conciseness, not thoroughness, is to be displayed throughout this paper. It is not only impossible to delineate every detail of the educational process but also useless. Ergo, this paper addresses the topic with a focus on three key criteria: accessibility, social value, and institution. Accessibility refers to how open education was to the public. Were women allowed to study, and if so, what subjects ? Were there scholarships, or was tuition free ? The answers to such questions for each society would indicate the accessibility of education. As for social values, the issue is the purpose of education. Some regions placed an emphasis on raising clergymen, others military commanders. Moreover, education represented social mobility in some societies; in others it represented elitism and conservatism in terms of social class. Lastly, we deal with institutions. Public and private institutions, home schooling, apprenticeships - the options were diverse. As the structure and system of these institutions formed the very basis of education, a study of how they were operated is crucial to the better understanding of the history of education.

II.2 Time and Place Setting
            Covering the period between 1490 and 1800, this paper deals primarily with the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. However, as in some areas the trend in education continued from an earlier established tradition or influenced results in periods after 1800, discussions on such matter were provided.
            This paper deals with five major areas of study. The first region to be covered is Western Europe. The study of Western Europe is made with a focus on France, the Italian peninsula, the German speaking regions, and England. Occasional mention of other regions was given when necessary. The second region is North America. Here, we place a focus on the thirteen American colonies that later became the United States of America. Although one could argue that British and French Canada and its history should be included, only American educational history was elaborated upon as they differed more significantly from the mother continent than Canada. The third region of coverage is West Asia, and this section covers education in the Ottoman Empire. The fourth region is East Asia. Three countries, namely China, Korea, and Japan are reviewed. Discussion of education in China is on the Ming and Qing dynasty, Korea on the Joseon dynasty, and Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate. Although these dynasties and regimes lasted for period before and after the time frame specified in this paper, certain events and statistics outside the time frame are used as they are closely linked to the core material of coverage. The fifth region is South Asia, represented by India. The set time frame leaves room for the Delhi Sultanate and the East India Company's influence to come in, but this paper focuses exclusively on the Mughal Empire, as it was this state that promoted major educational reforms and movements.

III. Western Europe
            Two significant changes in European history caused great changes in education during this time frame. First was the blooming of the Renaissance, the second the advent of the Reformation. This period was marked by the transition from the scholastic education that dominated Europe for nearly a millennium to the revival of the classical education of the Greco-Roman times.

III.1 Renaissance
            As a direct consequence of the Renaissance, the scholastic curriculum of law, philosophy, medicine, and theology came to be replaced by the seven liberal arts of antiquity : grammar, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy, and rhetoric, of which rhetoric (Greek and Latin), history, and ethics were most emphasized (1). Physical Training was also given greater emphasis as the social atmosphere allowed for the appreciation of the human body and physical strength. As Pope Pius II's remarks "Games and exercises which develop the muscular activities and general carriage of the person should be encouraged by every teacher" (2) clearly reveal, schools influenced by Renaissance humanist thought encouraged physical activity. To illustrate, a type of football was very popular in humanist schools around the Italian peninsula during the fifteenth century. However, as the Renaissance did not affect Northern Europe as much as it did the Italian peninsula, emphasis on sports was not common in Northern Europe before the mid sixteenth century.
            With the emergence of the Renaissance, the purpose of education was altered as well. The goal was no longer to raise devoted priests who would best serve god; the curriculum was rather designed to educate laymen to develop intellectual and moral excellence. One point worth noticing is that although medieval knights also went through physical training, the purpose of physical education during the Renaissance was not to raise fit soldiers but to liberate the body.
            Humanist schools served the purpose of spreading this belief across Europe. Attracting students from virtually every country in Europe by the early 16th century, these institutions served students from two main social groups - the nobility and socially ambitious merchants. There lied a clear need for good humanist education - to manage estates with efficiency and to compete for offices in the state administration. Only humanist education could fit a man to be a judge, a public servant, or a military commander in many Italian city-states. Education was vital to social success.
            To be more specific, Education started around the age of seven (3). One could be educated through a tutor or through humanist schools. Students were often taught grammar and arithmetic, as they helped in becoming a better merchant. However, privileged families like the Medici focused the education of their children on a more extensive study of the humanist curriculum.
            One could continue education at University. The studies there would be comprised of Latin grammar and literature, as well as rhetoric, law, and logic. When the student had finished studying these subjects, he would be presented the degree of Bachelor of Arts, a degree that took between four to seven years of studying to attain. Then he would study other subjects in the seven liberal arts of antiquity such as arithmetic, Greek history, and astrology.
            These influences of the Renaissance, however, were not so powerful as to completely transform all educational institutions of the era. Scholars remained to be mostly clerics and it took time for humanists to come in and replace them. In the 15th century, only a few universities like those at Florence, Bologna, and Padua added humanist subjects (4). Most others remained under the influence of scholasticism. To take another example, although France had nine universities by the end of the 15th century, they remained largely under the control of the Roman Catholic Church, although they faced criticism from those influenced by humanist doctrine.
            Although the Renaissance changed what was being taught in schools, it did little to improve the accessibility of education. Women, although there were few exceptions among those from the top of the social stratum, did not experience a significant improvement in their prospects for receiving a humanist education like those of their male counterparts. In fact, the women of the Renaissance were emphasized of their roles as mothers and wives. They were expected to be elegant, but also subordinate. The "liberating" values of humanism were limited to grown up males. To add, peasants were usually completely uneducated. Knowledge of Latin was a requirement for entering university, and so the child of the layman found it difficult to be thoroughly educated in humanist doctrine. The only hopes were to attend a cathedral school to become a member of the clergy. This was another limitation of the changes brought by the Renaissance.

III.2 Protestant Reformation
            Unlike the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation allowed the dramatic spread of education to all parts of society. Lutherans and Calvinists stressed the importance of education as an essential tool to individuals and believed it to necessary for the critical study of scriptures. In order to gain independence from the clergy in understanding the meaning of the text, the ability to read the Holy Scriptures was vital. Thus various efforts were made to make this possible.
            The most important of these efforts was the spread of the vernacular language. Thanks to the Gutenberg style printing press, the bible translated into vernaculars could be printed in mass quantities. Vernacular schools accepted both boys and girls educated children on the basics of reading. This led to a meaningful increase in literacy, as five to ten percent of the population in early sixteenth century was able to read, the best figures since the history of mankind (5).
            The Reformation also led to the decrease of church influence on education, although the influence did not disappear completely. Some old schools were closed and others were opened in place. Preliminary educational institutions no longer belonged to the church and were rather supervised by variable degree by church and state.

III.3 Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
            The clash between progress and tradition in education continued to mark history during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. First lies in the influence of the church in education. Although the monarchy in France became more absolute, so did the authorities of ecclesial organizations in education. By the mid seventeenth century, the Jesuits, the most powerful of such organizations, had 14,000 pupils under instruction in Paris alone (6). The continued grasp of church authorities on educational institutions resulted in detrimental outcomes. Medieval scholasticism was fully restored in universities staffed by Jesuit fathers, and theological dissensions disrupted the academic learning process, especially at the University of Paris. It was only in 1764, when the Jesuit order was banned in France (7) and the Oratorians (8) took charge that the more liberal ideas implemented in the Italian city states began to be practiced in France.
            Secondary educational institutions funded by the church or the state existed under different names. These schools, the grammar schools of England, the gymnasiums of Austria, and the colleges of France, provided classical education with a heavy emphasis on Greek and Latin. They served to reinforce elite status rather than to facilitate social mobility. The curriculum was almost entirely concerned with the mastery of Latin and Greek, making it a preparatory course for University. To illustrate one of these institutions, we turn to France. France had about 350 colleges in the mid eighteenth century (9), which taught a total of around fifty thousand students, two percent of the young men between eight and eighteen. The students paid tuition, and scholarships were possible, but difficult to obtain. The dropout rate among the lower class pupils was very high, and those who managed to survive ended up in the clergy. Although education could be a source of pride for these dropouts, the chances of pursuing an upper class career through education were low. Social mobility was not what these schools strove for.
            In contrast, private schools, mostly supported by merchants and the professional bourgeois, focused more on teaching practical skills. Mathematics and modern languages, not Latin and morality, were the core subjects in the curriculum of these institutions. An example of such institutions was the realschule in Germany, first established at Berlin in 1747.
            Moreover, government-subsidized military academies began to emerge in the eighteenth century. The growing need to improve the competitiveness of the military prompted the initiation of government funded programs to raise experts in mathematics and technology. The British formed the Royal Military Academy in 1748 (10), the French established numerous such institutions, for instance the Ecole du Corps Royale du Geme. Prussia and Austria also established similar military institutions. The curricula offered in these military academies focused on practical skills on subjects like artillery and navigation. The students came from predominantly noble families.
            As for universities, the seventeenth century was an era of dramatic change whereas the eighteenth century was that of stagnation. The number of university students increased handsomely between the middle of the sixteenth century and the middle of the seventeenth century, a trend most manifestly observed in England and Spain, as we see through the cases of Oxford and Cambridge.
            However, universities were in fact criticized for their backwardness. French universities stayed under the control of the Jesuits, and thus were unable to move beyond the middle-age-style education based on scholasticism. English universities that are held in high esteem in modern times ranked at the bottom of European universities at the time. Oxford and Cambridge were criticized for the lack of serious purpose, its tutors were young clerics awaiting nomination and had little concern for students, and professorships were regarded as comfortable sinecures. Law had become the most popular subject to study among students in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as a degree in law became a passport to official positions in the growing bureaucracies of Western Europe. However, an education in law focused on producing a "gentleman first and professional second," placing the good knowledge of classical studies to be necessary.
            Exceptions existed. The University of Halle in Prussia and the University of Göttingen in the Kingdom of Hannover (11) were praised for their education. Yet the more important trend in history was not that some universities excelled whereas others remained poor in their quality of education. The lessening of dependence on universities for higher education and the emergence of various societies and institutions to coexist with universities are topics which must be given thorough review.
            To raise able technical experts, the French government established various schools, such as the School of Mines, the School of Bridge and Roads, and the Royal College of Military Engineering. These schools provided France with a pool of men skilled in practical work who contributed greatly to the country's development.
            Nevertheless, the national academies did little to provide education to the general population. France’s provincial academies fulfilled this role. They nurtured a vigorous intellectual life in most regions across France, with their promotion of Parisian French. Commoners were allowed to participate, although not many took advantage of their rights. The middle class, however, actively took part in the academies and in many areas outnumbered the nobility. For example, in the provincial academy at Dijon, there were 112 nobles, 48 clergymen, and 200 bourgeois in the late eighteenth century. Nonetheless, the academies were elitist in nature and could not meet the enormous demand for organized intellectual activity.

III.4 Impact of the Enlightenment
            The philosophies of the enlightenment movement had a major impact on education in Europe. John Locke's belief that knowledge is obtained through sensation and reflection pushed efforts to make education accessible to everyone. Consequently, literacy rates improved dramatically. As elaborated above, this was made possible through the establishment of schools by the state and the church. On an additional note, the competition they had to increase their influence over the other contributed to the expansion of education, as they constantly stimulated each other. Another major issue to be addressed is the printing press and public libraries.
            The spread of vernacular language fueled by the proliferation of the printing press signaled another major transformation in Western Europe. French had replaced Latin as the lingua franca in Europe both in politics and in culture, but it was the printing press that spread the vernacular to the mass. An increased number of vernacular publications contributed to the spread of the vernacular among the public. The number of periodicals published in Britain rose from 25 in 1700 to 158 in 1780 (12). Moreover, new book publications increased from around 300 in 1750 to 1600 in the 1780s in France (13). Another major contributor was the rise of the novel, written in the vernacular. With intriguing plots, books like Robinson Crusoe quickly gained popularity amongst the public.
            Public libraries, funded by the state and available to everyone free of charge, contributed greatly to the promotion of literacy and knowledge. As books remained expensive for the commoner, public libraries provided them the opportunity to self-educate themselves.

III.5 Women's Education
            Significant improvements in women’s education did not occur until the nineteenth century. Renaissance women were constantly reminded of their roles as mothers and wives, and the few intellectuals like Laura Baussi Veratti or Margaret Cavendish who stood out were exceptions to the general social atmosphere. The protestant reformation helped promote literacy among women, as it sought every person to be able to read the bible. Thus women were allowed to study in vernacular schools at the primary school level. Nonetheless, even Protestants believed women to be subordinate to men and thus did not believe they needed the more extensive education men were privileged to have access to. Women from the upper class could attend schools of the royal courts, go to convents, or receive private lessons from tutors (or governesses) at home, but there were subjects 'suitable' for women like art, music, dancing, and poetry, that women were restricted to in their academic pursuits.

IV. North America

IV.1 Puritans and New England Colonies
            The Puritans associated education with religious cause. Illiteracy was viewed as a major threat to their society as they believed it was Satan’s attempt to keep people from the scriptures. Although the population of the Massachusetts Bay Colony had increased from 17,800 in 1640 to 106,000 in 1700 (14), the first generation puritans believed that illiteracy may plague the upcoming generations without a proper educational system established. Thus, the puritans promoted a system of education that encouraged everyone to be able to read the bible. Based on this line of thought, the puritan authorities passed two significant legislations. First was the law of 1642, which stipulated that all children including servant should be able to demonstrate competency in reading and writing. The law of 1642 reveals the principles of puritan education, but lack specified rules to ensure such principles. Such specifications are brought up in the law of 1647. The law of 1647 required towns of fifty or more families to hire a schoolmaster, and those of over a hundred families to hire a grammar schoolmaster who could teach more advanced material and prepare children to attend Harvard College. Moreover, the puritans censored what would be taught to their children. Drama, religious music, and erotic poetry were banned as they were thought to create a dreamy state and encourage sin (15). To create a pool of pious, literate population - this was the goal of Puritan education
            For most, dame schools provided the first educational experiences. In these schools, children aged six to eight would go to the house of a "dame," where they were taught to read. The hornbook, which contained the alphabet and the Lord's Prayer, was widely used in these dame schools. Upon finishing education from dame schools, three options were possible. First was the Latin Grammar School. First established in Boston in 1635 (16), these schools were preparatory schools to enter Harvard College. Only boys of a certain social class were admitted upon learning English, and were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic. As Harvard College required knowledge of Latin and Greek in its entrance exams, the Latin Grammar Schools naturally focused on teaching such subjects. The second option was apprenticeship, where children would learn specific crafts or trade from more experienced men. Unlike the Latin Grammar School, apprenticeships were available to even the poorest children. The underprivileged were sent to apprenticeships in James City and employed in public workshops. Their provisions were provided for by the government. The last option was to learn the father’s trade. This was also fairly common and widely practiced as it required no additional payment unlike apprenticeship or Latin Grammar Schools.
            On a last note, the printing press facilitated the educational process in New England. The arrival of the printing press in 1638 allowed publications like the New England Primer, a widely used textbook for children, to be published at low costs in great quantities. This is well displayed as Boston became the second largest publishing center in the English Empire by 1700 (17). Libraries flourished as a result, not only in New England but in other colonies like Pennsylvania, and allowed access of a diverse selection of reading material to the public.

IV.2 Middle and Southern Colonies
            The middle colonies took more interest in practical education. In 1683, a law was passed in Pennsylvania that required anyone having charge over children to make sure that the children could read by the age of twelve, that all children should be taught a useful trade, and that a five pound fine would be imposed for every child that does not meet these standards. In 1689, Friends Public School was started by Quakers. The school was for both sexes and all classes, and was free if it could not be afforded (18). In the eighteenth century, many schools were set up simply as a response to consumer demand. Philadelphia, which had become the second largest city in the British Empire by 1776, had a school for every need and interest. The Moravians, the Lutherans, and the Scottish Presbyterians all had their own schools. Private schoolmasters and entrepreneurs established hundreds of schools (19). Instruction in these schools were offered in Latin, mathematics, Greek, accounting, surveying, navigation, science, English, and contemporary foreign languages, among many others. There were also schools for women, blacks and the poor.
            In the Southern colonies, the government had no hand at all in education. In Virginia, education was taken care of in "old-field" schools, which were buildings erected in abandoned fields that were too full of rock or too overcultivated for agricultural use. Other options were private tutoring and studying in the Northern Colonies or in Europe.

IV.3 Early Independent Era
            Even after the declaration of independence and the formation of the United States of America, the public school system as we know them today did not emerge until the mid nineteenth century. However, a few measures were taken by Congress to promote education. One of these efforts was the Land Ordinance of 1785, which set aside land in every township in the new Western Territory for the maintenance of public schools and required the establishment of a university for no more than two townships. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 followed. This ordinance which provided land in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions for settlement stipulates in Article 3 that Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged (20). The point delivered by this document is that the federal government saw the necessity of education to becoming a good citizen and a strong government. In the upcoming years, teachers became appointed by townships and began to be subsidized by the government and state taxes. However, these are changes that took place in the nineteenth century.

V. West Asia
            The Ottoman Empire never accepted responsibility for the basic education of its citizens until the nineteenth century. Therefore, education in the Ottoman Empire was a combination of individual training institutions with a specific aim. Madarasahs constituted the most important branch of education. Religion determined the importance of each subject. Four main subjects constituted the curriculum: calligraphic sciences, oral sciences intellectual sciences, and spiritual sciences. It was strongly believed that the purpose of education was to improve the understanding and knowledge of God. Most education was centered at raising government bureaucrats or the Muslim clergy. In pursuit of more knowledge, one could travel and study abroad, as many did by studying in Persian institutions. Education for women was neglected in the Ottoman Empire.
            The Ottoman government placed importance in its military training. Despite its unwillingness and inability to establish a proper educational system for its people, the Ottoman Empire made constant endeavors to improve the competitiveness of its military. From the eighteenth century, many French officers were invited to help the modernization of the Ottoman army. In 1735, a Frenchman by the name Alexander Comte de Bonneval was appointed the head of the newly established artillery school (21). In 1773, the Royal School of Naval Engineering was established to educate shipbuilders and navy officers. Many more foreigners, predominantly from France and England, were brought in to supervise major military institutions whose purpose ranged from cannon testing to astronomy and naval engineering.

VI. East Asia

VI.1 China

VI.1.1 Ming Dynasty
            In the beginning of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), a systemized system of schools existed, but the system was relegated to a secondary position and lost importance. Studies were mostly focused on Neo-Confucianism and especially moral philosophy. Students relied on private education, more specifically a master-student system in which all expenses were paid by the student (22).
            The state examination stayed very similar to previous models practiced by the Tang and Song dynasties. Three types of questions were asked: to explain a verse from one of Confucian classics, to write an advisory document to the emperor on a current issue, to write about general directions of public policy. The majority of the male population could take the examination, and many from the merchant class succeeded in passing the examinations. However, the passage of the state examinations did not guarantee a government job, different from the neighboring Korea (23).
            Mathematics, medicine, and sciences were not given much importance in Ming China. As the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci puts it, it is evident to everyone here that no one will labor to attain proficiency in mathematics or in medicine that has any hope of becoming prominent in the field of philosophy. The study of mathematics and that of medicine are held in low esteem, because they are not fostered by honors as is the study of philosophy, to which students are attracted by the hope of the glory and the rewards attached to it (24). This inability to promote practical education widened the gap between the Western powers and China.

VI.1.2 Qing Dynasty
            The public school system was reinstated in the Qing dynasty. The system consisted of schools for nobles, national schools, and provincial schools. Special schools exclusively for the Manchu were also operated, and Chinese texts were translated into Manchu script for their benefit. Village schools were supported by public funds, but as was the case in the Ming dynasty, these schools were neglected and overshadowed by private education in the nineteenth century towards the end of the Qing dynasty.
            Confucianism remained the unchallenged model of scholarship. State examinations continued with the Ming tradition, and thus an open road to social success was available. The selection was made more selective as half of the public officials were selected from a pool of Manchu origin which consisted only three percent of the population, but the examinations were administered with fairness.
            However, the overemphasis on Confucian values and studies resulted in harmful effects. Art, music, and science was dropped completely and even arithmetic was reduced in value (25). Technology and modern science were completely neglected ; this made China vulnerable to Western imperialism.
            In conclusion, the conservatism exhibited by the Manchu resulted in stagnation of society. The ever-so-narrow interpretation of Confucian scripts pushed away the creative spirit of classical liberal education. Qing education failed to lead China to an age of progress.

VI.2 Korea
            The Korean peninsula was ruled by the Joseon dynasty since the late fourteenth century. Based on the neo-Confucian model of education, Korean education sought to realize the virtues of hyo (respect and love for parents) and chung (loyalty to the king) by enabling children to pass the state examinations called gwague.

VI.2.1 Educational Institutions
            Chosun adopted the educational system of the preceding Goryeo dynasty and in 1398 established Seonggyungwan in Seoul as the highest level national educational institution. Admission into Seonggyungwan required the passage of sogwa, a state examination. There were also the four haks in Seoul and hyanggyos in other regions which served as secondary educational institutes run by the state. Hyanggyos were established in every major administrative unit (26) and were staffed with professors from Seoul, called Hanyang at the time.
            Private education flourished in Joseon as well. Seodangs, primary educational institutes, taught those who failed to gain admission into the four haks and hyanggyos. Students at seodangs began their studies by studying basic Chinese characters through chungjamun, an introductory book for beginning learners of Chinese characters. Upon mastery of chunjamun, the children would learn to read and write. Books written specifically for children to convey moral lessons such as Myungsimbogam were taught and made to memorize in some cases. Another of the private educational institutions was the seowon. Seowons differed from public institutions in that in name they did not prepare students to pass the state examinations, but focused on raising a morally upright class of intellectuals, the seonbis.

VI.2.2 Education and Social Status
            Education was crucial to social success in Joseon. Unlike in the Goryeo dynasty where high ranking officials could nominate their children to civil service positions, the Chosun dynasty valued knowledge of Confucian classics as vital to serving in such positions. Therefore, passage of the gwague was necessary to keep one’s social status (27). The yangban, the ruling class in the Joseon Dynasty, were therefore a political and intellectual elite formed through the state examination system.
            The Gwague, or the state examination, was composed of many different examinations. The most important were the daegwa, which selected men to become political bureaucrats and military commanders. A person had to pass three examinations in order to be finally selected. The mungwa, or the humanities examination, selected future bureaucrats and tested knowledge of Confucian classics. The mugwa, or the military examination, selected future military commanders and was focused more on one’s physical combat abilities. The mungwa was preferred over the mugwa in society. It must be noted that gwague did not facilitate social mobility. Although peasants could apply, it was practically impossible to pass these examinations, especially the mungwa (28). Studying for gwague required significant financial resources in order to pay for transportation, books, tuition, and to provide one's bread and butter. This made gwague impossible for most peasants who had to worry about their daily meals. However, even the rich merchants had difficulty in passing the gwague, in stark contrast to the situation in Ming and Qing China.
            There were also another type of examinations called the jabgwa which chose skilled technicians to work in the civil service, but this was not a path that anyone in the upper class wished to pursue.

VI.3 Japan
            Until the seventeenth century, Japan faced instability and war. The invasion of Korea which had lasted from 1592 to 1598 ended in a failure, and a civil war ensued over the control of the islands. Tokugawa Ieyasu, the victor of the civil war, emerged as the de facto ruler over Japan and in 1603 established the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo (now Tokyo). The following two centuries were those of long-enduring peace. Therefore, education needed to adapt to new changes as well.
            The shogunate established schools to promote Confucianism, which provided the moral training for upper-class samurai that was vital in maintaining the feudal regime. These schools were the apex of the educational system in era. The shoheiko, or the Confucian Academy, was administered directly by the shogunate and became a model for hankos, regional schools established by different feudal domains across Japan. Hankos numbered more than two hundred by the mid nineteenth century. The schools were staffed primarily by the samurai, but also by learned Buddhists and Shinto priests who knew the Chu Hsi doctrine (29). The curriculum in these schools consisted of the classics of Confucianism, historical works, medicine, and brush writing. However, unlike in China or Korea, where military commanders and government bureaucrats were clearly separated, a samurai had to fulfill both roles. Thus, they were taught the martial arts of the sword, the bow, as well as judo and sumo.
            Private education developed as well. As the chonin, a new social class who were mostly merchants and craftsmen who had accumulated great wealth from trade with local daimyos and samurais, gained greater social significance, schools were founded to meet their needs. Shijukus, or private schools, were built across Japan and became centers of interaction among students from different domains. Representative of such institutions were the terakoya, or the temple schools. These schools, which had numbered around 11,000 and had 750,000 students attending by the end of the Tokugawa period (30), taught based on practical curricula. They highlighted rudiments of writing as well as the knowledge of arithmetic necessary to run merchant establishments. Very little history of poetry was taught, as the school focused more on providing practical training for chonins. Girls were also allowed to learn the rudiments of arithmetic, as they could help men manage their businesses while they were away. Other sijukus which emphasized Chinese, Dutch, practical arts, contributed greatly to the diversification of learning. The impact of these shijukus was an awe-inspiring increase in literacy. To illustrate, Japan’s population, which in 1600 had been almost completely illiterate, achieved a literacy rate over eighty percent for men and over sixty percent for women by the time of the Meiji Restoration (31).
            From the perspective of social mobility, however, Japan’s educational system did not meet modern ideals. The shogunate strictly forbade the movement between different social classes. The samurai attended these institutions to further their careers as their acceptance into the administrative posts depended on knowledge of Neo-Confucianism, but they did not face competition from the commoners.

VII. South Asia
            Education in the Mughal era was a voluntary and spontaneous growth. No separate administration existed over education, and state subsidy to schools and academic institutions was unsteady and sporadic. To add, the different policies of individual emperors largely decided the flow of education.

VII.1 Educational Policy by Emperor
            Babur (1526-1530), the first Mughal emperor, opened new maktabs and madrasahs. His successor, Humayun, was greatly interested in the development of literature and continued Babur’s policy by founding more libraries, maktabs, and madrasahs. The greatest reforms were pushed during the reign of the next emperor, Akbar the Great (1556-1605). Ruling over 140 million people in his domains (32), he opened a large number of schools and colleges for Muslims as well as Hindus. He promoted a policy of religious tolerance, providing better opportunities for the Hindu population of his empire. He also widened the curriculum to stress mathematics and to include physiology, medicine, agriculture geometry, logic, and history. The emperors Jahangir (1605-1627) and Shahjahan (1627-1653) continued Akbar's liberal policy by providing grants to schools and continuing the practice of religious tolerance. However, the sixth emperor Aurangzeb (1657-1707) scrapped the policy of religious integration and discriminated against Hindus by helping only Muslim institutions and destroying Hindu schools and cultural institutions. After his rule, the Mughal Empire lost its grasp over India and was eventually overrun by warlords and thus rendered unable to pursue a uniform educational policy throughout the empire.

VII.2 Mughal Education as a Whole
            Maktabs were the primary educational institutions of the Mughal Empire. They taught reading, writing, and arithmetic. Students learned Arabic then Persian script and writing. Madrasahs were institutions for higher education.
            Mughal education was free and accessible to the poor. The classics in foreign languages were translated into Persian and oftentimes taught in many institutions. The courses of studies widened in comparison to previous Muslim regimes such as the Delhi Sultanate. However, this widening was limited to the liberal emperors following Akbar and with the reign of Aurangzeb, a curriculum that prepared men for state service and taught Muslim values was preferred over the liberal humanist curriculum of the era of the liberal emperors.

VIII. Conclusion

VIII.1 Western Europe
            The Renaissance and the Reformation succeeded in allowing new ideas and values view light. However, in many areas around Europe, the influence of the Catholic Church was still significant. It took centuries for humanism to replace scholasticism as the dominant value system in universities across Western Europe; the progress in education was gradual. Public schools like those in modern times had yet to appear even in 1800, and free education to everyone was closer to a dream than reality.
            Nonetheless, various attempts were made to better the educational environment across Europe. France established various institutions of practical skills, many other nations founded royal academies where revolutionary discoveries in science were made and discussed. Yet once again, with social mobility as the standard, Western Europe still had a long way to go.

VIII.2 North America
            What is remarkable about this era was that almost no tax money was spent on education, yet education was available to almost anyone who sought to be educated, including the women and the poor. Competition ensured that mediocre institutions would be left to die, whereas more effective ones would survive and prospered. This system of education succeeded in producing a generation of articulate citizens who could grapple with the complex problems of the time. The following remarks of Jacob Duche, the Chaplain of Congress, are most remarkable: The poorest labourer upon the shore of Delaware thinks himself entitled to deliver his sentiments in matters of religion or politics with as much freedom as the gentleman or scholar. (33) The education in colonial America, without any major interference from government, was a success story as a whole.

VIII.3 West Asia
            The Ottomans failed in establishing an independent functioning educational system. Their education failed to take a step beyond religious indoctrination and to uphold the Muslim tradition of scientific discoveries. Their excessive dependence on foreigners for military training brought about no fundamental change to the dilapidated structure of the military, and thus all of this combined prevented the Ottomans from being prepared for rapid modernization in the nineteenth century.

VIII.4 East Asia
            Education in China and Korea focused almost entirely on teaching Neo-Confucian ideas and values. Moral philosophy was highlighted as the apex of academic pursuits, and this prevented practical education from taking root. The emphasis placed on moral philosophy resulted in nothing more than verbal confrontations over trivial matters in court and hindered the advance of modern science and enlightened thought.
            In contrast, Japan’s well organized system of education provided the basis for Japan to absorb Western influences and attain modernization at a remarkably rapid speed after the Meiji Restoration. Thanks to the educational policies of the Tokugawa shogunate, Japan was left with a valuable legacy: a meritocratic ideology, an emphasis on competent performance, respect for practical studies, and above all, a literate populace.
            However, a slightly different result arises when social mobility becomes the criterion. Whereas Japan and Korea allowed almost nothing of a social ladder to its peasants or the lower classes, China's state examinations fulfilled the role and realized the value of a fairer society better than both Japan and Korea.

VIII.5 South Asia
            Due to its nature of being an autocratic empire, the direction of public policy depended very much on the individual emperors. However, we can link the first five to having created a liberal system of education, in which one could receive education regardless of social status, wealth, or religion. Akbar's reforms made the curriculum more applicable to everyday life, and his goal of making sure that education served a purpose in aiding one’s life after education was realized through his policies. The liberal Mughal policies were clearly an improvement from those of the Delhi Sultanate.

(1)      Merriman, 1996 p.56
(2)      Rice and Grafton, 1970 p.104
(3)      Women from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment
(4)      Merriman, 1996 p.59
(5)      ibid p.119
(6)      Kim Young-Yoon, 2008
(7)      Woloch, 1982 p.197
(8)      Oratorians were members of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. They were not members of a religious order but people who committed themselves to an independent, self-governing local community.
(9)      Woloch, 1982 p.197
(10)      Kim Jisoo, 2008
(11)      Conventionally spelled Hanover by Anglophone historians, but spelled Hannover in German
(12)      Woloch, 1982 p.189
(13)      ibid.
(14)      Section: Puritans from History of American Education - Colonial Period
(15)      ibid.
(16)      ibid.
(17)      ibid.
(18)      Schooling, Education, and Literacy in Colonial America by Joseph D. McNair
(19)      Peterson, 1983
(20)      Section: The Land Ordinance of 1785 and Northwest Ordinance of 1787 from History of American Education - Early Independent Period
(21)      Article: Higher Education in the Ottoman Empire from Citizendium
(22)      McDougal Litell, 2001 pp.89-91
(23)      Kyujanggak Research Center for Korean Studies, 2009 pp.18-25
(24)      Article: Higher Education in the Ottoman Empire from Citizendium
(25)      Article: Education from Encyclopaedia Britannica Online edition
(26)      National Institute of Korean History, 2002 p.288
(27)      Kyujanggak Research Center for Korean Studies, 2009 pp.36-50
(28)      ibid.
(29)      Perez, 1998 p.70
(30)      Article: History of Education in Japan from Wikipedia
(31)      ibid.
(32)      A True Monarch: Akbar the Great (1543-1605) by Neria Harish Hebar
(33)      Peterson, 1983

Bibliography The following websites were visited in October and November 2010

Western Europe
1.      Education During the Renaissance
2.      Children in the Renaissance
3.      Women from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment
4.      Women's Writing on Education During the 16th Century, Pre-Renaissance by Joshua Givens, Oct 19.2009 from Associated Content
5.      History of Higher Education in England and France by Kim Young Yoon, July 2008
6.      The History of the University of Oxford: Volume III The Collegiate University by James McConica and Trevor Henry Aston, Oxford University Press, 1986
7.      The History of the University of Oxford: Volume IV Seventeenth Century Oxford by Nicholas Tyacke, Oxford University Press, 1997
8.      The Foundations of Early Modern Europe, 1460-1559, Second Edition, Eugene F. Rice and Anthony Grafton, W.W. Norton and Company, (1970) 1994
9.      Eighteenth Century Europe: Tradition and Progress, 1715-1789, Isser Woloch, W.W. Norton and Company, 1982
10.      A Concise History of Italy, Christopher Duggan, Cambridge University Press, 1994
11.      A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present, (1996) Third Edition 2010 / John Merriman / Yale University Press
12.      Article: Royal Society of London from Wikipedia,
13.      Article: Realschule from Wikipedia
14.      History of Military Academies (Until 1800), Kim Jisoo, October 2008

North America
History of American Education, from History of American Education Web Project at Notre Dame University
15.      Colonial Period,
16.      Early National Period,
17.      History of Education in the United States from Wikipedia,
18.      Education in Colonial America by Robert A. Peterson, September 1983, The Freeman Online
19.      History of Harvard University from The Harvard Guide
20.      A History of Harvard University by Benjamin Pierce, Brown, Shattuck, and Company, 1833, posted on Google Books,
21.      Schooling, Education, and Literacy in Colonial America by Joseph D. McNair, Miami-Dade Community College Associate Professor,%20Education,%20and%20Literacy%20in%20Colonial%20America.htm

West Asia
22.      Madrasahs in the Ottoman Empire from Academic Dictionary and Encyclopedias
23.      Education of Women from the Ottoman Empire to Modern Turkey by Yucel Gelisli,
24.      Higher Education in the Ottoman Empire from Citizendium,

East Asia
25.      World Traditions in the Humanities, McDougal Littell, 2001
26.      History of Education in China from China Education Center
27.      Article: History of Education in Japan from Wikipedia
28.      The Education of the Crown Prince in Joseon 조선의 왕세자 교육 by Kim Mun-Sik, KimYoungSa, 2003
29.      The King of Joseon 조선의 왕 by Sin Myung-Ho, Karam Gihwek, 1998
30.      National History 국사 by the National Institute of Korean History, approved by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, ROK, 2002
31.      On Their Own Terms: Science in China 1550-1900 by Benjamin A. Elman, Harvard University Press, 2005, here the online version provided by Google Books was used,
32.      The Life of a Joseon Yangban 조선 양반의 일생, Kyujanggak Research Center for Korean Studies 규장각한국학연구원, Geulhangari Publishing글항아리, 2009
33.      Article: Education from Encyclopaedia Britannica Online edition
34.      The History of Japan by Louis G. Perez, Greenwood Press, 1998

South Asia
35.      Article: History of Education in India: Late Middle Ages-Early Modern Era from Wikipedia
36.      Education under the Mughals, from Historytution,
37.      Akbar the Great?the Liberal Emperor and Statesman, from Daiji World
38.      Oxford History of India by Vincent A. Smith, Oxford University Press, 1981
39.      A True Monarch: Akbar the Great (1543-1605) by Neria Harish Hebar,
40.      Akbar, Emperor of India by Richard von Garbe, The Open Court Publishing Company, 1909,
41.      Social Life under the Great Mughals by M.P. Srivastava, Chugh Publications, 1978, posted on Google Books,

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