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Importance of education in the Renaissance
Transcript of Importance of education in the Renaissance
By: Bianca Pala and Ashley Ventura
Humanists were proponents or practitioners of humanism during the Renaissance. They believed that human beings could be dramatically changed by education. The Humanists of the Renaissance created schools to teach their ideas and wrote books all about education. One of the most profound and important schools was established and created by Vittorino da Feltre in 1423. The school was in Mantua, which is a small Italian state. The ruler of Mantua had always wanted to provide a humanist education for his children, and the school was a way to help him.
The children that attended the schools were generally from upper-class families, though some seats were reserved for poor but talented students. Females were not usually allowed to attend but were encouraged to know history, learn dance, and appreciate poetry. Some important females that were educated during the Renaissance were Isotta Nogarola, Cassandra Fedele of Venice, and Laura Cereta.
One of the most important of early humanists was Petrarch, an Italian poet who applied the ideas and values of ancient Greece and Rome to questions about Christian doctrines and ethics which were being asked in his own day. Many tend to mark the beginning of Humanism with the writings of Dante, yet though Dante certainly presaged the coming revolution in thinking, it was Petrarch who first really set things in motion.
Overall, Humanist education was thought as being an important factor to the preparation of life. Its main goal was to improve the lives of citizens and help their communities. Humanist schools combined Christianity and the classics to produce a model of education for all of Europe.
One consequence of the development of humanist philosophy during the Renaissance was the increased emphasis on the importance of education. People needed to learn ancient Greek and Latin in order to even begin to understand the ancient manuscripts. This, in turn, led to further education in the arts and philosophies which went along with those manuscripts and finally the ancient sciences which had for so long been neglected by Christian scholars. As a result, there was a burst of scientific and technological development during the Renaissance unlike anything seen in Europe for centuries.
Early on this education was limited primarily to aristocrats and men of financial means. Indeed, much of the early humanist movement had a rather elitist air about it. Over time, however, the courses of study were adapted for a wider audience a process which was greatly hastened by the development of the printing press. With this, many entrepreneurs began printing editions of ancient philosophy and literature in Greek, Latin, and Italian for a mass audience, leading to a dissemination of information and ideas much wider than previously thought possible.