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Education In the Elizabethan Era
Transcript of Education In the Elizabethan Era
Education in the Elizabethan period was thought to have been 'beaten' into students and parents were supportive of beatings. (3)
Children even wealthy children could not escape punishments at home from parents and at school from teachers, if children did not obey their parents' orders or had bad manners, they could be whipped, hit on the head or beaten with sticks or rods. (2)
When boys were 14 and were wealthy enough, they went to university where they learnt Latin and if they were caught speaking English, the students would be punished with 50 strokes of a cane. (4)
1: What kind of punishments were there to children in school if they misbehaved?
2: What did children learn in school?
Education In the Elizabethan Era
3: How did a school look like and operate?
For this research project I chose the topic
education because it is fascinating and
I've always wanted to know more about it in the
time of Shakespeare.There are hundreds of
questions that I could ask, but I chose three that
I'm most interested in.The first question is -
What kind of punishments were there to children
in school if they misbehaved? The second is -
What did children learn in school? And
finally the third question is - How did a school
look like and operate? The research I have done
will hopefully answer these questions and
inform you about the education in the time of
When school children were naughty or made mistakes in school work, schoolmasters always carried a bundle of birch twigs to beat the students with. (1)
(1) A book - DK - Eyewitness Shakespeare
Education would begin at home, where children were taught the basic etiquette of proper manners and respecting others, (5) which included
- Respecting their mother and father
- Asking their parents blessing
- Rising early in the morning and saying their prayers
- Table Manners - the correct behaviour for eating small morsels, chewing properly, using a knife and using a napkin
- Children would also be taught their 'place' in society which included where they should sit at the table
- Elizabethan girls would be taught obedience to the male members of the family. Their education would then generally diverse from the boys to concentrate on housewifely duties and sometimes music and dance (6)
The most elementary level of education was conducted for children aged between 5 and 7 at what was called a 'Petty School'. (6)
Girls were often only educated at home by their parents or a private tutor, depending on the wealth of the family, girls were although allowed to attend Petty schools but not Grammar schools or university. (7)
In a Petty school, pupils were taught how to read and write English, to learn the catechism and also to learn lessons in behaviour, these were considered the most important elements of Elizabethan Petty School education and what must be taught during childhood. (6)
After Petty school, boys would go to 'Grammar School', from the age between 7 and 14, where they would have learnt for the 1st year the parts of speech together with verbs and nouns, the 2nd year where they would have learnt rules of grammar and sentence construction and in the 3rd year they would have concentrated on English-Latin and Latin-English translations. When the boys were 10 they left Ushers that taught them and moved on to the Masters who would teach them from 10 years of age to 14, the Masters taught the students Latin to English translations, Literature including the works of the great classical authors and dramatists e.g. Ovid,
Occasionally the study of Greek, Religious education continued & Arithmetic (6)
If male students were wealthy enough, they attended university, (4) where they learnt these faculties
- Faculty of the Arts
- The Seven Liberal Arts
- Faculty of Law
- Faculty of Theology
- Faculty of Medicine (8)
A petty school was conducted not in a school but in the house of the the teacher, they were usually run for a small fee by a local, well educated housewife. (6)
At Grammar schools between the age 7 & 10, boys were taught by Ushers, a junior master or senior pupil at the Grammar school, and then between the age 10 & 14 they were taught by Masters. (6)
During summer, the school day started at 6am in the morning and finished at 5pm, there was a 2 hour break at midday, in winter, school started at 7am and finished at 4pm. The school week consisted of a five full days and a half-day on Thursday which continued for between 40 to 44 weeks of the year. Students were expected to talk in Latin at all times otherwise there would be punishments. (6) The Grammar school was
divided into two types - private, where only the very wealthy could afford for private tutors and the public, where the public Grammar schools depended on donations from noble & wealthy men. (9)
In the Elizabethan education, if children misbehaved there would be punishments such as being beaten with a bundle of birch twigs, young males learnt valuable knowledge from the learning of table manners to the extraordinary broader topic of The Faculty of Law and the interesting ways of how Elizabethan schools look and operate continue to fascinate people including myself. I now have a much more better understanding of Elizabethan education, it has been a fascinating topic to research about.