Athenian Education

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Transcript of Athenian Education

  • 8/2/2019 Athenian Education



  • 8/2/2019 Athenian Education


    Ancient Athens was the leading cultural center of theGreek world.

    Most of the gifted writers of Greece lived there.They wrote works of drama, history, lyric poetry and

    philosophy that have influenced literature up to thepresent time.

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    Playwrights: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Eupirides

    Comedy Writer: Aristophances

    Philosophers: Socrates and PlatoHistorian: Thucydides

    Orator: Demosthenes

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    Good citizenship was the foremost aim of Athenianeducation.

    There was a stress on individual excellence in wisdom,beauty and strength for public usefulness

    Athens was the first state where there was freedom todevelop all human capacities

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    most boys went to school roughly from age 7 to age14

    - all schools were private schools - parents had topay to send their children to school but the fees

    were so low that even poor citizens could usuallyafford to have their sons educated and most did

    so because they valued education

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    - schools were mostly only one room areas - oftenopen to the streets on one side (perhaps with a

    draw- curtain to keep down distraction) - equipment was minimal: students sat on

    benches and held their work in their laps - therewere no chalkboards or other teacher aids - the

    teacher might have some books, but studentsmostly did not

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    -the academic part of the school day began at dawnand lasted until about noon

    - teachers were often retired military men - disciplinewas strict, beatings were given not only formisbehaviour but also for careless mistakes

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    - boys were mostly accompanied to and from school byan educated and trusted slave called a PEDAGOGUE,

    whose job it was to protect the young man fromundesirables, help him to choose good friends andoversee his behavior and his progress in class (theslaves sat at the back of the class and observed)

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  • 8/2/2019 Athenian Education


    Civic training

    Moral training

    Physical EducationIntellectual Education

    Art, Music, poetry and Dancing

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    Was dominant aim because of the desire to serve thestate

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    Was an emphasis on the virtues of Homeric heroes aswell as those for service of the states

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    Was taken not to develop strength but to develop graceand harmony

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    Was needed in the participation in the Assembly andin discussions in the market place

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    Were taken not for pleasure and entertainment but forthe ennobling influence on the intellect and moralsand good cultural training, an Apollonian ideal

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    The Athenian boys were taught reading, writing andarithmetic

    Selected verses were dictated, memorized andchanted.

    They studied music, art, poetry, games and sports.

    As a boy matured, he acquired military skills and

    practiced civic virtues necessary for his role as a citizenin a democratic state

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    Education in Athens was supervised by the state.

    The house did very little because the women were not

    educated except for a few heterae, cultured women,who participated in social life and intellectualdiscussions of the upper class males.

    The schoolboy was assigned to the care of a

    paidagogus, once a slave, but very learned.

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    When conventional schooling ceased, his educationbegan

    -participated in activities in city life -went to assemblies and heard skillful debates

    -learned the laws, exercised and interpreted them

    -at the theater, he listened to the classics and histories

    of people -in the Olympic games, he came contact with Greek


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    This paidagogus was charged with teaching the boythe intricacies of manners and morals and assuring thesafe delivery of his ward.

    The first schools were private and secondary andhigher education did not yet exist so that by the age of14, education was over for most boys.

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    The state provided for public gymnasiums calledpalaestra.

    Here the youth trained until he reached 18 years of ageand was ready for military life.

    He became an ephebos, an apprentice militiaman.

    There were three types of teachers, the Kitharist or

    teacher of music, the grammalist or teacher of lettersand the paedotribe or teacher of gymnastics

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    Until the age of seven, an Athenian boy lived at home,usually under the care of slaves

    From seven and sixteen the boy divided his timebetween the didiscaleum (music school) and thepalaestra (gymnasium) usually accompanied by hisslave tutor (pedagogue)

    After sixteen, he continued his physical education atthe palaestra.

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    He was trained by a drillmaster called paedoribe andwas under the supervision of a state moral sensor, thesophronist.

    An an ephebos(18-20 yrs), he spent his days in militaryservice and was given the privileges of full citizenship

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    Much of the learning was by imitation, usually of aliving model. Readings were memorized.

    Most of the education came from participation.Discipline was severe and corporal punishment wasused extensively.

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  • 8/2/2019 Athenian Education