Christianity’s Contributions: Schools started (Part 2)

As Jesus told the Apostles in Matthew 28:19-20,  “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  This month we focus on the Christian church’s heritage regarding education.  

Catechetical schools were started in Ephesus and Rome by Justin Martyr (150 AD).  Now separate institutions apart from the home were educating children in the ways of God.  Later, mathematics, medicine, and grammar were added as separate subject matters.  A distinctive feature of these schools was the fact that both males and females could attend.  Recall that in the Roman Empire,  only upper class boys were educated.

Hundreds of years later, cathedral schools from the 4th to 10th centuries taught Christian doctrine along with the seven liberal arts.  These disciplines were the Trivium, consisting of grammar, rhetoric, and logic, and the Quadrivium, entailing arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy.   Parochial schools also started separate from the cathedral in the 9th century.

Some big advances in education would take place by the efforts of Martin Luther in the 1500’s.  More on that in the next blog.

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