Spring 1997, Th 2-4, Robinson Hall 107

 Ann Blair, Robinson L-25; 5-0752; Off hrs: M 2-4; amblair at fas.harvard.edu

  History 1167: Conference Course

Educational ideals and practices in Europe

from ancient Rome to the Enlightenment


This course will study the changing conceptions and practices of education as a window onto the continuities and innovations during a long period of European cultural and social history. It spans the centuries during which Latin dominated the educational system, from ancient Rome to the eighteenth century, with a special emphasis on the Renaissance, and will consider, among other themes, the relations between the disciplines, ideas of childhood, the education of women, the role of institutions (monasteries, universities), the social bases for different kinds of schools and the material conditions for oral and written instruction. No prerequisites; all readings in English.


-regular attendance and informed participation (this may include responses to the readings to be circulated to the other class participants by 10AM of the day of class); ALSO one oral in-class presentation--all presenters must come see me prior to their presentation to discuss what they will do (I also have checked some of the extra readings--please do not recall them!) (20%)

-short paper due in Week V (Feb 27): 3-5pp (20%)

-take-home exercise (mid-term style) due in Week IX (April 3) (20%)

-final research paper: 15-18pp, due on last day of reading period, on a topic of your choice that meets with my approval (40%)


All books on the syllabus are on reserve in Lamont and Hilles (but Hodgson, Melanchthon, and Ong on "Latin language" are on reserve as reprints). Available for purchase:

Philippe Ariès, Centuries of Childhood (Random House) $16 (0394702867)

Fenelon, Eucation of a Daughter (Bedford: Applewood Books) $9.95 (1557094276)

Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education (Hackett) $12.95 (0872203344)

Rousseau, Emile (Boston: Charles Tuttle) $6.95 (0460873806)

[Constitutions of the Society of Jesus (Saint Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources) $14.95 (1880810131), recommended]


Part I: Foundations


Week I (Jan 30): introduction


Week II (Feb 6): Roman paideia

Reading: Henri-Irénée Marrou, A History of Education in Antiquity, Part II, ch. 1 (paideia), and Part III, chs 4-7 (Roman schools)

Quintilian on education, ed. R. Smail, entire

Pliny the Younger, Epistles, I, 20; VII, 9; IX, 26-27, IX, 34.

Presentation 1: Cicero, De oratore, book III (ca. 70pp) and Aubrey Gwynn, Roman Education from Cicero to Quintilian, pp. 79-122 (on De oratore).


Week III (Feb 13): Christian educational ideals

Reading: Marrou, Education in Antiquity, Part III, chs. 8-10.

Augustine, De doctrina christiana, books 2 and 4 (pp. 34-78, 117-69)


Week IV (Feb 20): medieval schools before the university

Presentation 2. *Cassiodorus, An introduction to divine and human readings, selections TBA; Pierre Riché, Education and Culture in the Barbarian West, pp. 100-176; Suzanne Wemple, Women in Frankish Society, pp. 175-88.

Presentation 3. Elizabeth Mary McNamer, The Education of Heloise (to p. 112); *Arthur Norton, Readings in the History of Education, pp. 1-25.

Presentation 4. Beryl Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages, chs. 2-3 (pp. 37-105); *Hugh of Saint-Victor, Didascalicon, selections TBA.


Week V (Feb 27): the rise of universities

Short paper due (topics will be distributed in Week IV)

Reading: Arthur Norton, Readings in the History of Education: the medieval universities, remainder (pp. 25-152)

Thomas Aquinas, The Division and Methods of the Sciences, trans. Armand Maurer

James A. Weisheipl, "The Scholastic Method," in The New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967), vol. 12, pp. 1146ff. [in ref rooms: BX841.N44.1967]


 Part II: Forces for change during the Renaissance


Week VI (Mar 6): Italian humanism

Reading: The Humanism of Leonardo Bruni, tr. James Hankins et al., pp. 197-299 (new language, new education, [new philosophy]).

Anthony Grafton and Lisa Jardine, From Humanism to the Humanities, ch. 2 (women humanists)

Walter Ong, "Latin Language Study as a Renaissance Puberty Rite," Studies in Philology 56 (1959), 103-24.

Petrarch, "On his own ignorance and that of many others," in The Renaissance Philosophy of Man, ed. Ernst Cassirer.

Presentation 5: Paul Grendler, Schooling in Renaissance Italy on the vernacular curriculum: pp. 87-111, 275-333


Week VII (Mar 13): the impact of printing--session to be held at Houghton Library

Reading: Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe, chs. 2 (defining the initial shift), 3 (some features of print culture).

Walter Ong, The Presence of the Word, ch. 2: transformations of the word (17-111).


Week VIII (Mar 20): Northern humanism

Reading: Erasmus, in Literary and Educational Writings tr. A.H.T.Levi (1986): De ratione studii (on the method of study), pp. 662-91.

Thomas Platter, Autobiography [photocopy]

Montaigne, Essays, I, 26 (on educating children)

Hodgson, Studies in French Education from Rabelais to Rousseau, pp. 11-50 (on Montaigne)

Presentation 6: Erasmus, in Literary and Educational Writings tr. A.H.T. Levi (1986): De copia, pp. 290-321, 348-55, with some secondary article to be determined


Week IX (Apr 3): confessional divisions

Take-home "midterm" will be distributed

Reading: Melanchthon, Melanchthon reader (1988), pp. 48-70

Gerald Strauss, Luther's House of Learning, pp. TBA [also: "The state of pedagogical theory c. 1530" in Stone ed., Schooling and Society]

Jesuit Constitutions, Part IV, pp. 130-90

Grendler, Schooling in Renaissance Italy, part IV (pp. 333-412)

Presentation 7: Jansenist education: Felix Cadet, Port-Royal Education (part secondary, part primary texts) and Hodgson, French Education, pp. 51-93 (on Jansenist schools)


Week X (Apr 10): expanding the social base for education

Reading: Hodgson, French Education, pp. 111-130 (on Fénelon)

Fénelon, Education of a Daughter

Comenius, Orbis pictus [not on reserve; many copies in Widener]

Mary Jo Maynes, Schooling in Western Europe: A Social History, ch. 2 (literacy and schooling in early modern Europe)


Part III: toward the Enlightenment

Week XI (Apr 17): Locke

Reading: John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education


Week XII (Apr 24): Rousseau

Reading: Rousseau, Emile, pp. TBA

Hodgson, French Education, pp. 157-96 (on Rousseau)

Maynes, Schooling in Western Europe, ch. 3


Week XIII (May 1): conclusions

Reading: Philippe Ariès, Centuries of Childhood, part II (scholastic life), pp. 137-329


 Final paper due May 14.