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Education in Elizabethan England

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Aim of education
To prepare you for your life, so focused on skills.
How did education improve?
More opportunities for all social classes, but mostly rich boys.
Thinkers and writers in the 1500s who believed learning is important in its own right to understand the world.
Believed people should be able to read the Bible in their own language, so reading was encouraged.
How you got an education
You paid for it, so it was mostly the rich who were educated.
Literacy rates (how many could read AND write)
Around 30% of men and 10% of women.
Parish or petty schools
Children aged 4-7 learnt to read and write. Mostly boys attended.
Where were the petty schools?
Usually in the teacher's house or attached to the parish church.
Dame schools
Provided a basic education for some girls. Usually run by an educated local woman.
Grammar School
Private schools for boys from the gentry, merchant or yeoman classes, aged 7-15.
Number of new grammar schools during Elizabeth's reign.
What did boys learn at grammar school?
Latin, Greek and classical authors like Virgil and Plato.
Financial Support
Clever boys from poor families could go to grammar schools with help from money left in wills by the rich.
Independent or Public Schools
Fee-paying boarding schools (where you lived in) set up for the nobility e.g. Eton.
Where did nobles educate their children?
Most noble children were educated at home by tutors, or sent to public schools.
What were upper-class boys taught?
Academic subjects, plus horse riding, archery, fencing, swimming and wrestling.
What were upper-class girls taught?
Some academic subjects, music, dancing, needlework.
Boys who were in chare of reporting misbehaviour in the playground or street.
birch rod
Stick used for caning children as a punishment.
Education for merchants and craftsmen
Some grammar school had a special curriculum e.g. arithmetic and geography - subjects which would help trade.
How craftsmen and farmers learnt their trade from working for others for free.
Why weren't more children educated?
Cost money to send them to school, plus a family lost money if a child was unable to work as they went to school.
University education
Went to Oxford or Cambridge.
When did people go to University?
Aged 14 or 15.
Jesus College
College at Oxford University set up by Elizabeth I.
What did people study at University?
Everyone had to study grammar, rhetoric (how to debate) and logic.
Highest qualification at University
What could you study for a doctorate?
Medicine, Law or Divinity (religion)
Inns of Court
Where lawyers were trained in London.
A type of prize given to clever boys which would allow them to afford University.