Didactics of the Middle Ages, Historical and Pedagogical Characteristics...

Didactics of the Middle Ages

As a result of studying the chapter, the student must:


• characteristic features of pedagogy of the Middle Ages;

• the main types of medieval educational institutions and their purpose;

• features of the content of education in the Middle Ages;

• the role and importance of religion and the church in the construction and functioning of the whole medieval education;

• Didactic merits and costs of the scholastic method of teaching;

• the main trends and characteristics of the educational process of the Middle Ages;

• the history of the formation of the national education system in the medieval period;

• the foundations of the construction and functioning of a medieval university;

• The first conceptual and didactic developments and approaches of the Middle Ages;

be able to

• characterize the didactic basis of functioning of medieval educational institutions;

• highlight the leading principles and trends in the organization of training in the Middle Ages;

• draw analogies and the relationship between religious and educational practices of functioning of a medieval society;

• represent the dynamics of the development of the content of education in different periods of the Middle Ages;


• an objective historical and cultural representation of the role and significance of the Middle Ages in the formation of the scientific and methodological base of modern education.

Historical and pedagogical characteristics of the early Middle Ages

Pedagogy of the Middle Ages has its own characteristics, because, firstly, the pedagogical traditions of this era are not closed in time, they have their own historical past, settled in its influence on modern Western European pedagogy. Secondly, the man of the Middle Ages self-determined not with ethnic, but with local affiliation (village, city, family), as well as on confessional grounds, i.e. belonging to the servants of the church or laity. As in the educational material, and in the organization of special educational institutions, a synthesis of reality with the new needs of society is taking place. The ideal of medieval education is the rejection of the fully developed personality of the Antiquity period, the formation of a Christian man. The new ideal of education established the basic European pedagogical tradition of the early Middle Ages (V-X cc.) - a Christian tradition that defined the educational system of the age.

Types of educational institutions of the early Middle Ages

The beginning of Christian schools was laid by monasteries and associated with the school catechumens , where teaching and education consisted in studying Christian dogmas, leading to faith, preparing for the righteous search for the Christian birthday before the baptism on Easter.

The main types of church schools were: the parish, the monastery, the cathedral, or the episcopal (cathedral). As such, strict graduation in the level of education of schools was not, but still some differences between them were available.

Parish school - is an elementary (small) school that was located at the church and gave initial knowledge to 3-10 pupils in the field of religion, church chanting, reading in Latin and where the counting and writing was sometimes conducted. The only and basic teachers were: the deacon or the deacon, the scholastic or didaskal, the magnesco, who were to teach all sciences. If the number of pupils increased, then the circus watched specially for the discipline.

Monastic schools evolved in close association with episcopal schools that were preparing successors for the diocesan clergy. The disciples gathered in circles around the bishop, receiving profound religious knowledge. So, the rules of teaching St.. Benedict of Nursia (480-547) concluded the requirement to read three hours a day, and during the post read the whole book. The Benedictine school of the early Middle Ages is part of a whole complex of institutions with missionary tasks, which also solved the problems of teaching secular sciences. The school was divided into schola claustri, or interior, - for monastic youth and schola canonica, or exterior, - for secular youth. The meaning of the ancient motto of the monks of the Benedictine Order was that the fortress of the Order, its salvation and glory are in its schools. The people who led the education during this period belonged to this order. The educational work of Albina Alcuina (735-804) went far beyond this era, as his monastic school in Tours was a breeding ground for teaching " up to the XII century. The abbey in Monte Cassino, where the center of the Benedictine Order was located, is also famous for the fact that an outstanding theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) later studied here. By the XVI century. in the countries of Western Europe, there were about 37,000 monasteries belonging to the Benedictine Order and orders from it (one in five of them had a monastic school). In these schools teachers were, as a rule, monks or priests, who at regular hours conducted training sessions with children. The main subjects were the same as in parochial schools, but later this circle expanded considerably, including rhetoric, religious philosophy, grammar and in some schools - the quadrivium disciplines. In monastic schools, much attention was paid to rewriting books, due to which a library appeared in the monastery. The sages of that time said that the monastery without a library, that the fortress without protection.

From the episcopal schools in the Middle Ages, cathedral and cathedral schools , in which there were internal civic schools for the younger generation (clergy) and open (for the laity), the former having an educational character, and the latter being educational. Schools of this type were considered to be elevated, since they were located in large church centers, where the full volume of medieval sciences was taught - "seven free sciences" (lat. septem artes liberales). In order to strengthen church authority and spiritual education in 1215, the Council decided: to establish a teacher of grammar and theology for all cathedrals.

In the theological schools in the Middle Ages, the laity were introduced as pupils and teachers, so this period does not distinguish schools in the direction of their educational activities. The lay teachers mainly acquainted the students with seven free arts, Roman law, medicine.

Christian educational institutions are characterized by the following features:

1) having a religious and moral ultimate goal, were not only an educational type of institution, but also an educational one;

2) Christian teaching combined with teaching writing, reading, singing;

3) Due to their connection with the monasteries, the schools were not class-based, private, national and had a public (mass) nature.

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