Teachers and Students in the Middle Ages (Praeger Series on the Middle Ages)

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9780275988166: Teachers and Students in the Middle Ages (Praeger Series on the Middle Ages)

Although education is a primary vehicle of cultural expression and transmission, it rarely receives its due in descriptions of medieval history or culture. With the exception of the foundation and rise of universities, general histories of the medieval period tend to ignore most aspects of education, beginning serious discussion at the Enlightenment. Stereotypes of the Dark Ages include a western Europe sunk in cultural barbarism, studded here and there with cathedral schools and a population wiped out and wearied by the Black Death and the Hundred Years' War. This traditional picture, Joseph M. McCarthy contends, omits many significant developments that affected much of the population.

The Dark Ages were by no means dark, and Christianity did not have a corner on education. Considerable new work on the education of women, elementary education, and non-English topics has not been previously incorporated into the portrait of medieval education. McCarthy remedies this deficiency in a readable and accessible manner, covering educational developments ranging across the European continent and effectively shattering the myth of medieval ignorance.

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The subject of education for women was a hotly debated issue throughout the Middle Ages. Yet, during the 1300s children of both sexes attended school in Florence. Likewise, by the 15th century, some cities such as London had schools attended by boys—and by girls.

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