Ances­tors At Work

So­cial his­to­rian Sue Wilkes takes a look at the dif­fer­ent ways that our ances­tors worked in ed­u­ca­tion

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Our fore­bears’ var­ied ca­reers in the class­room

For cen­turies, teach­ers have moulded the minds of young peo­ple – from princes to pau­pers. Bri­tain’s ear­li­est known teach­ers in the sense of reg­u­lar in­struc­tors were at­tached to re­li­gious houses, and Can­ter­bury may be Eng­land’s ear­li­est known cen­tre of learn­ing: Saint Au­gus­tine is said to have founded two schools there around 597. For sev­eral hun­dred years monas­ter­ies, nun­ner­ies and cathe­drals were the main sources of ed­u­ca­tion for both sexes.

The first Ox­ford col­leges ap­peared in the 12th cen­tury, fol­lowed by Cam­bridge in the early 1200s. Masters (tu­tors) im­parted the re­quired skills for ca­reers in the church, law, teach­ing and so on to teenage boys. The 16th cen­tury saw the ad­vent of char­ity and en­dowed (gram­mar) schools like St Paul’s, founded in 1509 ( stpaulss­chool. org.uk/about/his­tory), and Christ’s Hospi­tal ( chmu­seum.org.uk). More op­por­tu­ni­ties for teach­ers arose in the late 17th cen­tury, when the So­ci­ety for Pro­mot­ing Chris­tian

Fe­male pupils learn how to brush their teeth in the late 19th cen­tury

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