Medieval Schools

Schools in medieval Europe typically fell under the jurisdiction and care of Church personnel. Since the clergy and the monks were usually the only educated and literate people in early medieval Europe, they were naturally assigned the task of imparting education at these school.

Formal education at schools was largely limited to the boys hailing from wealthy families whereas girls were educated at home by their mothers. Peasants and serfs were also forbidden from gaining education at these schools.

Three main types of schools existed in medieval Europe. These include the monastic schools, grammar schools and elementary song-schools.

Elementary Song-School

Medieval Schools were mainly controlled by the Church in Medieval Times and the main types of Medieval School were elementary song-schools, grammar schools and monastic schools.

The elementary song-school, as its name suggests, was a school where the most basic type of education was imparted to the boys. In fact, in many cases, the education imparted at an elementary song-school was largely limited to the reading and singing of Latin hymns and songs.

Although the singing was limited to ecclesiastical literature, it helped the boys understand the basics of the Latin language and laid the foundations for their subsequent education in the language.

The elementary school itself was attached to a church and was monitored by church authorities. In some cases, if the church to which the school was attached had a particularly learned priest, he would impart other forms of education to the students, for instance teaching them to write.

Important Facts about Medieval Schools:

There were three types of schools in the medieval period: elementary song-schools, grammar schools and monastic schools.

Education was limited to the rich and the wealthy while the poor were usually forbidden from attaining education.

The language of education in medieval Europe was Latin. It was taught as the first subject in grammar schools.

Girls could not get formal education in medieval Europe, even if they had aristocratic origins.

The Church overlooked and monitored the imparting of education in medieval Europe.

Grammar Schools

In contrast to elementary song-schools, grammar schools were larger, offered a more advanced form of education and were typically attached to a larger church or a cathedral.

As their name suggests, grammar schools were primarily concerned with educating boys in Latin grammar. Since Latin was the primary language of literature, arts and theology in the medieval period, it was incumbent for anyone seeking education to first learn the language.

This first requirement was fulfilled at a grammar school. However, a grammar school also taught other subjects such as logic and rhetoric with teachers having recourse to the rich Roman heritage of books on these subjects.

In some grammar schools, the educators could decide to impart education on other subjects such as arithmetic as well but this was rare as sciences were not considered important through most of the medieval period.

By the late medieval era, this changed when grammar schools began to include subjects such as Greek, geography and a wide range of natural sciences in their curriculum.

Monastic Schools

Monastic schools were typically associated with one of the monastic orders such as the Benedictine order. These schools were run by monks of the order who also taught the pupils at the school.

The monastic schools in the medieval period became centres of learning where monks would diligently study Greek and Roman texts related to a variety of subjects.

The monks would then teach these subjects to the students at the monastic schools as well. It was here at the monastic schools that a large body of Greek and Roman literature was revived, especially on secular subjects such as philosophy, physics, astronomy and botany.

Medieval Schools

Discover the History of Medieval Schools. Images, Facts and Information about Medieval Schools including Elementary Song-Schools, Grammar Schools and Monastic Schools.

Medieval Schools were mainly controlled by the Church in Medieval Times and the main types of Medieval School were elementary song-schools, grammar schools and monastic schools.

Elementary Song-School, Important Facts about Medieval School, Grammar Schools, Monastic Schools, Elementary Song-Schools

Medieval Schools: Roman Britain to Renaissance England Hardcover – August 24, 2006

Monastic schools in the middle ages … (v.10) Paperback – September 3, 2010

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