Athens vs. Sparta on Education

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The Athenians were better than the Spartans on so many different levels, education being one of them. The primary purpose if the Athenian education system was to produce thinkers, people who where well trained in art and science as well as military practices, people who were prepared for peace and war. On the other hand, Sparta educators were focused on one thing, creating soldiers, people who didn't think for themselves and did what they were told. Athenian boys were tutored at home until they were 7 where they were then sent to a private neighborhood school. Younger boys learned calisthenics and how to play ball games and older boys were taught running, boxing, and wrestling. They were all expected to read heavily and were also taught to play the lyre, sing, and arithmetic. Athenian girls were not officially schooled but were tutored at home. All Spartan boys left home at 7 and were sent to military school. From then until the age of 18 they were exposed to harsh training and discipline. They were allowed no shoes, few clothes and taught to take pride in enduring pain and hardship. At the age of 18 they went into the world and had to steal their food. Getting caught resulted in a punishment called flogging which was primarily used on slaves. The concept of this training was to teach them stealth and how to be cunning. Spartan girls went to schools similar to the schools boys went to because it was believed that strong women had strong babies who grew up to be strong soldiers to fight for the state. If the Spartan men passed the tests and became soldiers they were required to serve in the military until they were 60, as opposed to Athenian men who were free to live their lives as they pleased after a required 2 years of military school. In conclusion, Athenian schools produced people like Aristotle and Plato who were great philosophers where as Spartan schools produced blood thirsty warriors such as Leonidas.
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