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The Value of Education During the Renaissance

By tmet94 Mar 27, 2011 1071 Words
The purpose of education is not only to teach but to further one's knowledge. Education is meant to distinguish the best of society from the worst. The power and value knowledge and history express is vast and is forever expanding. The period of time leading up to the Renaissance, was a time when the ancient studies of Greece and Rome began to dwindle, schools were in need of reformation, and ideal views of not only man, but women were changing as well.

Studying ancient works of art and literature is where education begins. How can one accumulate so much knowledge of the present but know so little of the past? Piccolomini basically says in document one, that's it is great to learn about grammar and music, but at the same time one must be well-rounded and learn about philosophy and literature. It is important for one to know where how new studies developed and gre over time. In document two, Guarino wants the reader to know that virtue is something that's strange to man. The ancient's virtues, or humanites, shouldn't be strange to man but they should know the value of learning about them. What students do not comprehend is the idea of attaining ancient studies. In document four, students should master composition and figures of speech. Students need to gain knowledge of great writers. In order to learn one must have the education of any or all ancient works. Any further knowledge lies within the past. While it is good to obtain this knowledge it is not to become obsessed. In document eleven, a letter to the Parlement of Dijon tells that too much education or too many schools can weaken men. It will make them sensitive, and soft when in all actuality the should be stern, unyielding, and hardworking. This letter expresses the idea that too much of a good thing is bad. Its almost forshadowing reformation and change of education.

The need for change not only in school but in education was becoming a struggle. In document eight, education system is based on making people look good on the outside. It does not make a person wise from within. Here education is about appearances not knowlege. Since when has this been the goal of teaching? School is meant to learn of ancient myths and daring wars, and heroes. In document thirteen, Comenius says that the education system is a disease. The system is based on teaching grammar and logic when it should really focus on enlightening the minds of men. The goal is to prepare men for life, not to make them into a trophy. It is to help them gain knowledge that is exceptable and truthful. In document ten, young men are putting no use to education. It is a waste of time and money to teach those who are not willing to take this knowledge and use it wisely. Common schools do not know the true meaning of learning and it ultimately affects the minds of the students. Now document seven takes a jab at the religious point of education. Not only should students learn about liberal arts and past events, but students need to learn about religion. If they don't obtain knowledge of the fear of God, virtue, and discipline then there is simply no salvation. Indulgences and faith cannot help them and students will not lead a worthy life. If the education system were to reform, than the number of worthy jobs and opportunities will come easily. In document twelve one can infer that reformation of schools and education can better society. All that is needed is a substantial period of time for change. This reformation of education spread not just to schools into the cultural views of men and woman.

The idea of today's ideal man and woman have developed over time. Men do not write elaborate poems for their spouse not do they learn how to be a gentleman. In document three, Castiglione's "The Courtier", tells the reader that not only should a courtier be gentle and suave, but he should be educated. The courtier should know everything there is to know about humanities, latin orators, historians, and especially writing in prose and verse. Such writing could catch the eyes of a beautiful woman. Guicciadini tells of his outstanding skills, in document 6, which include horseback riding, dancing and singing, and great penmanship. All of which the ideal man should have. He then elaborates on the subjects of these skills paving the way to princes eyes along with money and fame. What more could one want with this blessing of an educated gentleman. But as time passes the qualities of this ideal man changes. Today a man might possess on maybe two of these qualities but it while never be as substantial as it was during that time period. Women have also changed society and what it means to be proper. Whereas the woman of today are strong, bold, and stand up for themselves, woman on the Renaissance were meant to obey and have good manners. In document five, Vives says that a woman should quote great philosophers and holy scripture. He despises song writing as if it were a disease. Women are to be proper in everyway. As time passes on women are allowed to be more open and opportunisitic. In document 9, Anne Higgison speaks of a new education. With the newly popularized printing press women can now read and write just as good as any man. She then notes that any woman may study music for extra money. This state specifies that society is not ready for to much of change in education but the are willing to meet halfway for better womans education. Education is such an important aspect of women and men alike. Its what separates the inspirational and untimately good people from the infamous figures of time.

The era of the Renaissance was not meant to diminish education but to bring it back to life. The works of Donatello, Mascaccio, and Brunelleschi brought life and Roman influence to Florence. It was built on the education of the past to help glorify the world once more. Education was always meant to inspire great minds and to teach life lessons to men and to women. Today's brightest could never learn and teach without the values of education.

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