Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Elementary Education and Vocational Education Within and Outside of School 1450 - 1750

Date: November 10 - 12, 2004
Organizers: Hans-Ulrich Musolff (Bielefeld), Alwin Hanschmidt (Vechta)

Scholars from universities, research institutes and archives joined together their pedagogical, historical, and theological expertise at the ZiF. Education and training of the lower classes in early modern times were discussed, covering a broad range of specific educational groups like e. g. tradesmen and merchants, men-at-arms and soldiers' children, girls and women, and the rural population.
The Church and the State tried to facilitate and impose a minimal elementary education by institutional measures (e. g. setting up of schools, compulsory school attendance) and by laying down knowledge and skills to be acquired.
This educational policy only partially met with the educational needs of the various sections and groups of the population, which led to different reactions. The more trades and crafts became differentiated and specialised, the more grew their need for education beyond the elementary level as existing. Lack of specialised knowledge and skills threatened economic existence and social status. The demand for such specialised education was covered by private offers for a long time, yet finally turned into a challenge for local and regional public authorities. In the effort to master this challenge, syllabi were expanded (esp. in arithmetic) and the number of schools was increased.

This ZiF:Workshop was co-funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

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