History of Western Education

EDU2125 Syllabus

David Samuel Meyer
✉ dsm@namu.blue

Course Description & Objectives

This course surveys the main developments in education from ancient Greece up until present day, emphasizing in particular the cultural and philosophical milieu of each place and period. Participants will develop a critical understanding of the historical dynamics through which educational theory and practice evolved in the west and the influence of these on contemporary education.

Through participant-directed discussion and research, participants in this course will:

  1. develop skills in constructing and verbally communicating original ideas

  2. investigate the canonical narratives, themes, events, figures, institutions, and practices of education in the west

  3. construct their own questions and understanding about the numerous ways education has been (and could be) undertaken

  4. cultivate an appreciation of the distinct aesthetic ideals and cultural milieux which influenced the education of each period and place

Course Format

All course materials, discussions, and lectures will be in English .The English proficiency of students will not be evaluated The text used in this course has a Korean translation that students may reference for clarity. Students will be expected to make one presentation and complete regular writing assignments, but these are intended to be brief and succinct (less than 10 minutes/one page).

Note: This course will not accommodate the discrimination of gender, race, or class, and will not tolerate any form of hate speech or harassment.

The Colloquium

This course will be implemented as a colloquium: open-ended, participant-directed discussions on the weekly topic. Participants will read the assigned reading and come to class with their questions, ideas, confusions, or criticisms about the topic. Class discussions, presentations, and written assignments will not merely summarize or restate the content of the weekly reading. Class participants (including those presenting) are not expected to memorize or master the content of the reading, but rather think about it and formulate questions. The purpose of the class discussion is not for participants to prove they have read and can recall the content of the reading materials, but rather to share and discuss their thoughts about it to clarify and enrich our understanding of the topic. Furthermore, class discussions are not intended to be debates. Students are not expected to develop and defend formal arguments! Think of class discussions more as a wondering out loud.

Two-hour sessions (Tuesdays)

Two-hour long class sessions will begin with a brief presentation of a protocol (see below) given by a different group each week. Presentations should be no longer than ten minutes. Presenters should submit presentation materials to LearnUs at least one day before class, and bring printed copies for each class member (30) on the day of the presentation (one A4-sized page).

One-hour sessions (Thursdays)

During one hour-long class sessions the instructor will initiate the discussion by making a special presentation on significant works of art, cultural artifacts, customs, lifeways, etc. from the place and time period to be discussed the following week. These special sessions are meant to:

Protocols (과제물)

A protocol is a very short (no longer than one A4-sized page) response to the assigned weekly reading or a related topic. A protocol consists of three sections:

  1. A summary of the class discussion(s) from the previous week (1/3 page)

  2. A brief commentary or response to the reading, class discussion, or a related topic (2/3 page)

  1. Finally, each protocol must include at least two discussion questions relating to your commentary (on the reverse side of the page).

The formatting of the protocol (font, font size, margins, header/footer etc.) is up to you, just keep it reasonable.

Students will write a total of nine protocols during the semester:

Evaluation Policy (절대)

Evaluation Criteria

Students will not be evaluated based on their English proficiency.

Presentations and protocols will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Brevity: Must be no longer than 10 minutes and/or one A4 page in length

  2. Insight: Does the content indicate that the student has read and sincerely reflected on the material?

  3. Clarity: Does it make sense? It doesn’t need to be eloquent, agreeable, or “right,” but it should be intelligible. In other words, even though these assignments are meant to be brief, they should not be hasty afterthoughts.

Participation will not be evaluated quantitatively; that is, dominating the discussion will not earn you a high mark, nor will you be marked down for being reserved or less talkative. Participation will be evaluated based on these general criteria:

  1. Engagement: Being engaged includes active listening and note-taking (including doodling) as well as speaking. In other words, participants should be present for the discussion, not sleeping or chatting on their computers (which is more obvious than you might think!)

  2. Attitude: Disagreement is a natural part of discourse, but respecting other participants is a condition for a meaningful discussion. All perspectives shall be tolerated so long as they are not antagonistic or discriminatory.

Course Materials

All required reading materials will be provided in electronic formats via LearnUs.

This course will primarily follow the sixth edition of William Boyd’s The History of Western Education and reference several chapters from volume three of James Bowen’s A History of Western Education:

Students may also find it helpful to reference the translated version of Boyd’s book (which may not be distributed via LearnUs due to license restrictions):

Supplementary References

In addition to the assigned reading for each week, students may find it helpful to reference portions of the following anthologies to supplement their understanding of the topics discussed:

Course Schedule

제1주 2022-09-01 ~ 2022-09-07


  • Where is “the west” and why does its history of education matter?

  • Perspectives, problems, and methods of inquiry in the history of educational thought and practice

제2주 2022-09-08 ~ 2022-09-14

Ancient Greek Education & Its Legacy

  • Group 1 Discussion
교재범위 Boyd: Ch. 1 & 2

9.9 ~ 9.11 추석연휴

9.12 대체공휴일

제3주 2022-09-15 ~ 2022-09-21

Ancient Rome & the Dark Ages

  • Group 2 Discussion
교재범위 Boyd: Ch. 3 & 4
제4주 2022-09-22 ~ 2022-09-28

The Emergence of Universities

  • Group 3 Discussion
교재범위 Boyd: Ch. 5
제5주 2022-09-29 ~ 2022-10-05

The Renaissance & Humanistic Education

  • Group 4 Discussion
교재범위 Boyd: Ch. 6
비고 10.3 개천절
제6주 2022-10-06 ~ 2022-10-12

The Reformation

  • Group 5 Discussion
교재범위 Boyd: Ch. 7

10.9 한글날

10.10 대체공휴일

제7주 2022-10-13 ~ 2022-10-19

The Growth of Humanism

  • Group 6 Discussion
교재범위 Boyd: Ch. 8
제8주 2022-10-20 ~ 2022-10-26
수업내용 중간시험기간
과제물 상반기 프로토콜 제출
제9주 2022-10-27 ~ 2022-11-02

The Seventeenth Century

  • Group 7 Discussion
교재범위 Boyd: Ch. 9
제10주 2022-11-03 ~ 2022-11-09

The Eighteenth Century

  • Group 8 Discussion

Boyd: Ch. 10

See also: Bowen Ch. 6, 7 & 8

제11주 2022-11-10 ~ 2022-11-16

The Nineteenth Century

  • Group 9 Discussion

Boyd: Ch. 11

See also: Bowen Ch. 9

제12주 2022-11-17 ~ 2022-11-23

The Nineteenth Century

  • Group 10 Discussion

Boyd: Ch. 12

See also: Bowen Ch. 10

제13주 2022-11-24 ~ 2022-11-30

The Twentieth Century

  • Group 11 Discussion
교재범위 Boyd: Ch. 13 & Bowen: Ch. 12
제14주 2022-12-01 ~ 2022-12-07

The Twentieth Century

  • Group 12 Discussion
교재범위 Bowen: Ch. 15 & Boyd: Ch. 14
제15주 2022-12-08 ~ 2022-12-14

Twenty-first Century Currents & Trends

  • Group 13 Discussion
교재범위 In lieu of assigned reading, students will conduct their own survey of recent trends and significant developments in education. The instructor will provide an index of relevant topics and resources to guide students in their research.
비고 자울학습 및 보충수업 기간
제16주 2022-12-15 ~ 2022-12-21
수업내용 기말시험기간
과제물 하반기 프로토콜 제출