First Advisor

Ann Weikel

Term of Graduation

Fall 1977

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Humanistic education -- England, Education -- England -- History



Physical Description

1 online resource (107 pages)


The following examines the historical development of English education available prior to university entrance in order to discover the impact of humanist ideas on the educational system. The survey of the structure and theory of pre-university English education begins in the early Middle Ages and continues through the Elizabethan period.

After examining the Medieval background, there follows a discussion of the political and religious settlement of the Reformation, and the basic programme of humanist reformers. Individual humanist writers are then studied, followed by a discussion of schools planned on humanist lines. With this, however, is contrasted a picture of English Renaissance schools in reality.

Many sources were consulted for background material as well as for specialized data on specific humanist writers. Primary sources were consulted whenever possible, but more often, it was necessary to use secondary sources which examine primary sources. The Columbia Teachers College Series on the history of education was exceedingly helpful in this regard.

The conclusions drawn are as follows. In spite of political changes and the influx of many new ideas, the English educational. system remained very much the same from the Middle Ages through the reign of Elizabeth. However, humanist ideas remained popular and influenced educational thought in the years that followed·.


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