EPE 218: for ECPE 2ND YEAR 2ND SEMESTER
TRENDS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD AND PRIMARY SCHOOL EDUCATION IN THE WORLD, AFRICA AND PARTICULARLY IN KENYA Course description History of Early childhood and primary school education from the ancient Greco-Roman times to the present times. The Renaissance period in Europe; The Industrial period in Europe; The Education in Traditional African set up; The History of Early childhood in colonial time. Childhood and Primary School Education in Independent Kenya Early Childhood Education in Old Greece.
Generally, education and schooling can be traced to about 500 BC in old Greece. Old Greece as the pioneer of civilization had many city states. But prominent amongst these were Athens and Sparta. History reveals that early training of the Spartan Child was not only done at home with the mother of the child as teacher, but infant education was a state concern. This is in the sense that at infancy, the child was carefully examined by local elders to see if his physical and psychological posture would suit the aim of this predominantly militaristic state. Where the child was found physically weak he was immediately got rid of. The implication is that among the Spartans, only healthy children were raised to become citizens. The Athenians may not have paid particular attention to early childhood education in the beginning, but history tells us that with the coming of Athenian Philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, recognition was given to the need for early childhood education from birth till about age seven. This period, (birth to 7years) in their view should actually be devoted as the first stage of “proper” elementary schooling. Early Childhood Education in Old Roman Empire.
The Old Roman Empire came into being shortly after the collapse of Old Greece. Having conquered Greece, the Romans adopted the Greek system of education. Before then, education for the Roman child was mostly a home affair. Right from birth, the father of the newborn child actually determined his survival. - The newborn child was laid at his father’s feet. If the father lifted him that meant that he acknowledged and accepted responsibility for him. But if the father turned away, the reverse was a death penalty for the child. This also meant that before the influence of the Greeks, the Romans never had a set standard on formal schooling for the young child. Their idea of preschool education was learning the father’s trade. The mother on the other hand took care of the child’s moral training. The influence of Greek education brought about a new experience in the Roman ideal for education. This new Graeco-Roman educational system introduced the Ludus or elementary education amongst other stages of learning. The Ludus was the first stage of learning which took care of preschool education all through to elementary school. Specifically the Ludus preschool curriculum content had Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, using the play method. Generally in the matter of early childhood education in the old Roman Empire, one cannot
underestimate the contributions of Quintilian. He was an education theorist of Roman parentage. He took cognisance of the child as a learner who needed the right type of education. Quintilian has so much concern for the child, and parental responsibility towards his normal and effective growth. He advocated early childhood education contrary to the Roman entry school age of seven years. His emphasis on early childhood education centres on the argument that the elements of learning solely depends on memory. This also exists in young children, especially in their formative years of between zero to seven years. Generally Quintilian's contribution to early childhood educational theory and practice was quite significant to educational...
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