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The Growth of English Schooling, 1340-1548

The Growth of English Schooling, 1340-1548: Learning, Literacy, and Laicization in Pre-Reformation York Diocese

Jo Ann Hoeppner Moran
Copyright Date: 1985
Pages: 346
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  • Book Info
    The Growth of English Schooling, 1340-1548
    Book Description:

    In contrast to the prevailing view, this book reveals the educational revolution" of the 1500s to have grown from an earlier expansion of elementary and grammar education in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and early sixteenth centuries.

    Originally published in 1985.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5616-9
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
    (pp. xix-2)
  7. CHAPTER 1 Medieval and Early Tudor Education and Literacy: The Debates
    (pp. 3-20)

    Throughout most of this century the history of medieval and early Tudor English education has been shaped by the views of one man, Arthur Francis Leach, who argued, often passionately, that medieval education was dynamic and growing, while the policies of the Reformation, especially under Edward VI, were educationally destructive. Leach’s interpretations, particularly of the Reformation, were not always sufficiently supported by his sources, and the value of his work has remained an issue among scholars ever since.

    In 1884 Leach was appointed an assistant charity commissioner under the Endowed Schools Act. His first assignments were to look into the...

  8. CHAPTER 2 Elementary and Grammar Education in Late Medieval England
    (pp. 21-62)

    Despite a paucity of documents actually describing the curriculum of medieval schools, historians know a good deal about the teaching of Latin grammar, far more than they know about the various elementary levels of learning. Mention of grammar schools and grammarmasters is relatively frequent, and a sufficient number of studies has been done on medieval grammatical texts to enable the historian to reconstruct, on a broad basis, the grammar curriculum. In contrast, elementary instruction, whether in school or elsewhere, has often been ignored or, at most, treated cursorily. Little is known about the elementary curriculum and even less about the...

  9. CHAPTER 3 Scholars, Schoolmasters, and Schools
    (pp. 63-91)

    It is one thing to explain the overall differences between elementary and grammar education and another to discover the level of instruction available in specific instances. The identification of individual pre-Reformation schools as grammar, reading, writing, and/or song has been difficult for historians because so few of the surviving documents describe or even hint at the curriculum. A. F. Leach, in his bookThe Schools of Medieval England, refers to “the darkness of our ignorance of the curriculum in our ancient [i.e., medieval] schools.”¹ The only concrete information he provides comes from Cardinal Wolsey’s 1528 statutes, ordered for his short-lived...

  10. CHAPTER 4 The Schools of York Diocese
    (pp. 92-122)

    The methodological considerations of the last two chapters, which help us to distinguish among the variety of schools in late medieval England, are applied throughout this chapter in compiling and analyzing the educational data from York diocese. The resulting chronology of educational growth as well as the combined totals of schools differ substantially from earlier estimates of pre-university education in late medieval England and strongly suggest that the two hundred years prior to the Reformation were a far more important period, educationally, than historians have supposed.

    In the course of the last eighty years several lists of medieval schools have...

  11. CHAPTER 5 The Church and Educational Change
    (pp. 123-149)

    For the causes and consequences of the educational developments described in the previous chapters, the first and most obvious place to look is among the ranks of the clergy, since they functioned as the educational elite of late medieval English society. In particular, the elementary curriculum, based as it was on the liturgy, was essential training for any aspiring mass or parish priest. It is common sense to suppose that one of the first results of an increase in the availability of elementary education, and especially of a reading education, would be an increase in clergy, particularly at the parish...

  12. CHAPTER 6 Literacy and the Laicization of Education
    (pp. 150-184)

    References to reading and song scholars increase in number throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, while the availability of grammar schools expanded markedly between 1500 and 1548. In fact, the educational developments that were taking place within late medieval York diocese are sufficiently great to tempt one to speak of a pre-Reformation revolution in education. Whereas the previous chapter argued that a growth in clerical recruitment accompanies these changes and partially explains them, this chapter examines lay involvement in education and the extent of lay literacy. It suggests that the evolving laicization of society was a cause and also a...

  13. CHAPTER 7 Literary Interests and Educational Motivations in York Diocese
    (pp. 185-220)

    It is far easier to document educational change than to understand its causes. The previous chapters have advanced several explanations as to why an educational revival in late medieval York diocese should have occurred. First, the growth of elementary education may have been partly in response to demands for more mass priests and singers in the choir. Second, the endowment of schools, generally grammar schools, was due to a large extent to considerable lay investment in addition to some significant ecclesiastical initiatives. Third, lay benefactions to scholars increased just at the time when more and more children of upper-class laity,...

    (pp. 221-226)

    There are a number of conclusions to be drawn from this study which have a marked impact on the debates outlined in Chapter one. Among other findings, the documentation gathered in Appendix B and analyzed in the first four chapters of the book details an early sixteenth-century explosion in grammar education. After centuries of slow growth, grammar schools within York diocese nearly tripled in number (from twenty-five to sixty-eight) in the relatively short period between 1500 and 1548. How sophisticated the curriculum of these newer grammar schools was must remain problematic. Roger Ascham’s reminiscences of the rote learning at Kirby...

  15. APPENDIX A The Testamentary Sources Used in this Study
    (pp. 227-236)
  16. APPENDIX B Schools within the Diocese of York
    (pp. 237-280)
    (pp. 281-312)
  18. INDEX
    (pp. 313-326)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 327-327)