EXTRA TEXT, topic “school” LEVEL: intermediate Bavarian „Englisch Leistungskurs Abitur” 1996
The growth of the English educational System is very closely tied to the rapid industrialization of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Before industrialization, formal education was a rudimentary affair reaching a small proportion of children. In many villages school would be given in one class for all ages. The instructor might be an old soldier who was himself scarcely literate but could at least be expected to keep order. The local priest provided instruction in the catechism and religious orders passed on higher learning to those who would follow in the priesthood and to some favoured laymen. Most children of school age would be helping their parents in their jobs, be apprenticed out to learn a trade or be serving in a household. More prosperous members of society ensured that their children received some education by hiring private tutors and governesses for their children. The aristocracy would supplement this by the grand tour in which the scion of the family would be taken around Europe to places of culture and good breeding. However, the middling groups of society who could not afford the expense of the aristocratic education were more interested in having schools for their children. Many of our contemporary grammar schools are ancient foundations attesting both the beneficence of a long-dead notable and the eagerness of small merchants, prosperous farmers and skilled craftsmen to have somewhere to educate their children.
From: Peter Worsley, Introducing Sociology,1970
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