Etymology of Education

Seen in Latin as educatio, linked to the use of the verb ‘to educate’ as educāre, to express a principle of directing or guiding, associated with educĕre, interpreted as ‘revealing’ or ‘exposing’ to the outside, composed of the prefix ex-, indicating ‘to take out’ or ‘to externalize’, and ducĕre, for the action of ‘to conduce’ (in Latin conducĕre, governed by the prefix con-, in terms of union or totality), evidencing reference in the Indo-European *deuk-, for ‘to lead’, carrying or guiding, whose influence is manifested in duke (from the French duc, in reference to the Latin forms dux, ducis), to produce (over the Latin in producĕre) or even in seduce (defined by the Latin seducĕre). A clear idea is expressed: to promote the intellectual and cultural development of the individual and, at the same time, to encourage the learning of new concepts and skills.

As a general rule, all educational processes are carried out by a professional educator, as described in the Latin educātor. This person is responsible for instilling knowledge and skills in schools. The other essential way of learning is based on being self-taught, or an autodidact, a term found in the French autodidacte from the Greek origin word autodídaktos.

In the ancient world, there were no schools as we know them today. In the case of Athens, there were spaces for reflection and debate (for example, Plato’s Academy or Aristotle’s Lyceum).

In the Sparta Polis children received an education with a strong military style, since discipline was hard and behavior was molded through physical exercise

In Roman civilization there was an educational model based on the trivium (it included rhetorical, grammatical and dialectical knowledge) and the quadrivium (music, astronomy, arithmetic and geometry). It was in this historical period that the teacher-student relationship was consolidated, but only for the privileged sector of society (the common people were on the margins of education and the social elites were educated in a balancing knowledge, art and physical exercise).

During the Middle Ages the only cultural centers were linked to the church (in the monasteries there were libraries and in them the scribes copied the different texts). During the Middle Ages the first universities appeared in cities such as Bologna, Paris, Oxford or Salamanca, as well as the first municipal schools to care for orphaned children (for example, in the city of Valencia in 1410 the Imperial College of Orphaned Children of San Vicente Ferrer was founded).

It was from the period of the Enlightenment in the 18th century when the first public education centers appeared, free and mandatory for the entire young population. The European absolute monarchs promoted the first public schools to educate the people (for example, the Prussian school followed the Spartan model and encouraged discipline and authoritarian regime in order to make the population docile and easily manipulated).

Schools as state-regulated educational institutions developed throughout the nineteenth century along with the expansion of capitalism.

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