Education in Medieval England

Education in Medieval England

If you thought your education was tough, try attending school in medieval England! In those days, students had to endure hours of lectures in stuffy classrooms. And if they didn’t pay attention, they risked being whacked with a ruler by their teachers. Ouch! Let’s take a closer look at what education was like in medieval England.

The medieval education system was different from what we have today.

The medieval education system was surprisingly different from the education we have now! There were no fancy textbooks, computers or student-teacher plans, just your fellow students, teachers and some good old notebooks! Although it may have looked like something out of a fairytale compared to what we have today, scholars still debate over whether it was better or worse than our current system. Maybe we should start wearing robes if choosing the medieval path!

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Most children were taught at home.

In today’s world with interactive technology, it can seem archaic to recall a time when children were taught at home by their parents. But historically speaking, this method of instruction has been around since the beginning of humanity! Who could have predicted that being on a “need-to-know basis” would eventually become the foundation for learning? Thanks to this age-old practice, from subsequent generations, sprang some of the world’s leading minds! This speaks to how committed parents, guardians and relatives are when it comes to forwarding knowledge like their ancestors before them. The inescapable truth is that everyone must start somewhere. And a lot of times you’re starting with your family!

Professional teachers worked in schools.

Way back before we had all the technology and fancy gadgets of today, professional teachers were a vital part of providing education to younger generations. They could be both strict disciplinarians and kind mentors, offering an invaluable combination of learning and guidance.

They also worked hard to make sure every student felt appreciated and ready to start the day with enthusiasm. These educators deserve recognition for the massive role they played in creating a safe learning environment. In the end, this pushed our generation forward.

Education was mostly focused on religious studies. 

It’s hard to believe that education in the past was mainly about becoming a priest or minister! For hundreds of years, schools only focused on religious studies. They were preparing students for a career within the Church. Little attention was given to learning practical skills or gaining knowledge of literature and the humanities. 

Thankfully, times have changed, and we now have access to a wide range of educational opportunities. This gives everyone a chance to learn something new and equip themselves with useful skills for their futures.

Girls were not typically as educated as boys.

Looking back to a time when girls were not typically as educated as boys were, it’s almost difficult to imagine! It’s almost like something out of a fairytale (it wasn’t). Thankfully, time passing has enabled us to realize something that should have been clear from the start. This is because a person’s gender doesn’t determine their ability to receive an education. Girls now have the same access to an education as boys do, and it’s only helping us to further bridge the gap between genders.

The first universities were established in the late 12th century.

Talk about universities, and people usually think of expensive tuition fees and late-night studying sessions. But did you know that the first universities in the world were established back in the late 12th century? 

Yes, you heard correctly – well before things such as calculators, laptops and exorbitant university fees existed! These early education centres showed how important knowledge was to individuals. They were created with the purpose of imparting useful skills in a variety of areas to people who are now referred to by us as history buffs! This just goes to show that knowledge really is power, no matter what era we live in.


Can you imagine having an education system like the one that existed in medieval Europe? It would be very different from what we have today. Most children were taught at home by their parents. Plus, education was mostly focused on religious studies and preparing for a career in the Church.

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