History of Teaching
In ancient Egypt, China, and India, teaching was often the responsibility of priests or prophets, who enjoyed prestige and privileges. The ancient Greeks saw value in educating children, and wealthy Greeks often hired teachers for their households. During the first five centuries AD in the Roman Empire, citizens often had teacher-slaves.
By the Middles Ages in Europe, the Roman Catholic Church had taken over the responsibility of teaching, which it allocated to monasteries and specially designed learning centers. Many of these learning centers later evolved into major universities. During the 17th and 18th centuries, interest in children's education intensified. Throughout Europe, knowledge about teaching methods increased, and many new schools were founded. Training other teachers in new educational theories and teaching techniques significantly advanced education.
In North America, education was an important part of colonial development. Laws were passed requiring elementary schools in towns with more than 50 families, and many Latin grammar schools were established for secondary education. Many prominent early Americans strongly argued for a national education system as a means of harnessing the young talent of the nation. However, in North America it was not until the 20th century that teachers received a professional status.
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