This is a guest post from Ashley Coblentz in partnership with Chicago Home Tutor.
It’s not often you stop to consider everything the Roman Empire did for our modern culture. Things like infrastructure and our modern laws all stem from Rome. But you probably don’t know all the ways the Roman Empire has affected our educational system including the invention of a home tutor. Read on for 5 interesting ways Rome changed education.
If you send your children to school you can thank the Roman Empire! Rather than homeschool their children themselves, parents employed Greeks (or used slaves) to teach their children, a system that remains in place in today’s society of hiring teachers.
Since the earliest teachers were Greek and the books and materials they used were also in Greek, this promoted many children to be bilingual in their youth, something that is still considered an important academic advantage.
As more Roman families could afford education came to the advent of schools. Children would gather with a single teacher to learn. Rome considered education valuable and just like in our current school system, children would advance yearly with the material gradually increasing in difficulty. Also similarly, there was compulsory attendance until a certain level was reached.
Schools in Roman times were often strict and used corporal punishment when pupils didn’t get the correct answer. While we now know how detrimental that is to child development there is still much to learn about how to best motivate students and the science of actually learning.
The Roman Empire’s subject areas were similar to those of today’s schools, starting with the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic and gradually shifting to subjects more relevant to adult life, like sciences, advanced literature, and public speaking.
Hundreds of words in the English language have a root word that is Latin, the language spoken during the Roman Empire. They’ve also given us this alphabet we use. (Only J and U would be added at a later date.) So if you’re reading this, thank the Romans!
Today, learning Latin is beneficial for learning any of the romance languages as well as giving an advantage to learning advanced sciences. Also, our current justice system has many phrases that are in Latin as well.
The Golden Age of Rome brought an incredible amount of literature, poems, and other works. Many of these pieces are available today for people to study. Remember when you studied Shakespeare in school? He was inspired by the works of the Roman Empire and many of his plays, especially Julius Caesar were based on what was going on in the Roman Empire.
In Ancient Rome, as schools took off in popularity they invented “Ludi” which means play. These were the earliest schools for children to learn how to socialize and learn only the basics. These basic playschools were fundamental in the development of children and can still be seen in the modern-day equivalent of preschool.
Even now the benefits of preschool cannot be understated. Preschool promotes early learning and helps children associate with others in a positive manner, and we have the Roman Empire to thank!
Around the world, schools have taken on similar characteristics and while education is not a world standard, the respect it garners is. Every nation that has their children educated in a school setting has the Roman Empire to thank for that chance. Without the Romans, it is possible we would all still be homeschoolers.
Ashley Coblentz is a lifestyle blogger currently writing for Chicago Home Tutors, and a political journalist. After graduating from college, she worked as a Registered Nurse at one of the largest hospitals in South Dakota until deciding to be a full-time mom. She remains very passionate about the nursing profession and often volunteers in her extra time to teach community education classes on first aid and other related topics. She has one amazing child who keeps her on her toes. Who knew 10-year-olds could have so many questions? If you want to keep up with her and see what she’s writing next you can find her on Twitter or check out her portfolio for other fun reads.