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You're Pacific University program today and in the broadcast the follow is based upon the story of education published by Chilton books in June 1962 co-author with your narrator was Dr. Eugene M. Lask an assistant superintendent in charge of teacher recruitment for the New York City Board of Education. By presenting these excerpts from my book The Story of education we are hoping that you our listening audience may be better able to understand the whys in the wherefores of our own American schools. Our topic today Spartan education. The Homeric period began about 500 BCE when Roman Ariens journeyed southward from the steps north of the Black Sea into the peninsula now called grief. It continued until the first Olympic Games 776 B.C. held in honor of the chief Godzilla's. And repeated every four years for more than 11 centuries thereafter. After a branch of the Dorian Greeks had settled in the Peloponnesus about eleven hundred B.C. Spartan history continued for more
than 700 years. It's important in the history of all Greeks was the development of city states as a product of the mountainous geographical environment. Center of a rather than a small unit of surrounding territory inhabited by farmers and herdsman. Each of these was ruled by a king on Everest accredit family so its rulers were typically Straw man who had gained power by virtue of fighting skill physical or mental prowess or wealth. To a point where others had to rely upon them for protection and advice. No formal education institution existed in Homeric time and name given to this earliest Greek period because of blind genius name Homer born about 800 BCE is not credited with being the author of two famous epic poems The Odyssey and The Iliad. Learning was informal and in terms of the family or clan with domestic life being beautiful and women within the home as the equals of men. Education was
merely a matter of example an imitation that to phone ideals of the perfect man to be imitated where Odysseus the shrewd and eloquent man of wisdom invaluable in the councils of peace more. And at chilis fame for the deeds and exploits demanding courage strength and endurance. This simple Homeric education primarily was practical and social. It trained men in the arts of peace and war and women in domestic efficiency. The purpose was to acquire those qualities traits and skills needed for a happy and satisfied group living. It should be noted that the political foundation of the Greek culture had a much more democratic basis than those of either the Orient or the Near East. However Greek education was far from Democratic in the sense we understand that term today. The people were divided into distinct classes with such a different purpose in life that divergent types of training were required. The. Largest element in each
city state population was the slave class. And for them there was no formal education. Foreigners inspired by were not eligible for the educational facilities available to the citizen class. But among the favorite Spartan minority there were no distinctions such as existed in Athens where family wealth determined lives the nature and extent of educational training. However the aim of Spartan education was almost as strictly conservative a Folkways as had been the aims of primitive even Oriental training systems. Social survival depended primarily on the military ability of the Spartans to keep themselves constantly in control of subject populations that surrounded and outnumbered them of special interest today. Was that Nazi Germany fastest Italy and Imperial Japan all use the Spartan educational system as a model for their own devastating war machines. All three are like Sparta carefully controlled thoughts and actions of growing used as a most effective means of building the
glory and efficiency of the state. Each used a rigid doctrine of devotion to a single purpose. The training of a powerful body of warriors as a means of protecting themselves from outside attack. And of keeping in subjection conquered neighbors. Reset by their enemies the Spartans had called upon Lycurgus born about 800 B C to draw up a constitution and to develop a new set of laws. It was these laws of Lycurgus that form the basis for the Spartan educational system with the aim of giving to each individual such physical perfection and have a pattern of complete a beat ence as to make him an ideal soldier. Not only were the finer sentiments of generosity sympathy and mercy neglected as educational aims their destruction was deliberately sought. The Spartan ideal of good citizenship was to develop strength and Durrance courage patriotism military officials see and cunningness stressed with physical training and
military sciences. And even music and dancing were made forms of physical training intellectual development was practically limited to the memorizing of the lawes of Lycurgus and small portions of the Homeric epics that emphasize warfare and kindred virtues. That's in spite of the state became the one dominant agency that controlled the life of the individual from birth to death. The citizen so identified himself with the state that it probably never occurred to him that he might have intercepted from or antagonistic to it. Education consisted of a rigid reproduction and imitation that I stablished customs and folkways civic character was achieved by following closely aristocratic our noble example. And it was a nobility of blood transmitted from generation to generation one that could never be acquired through education. The state dictated all aspects of family life. Marriage was controlled and
made compulsory and child was considered as belonging to the state and it was the State Council that decided that birth whether the infant seems officially healthy to become a strong warrior and citizen or the future mother of one. And infant judged as weak or defective was ordered exposed to the elements. Many died on the mountain side some being devoured by wild beasts. Others were taken by foreigners are here lots bondsmen of the lowest classes serves to be brought up as slaves tradesmen or laborers female infants were rescued sometimes with a purpose in mind when grown up turning them into prostitutes. If a child passed inspection he was taken home to be raised by his parents until they reached the age of seven. During those first years the mother had general charge of his upbringing. The father was responsible for gradually inducting him into the ways of adult society by teaching them all characteristics deemed necessary. Lessons in South control began from the day of birth.
Frequently a child was left alone in the dark and punished when he cried. But I was made hearty by fasting. The foods he ate were simple and coarse. The young Spartan had plenty of sleep and outdoor exercise and by the time he was ready to leave his mother he had learned to cultivate the habits of the media's silence and respect for elders. At seven the boy was placed in a boarding school type of barracks where until he was 18 he remained under the supervision of older boys and a state official called the Don Imus. There he was under strict discipline in a semi military existence organizing the bands of packs under the leadership of young adults. He had a better stronger hate no blankets no shoes and scanty clothing. The food was unusually plain and limited in quantity at that. Boys were encouraged to steal but were severely punished for their lack of skill. When caught. Intended solely to develop qualities serviceable in war. This training was made as rigorous as
possible through games exercise drills and participation in jumping running wrestling spear throwing quites. Trainees also were constantly instructed moral and civic virtues and in the affairs of state through discussion at the public mess tables. To the credit side of Spartan education the boys learn become various in an intelligent and agreeable manner and acquired a dignity of bearing and of practical wisdom far beyond their actual years. At the age of 18 the young man began two years of intensive military training in which they operated closely under the supervision of the army. Some of those who had demonstrated qualities of leadership remained in the barracks to supervise the younger boys. At the age of 20 all Hughes took the oath of allegiance to the state. And then there followed 10 years in which they served as active members of the armed forces and gaging in the defense even offensive wars of the country. When a man reaches 30 he became a full fledged citizen was compelled to marry and took his seat in
the public assembly or counseled. Thereafter each citizen at certain times had to return to the public barracks to act as mentor an example to the boys going through the process of training. Thus characteristically a Spartan education every citizen I assume the civic responsibility of being a teacher. The home was a school for the girls. There they remained their brothers into the age of seven. When the boys left for the public barracks the girls continued to live at home. But they were given strenuous physical exercises by being organized into packs similar to those of the boys. But in fact this training for girls might be likened to that given to the modern tomboys by over enthusiastic ex athlete fathers. The Spartan purpose was to build up physical bodies that would prepare young women to bear and rear a sturdy and patriotic sons capable of carrying on the Spartan tradition. Girls were also given training and household duties.
Designed not only for the intelligent rearing of children but also for the future control of domestic slaves. Inspired. As were the Jews and certainly far better than the Orient or neighboring Athens women had ever rather than a high social position. Despite a late education responsibilities upon all citizens to know whether he is a fact the teacher is a military and physical training how the status of public officials and possessed the rights and privileges of that position. Discipline was severe and cruel corporal punishment being used for lack of alertness as well as for moral delinquencies. Flogging was used not only to promote a beating ends but also to harden the body. Every adult fitness and was duty bound to punish any boy caught in the act of violating a rule of proper conduct. Certainly a far cry from the modern day parent. Who rushes to the principal or school board member with blood in her eye to complain about teachers I lead's mistreatment of her little Johnny
spider use fear of public disapproval effectively to maintain the unique standards of morality as established by the state for young and old alike. Spartan education has been called the military dictatorship ideal it aim to train the warrior citizen to take his place in a military state. Everything was subordinated to the end that youth be molded into the exact adult pattern deemed necessary to perpetuate the state as it was. Merrick's life for boys as 17 18 contributed greatly to the aim of building strong bodies that could take punishments and mines discipline to a bay without question. When Hughes 18 went into military service they organize blitzkrieg bands to roam the countryside learning how to care for themselves in simulated warfare foraging for food and making practice attacks on farmers and he lives. Those you lose not only were learning the methods of Spartan
education they also were helping to police the subject populations in the interest of the state. It is no wonder they aspire to produce no lasting art literature philosophy or science. Just as has been the case with modern dictatorships. Spartan education was simple and direct in its objectives. Unlike Athens with its great philosophers Spartan education was not the product of any general view of human nature or any attempt to unfold man's various capacities. The sole aim was to train Spartans who were to live in the midst the difficulties and dangers and to be safe themselves only while they ruled over others. The citizen was to be always ready for the defense of himself and his country at home and abroad. He was to be prepared to obey and to command when necessary Spyder through its unique educational system provided the world was a model of efficiency and
single mindedness that must be admired no matter how much we may abhor its objectives.
The story of education
Spartan education
Producing Organization
KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program explores education in the Spartan era.
Series Description
This series presents various excerpts from the book, "The Story of Education," which traces the evolution of education. The excerpts are read by the book's co-author, Dr. Carroll Atkinson.
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Narrator: Atkinson, Carroll, 1896-1988
Producing Organization: KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-38-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:30
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Chicago: “The story of education; Spartan education,” 1964-11-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “The story of education; Spartan education.” 1964-11-17. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: The story of education; Spartan education. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from