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If you are to write an essay taking into consideration help with thesis, there are many things to explore about education in 18th Century and today. This post looks at education in the age of enlightenment, and the aim is to provide a clear understanding of how things were then, and the difference now.

It is a period spanning 1679 to 1840. Just like today, it would interest you to note that changes in the education sector during this time did not happen in a day, but rather, in stages of reforms. A fact that the world was slowly coming to terms with a need to move away from informal to formal learning system is also worth mentioning because it was a driving force that instigated most changes.

·Teaching method: Associationism

In the period leading up to the 1750’s and thereafter, understanding of education began to take a new dimension, and especially in the northern European countries. It was conceived that the human mind can associate or dissociate from something through repeated routines. Thus, it became a foundation upon which practical theories began taking shape. Teachers began transforming this idea into a new mode of teaching that involved using graphic tools away from manuscripts.

·The idea: Enlightenment

Publications by French author, Jean Jacques and English writer, John Locke point out the idea of education in the age of enlightenment was to shape the minds of young people. And later, especially, after French and American revolutions, there was a growing need for a more universal approach. As opposed to 20th and 21st Century, students in the 18th Century were taught to memorize, an activity that transitioned from Renaissance Age where teachers would use graphical and oral methods to dispense knowledge.


A number of Universities embraced the idea of enlightenment, which they viewed as progressive. Edinburg, Montpellier, Halle, Uppsala, Leiden and Gottingen Universities were at the forefront. Natural Sciences such as Chemistry, Pharmacology, and anatomy were at the center stage of education during this period, mostly in Edinburg. Others were inclined towards traditionalism with the exception of Montpellier Medical University.

·Signing names: Measurement of literacy

A period leading up to Victorian times in U.K was a tough one for most people who had wished to attend school, and even elsewhere in the world. Only the rich had access to learning institutions as the poor stayed away working in farms to raise money for family feeding.  However, the dawn of the 18th century brought with it relief because education was not a universal right accessible to both the rich and the poor. There was a steady increase in literacy levels across Europe.


However, there was no standard measurement of this great milestone. Historians believed those who could sign their names were educated; albeit, it is an approach that could not tell whether one knows how to read.  Areas that were populated with religious schools did not rank above par in literacy terms. In 1846, England had registered 30 percent literacy among males which later increased to 60 percent in mid 18th Century.

·Reformation: Religion and education in mid 18th Century

Other countries were also catching up on matters literacy levels, and at the center of it was religion. Most schools were run by clergymen, missionaries and religious organizations. With more copies of the Holy Bible being printed, it was understood that the only way of helping people read and understand the word of God is working towards literacy enhancement.  The year 1714 saw an increase of up 25 percent in the number of women who could read and write. By 1750, the number had reached 40 percent.

·Libraries, Books and Print

Books cost too high to afford in the 18th Century, and they were mainly encyclopedias. It means, only the wealthiest had access to print materials. However, libraries later came as a reprieve providing the poor with access to print. Also, for purposes of intellectual exchange, other places where people could read were Masonic Lodges, Clubs, coffeehouses, and academies. It is in these places where people also engaged in political and philosophical discussions.


In a nutshell, education in the 18th Century was largely religious up until the 1700s. Today, except for religion sponsored, schools can be owned by private individuals and not only the government.  Nowadays, people engage in literary discourses more than ever before, not to mention that students can read and learn anywhere. The advent of the Internet has changed the narrative of education magnanimously because with Paper Written assignments get done fast.