By Andy Green (auth.)
Re-issue of a seminal, widely-acclaimed examine at the origins of nationwide schooling structures in Europe and the us with a brand new Postscript exploring schooling and country formation in East Asia.
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Additional info for Education and State Formation: Europe, East Asia and the USA
5 The critical importance of Puritanism in the stimulation of education is well illustrated in New England and Calvinist Scotland. In Europe, the Lutheran areas of Germany and the Protestant cantons of Switzerland were important pioneers of mass education. The trend towards Protestant ascendancy in education, according to Cipolla, remained a general one throughout the following centuries and contributed towards the steady advance of Northern Europe over the Mediterranean states in the nineteenth century.
The origins of this lay in the work of the French sociologist, Emile Durkheim, who wrote more on education than any other of the classical founders of social science. According to Durkheim, education had two major functions. One was to provide the skills needed for industrial economies. The other, which was more essential, was to act as a vehicle of social integration through the transmission of culture. Like the British political economists, Durkheim was concerned, above all, with the problem of social order, but he roundly rejected English individualism and the notion that social solidarity might inhere in the individual pursuit of self-interest in the free market.
However, it was the onset of the Protestant Reformation that did most to galvanize education development. The sixteenth century witnessed the accelerated progress of literacy generally in England, but particularly so in the lands most inﬂuenced by the Reformation. The particular importance of education in Protestant communities lay in the nature of the religion and in the proselytizing spirit of the Reformation. Believing, as they did, that a ‘right’ understanding depended on a close study of the scriptures, the early Protestants were anxious to spread a knowledge of the Bible, and the importance of mass literacy to this was clearly appreciated.