How did People Start to Have Schools?

Men have lived together in groups since the very earliest times. Each group tried to keep together and to find ways that would keep the group going after its individual members were gone.

In order for the group and its values to survive, it was necessary for the older members to each children all that the they had learned so that they could solve the problems they would face. Young people had to be trained to carry on the customs, knowledge, and skills of the group.

So the idea of  “education” existed long before there were actual schools. But when letters were invented, schools became a necessity. Special learning was required to master the symbols. And the existence of these symbols made it possible to accumulate and transmit knowledge on a scale that had never been possible before.


Ordinary life in the group did not provide this type of education. So a special organization was needed to take over the job of providing it and this was the school. Nobody knows when the first schools appeared.

We do know that they were in existence in Egypt and perhaps in China and in some other 5,000 to 60,000 years ago. Actually, it was not until the eighteenth century that the idea of education for all as a way of improving man and his society began to spread.

And it was only about 100 years ago that people began to consider an education as the right of every child.

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