Belief: A Short History for Today


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Brief History of the Quakers Denomination

All this culminated with feudalism in the Middle Ages, when society became steeply hierarchical, with a few kings and lords at the top and masses of slaves and serfs at the bottom. Now the lot of most people, children included, was servitude. The principal lessons that children had to learn were obedience, suppression of their own will, and the show of reverence toward lords and masters.

A rebellious spirit could well result in death. In the Middle Ages, lords and masters had no qualms about physically beating children into submission. For example, in one document from the late 14th or early 15th century, a French count advised that nobles' huntsmen should "choose a boy servant as young as seven or eight" and that " With the rise of industry and of a new bourgeoisie class, feudalism gradually subsided, but this did not immediately improve the lives of most children.


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Business owners, like landowners, needed laborers and could profit by extracting as much work from them as possible with as little compensation as possible. Everyone knows of the exploitation that followed and still exists in many parts of the world. People, including young children, worked most of their waking hours, seven days a week, in beastly conditions, just to survive.

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The labor of children was moved from fields, where there had at least been sunshine, fresh air, and some opportunities to play, into dark, crowded, dirty factories. In England, overseers of the poor commonly farmed out paupers' children to factories, where they were treated as slaves. Many thousands of them died each year of diseases, starvation, and exhaustion. Not until the 19th century did England pass laws limiting child labor. In , for example, new legislation forbade textile manufacturers from employing children under the age of 9 and limited the maximum weekly work hours to 48 for to year-olds and to 69 for to year-olds [2].

In sum, for several thousand years after the advent of agriculture, the education of children was, to a considerable degree, a matter squashing their willfulness in order to make them good laborers. A good child was an obedient child, who suppressed his or her urge to play and explore and dutifully carried out the orders of adult masters. Such education, fortunately, was never fully successful.

The human instincts to play and explore are so powerful that they can never be fully beaten out of a child. But the philosophy of education throughout that period, to the degree that it could be articulated, was the opposite of the philosophy that hunter-gatherers had held for hundreds of thousands of years earlier. For various reasons, some religious and some secular, the idea of universal, compulsory education arose and gradually spread. Education was understood as inculcation. As industry progressed and became somewhat more automated, the need for child labor declined in some parts of the world.

The idea began to spread that childhood should be a time for learning, and schools for children were developed as places of learning. The idea and practice of universal, compulsory public education developed gradually in Europe, from the early 16th century on into the 19th. It was an idea that had many supporters, who all had their own agendas concerning the lessons that children should learn.

Much of the impetus for universal education came from the emerging Protestant religions. Martin Luther declared that salvation depends on each person's own reading of the Scriptures. A corollary, not lost on Luther, was that each person must learn to read and must also learn that the Scriptures represent absolute truths and that salvation depends on understanding those truths.

Luther and other leaders of the Reformation promoted public education as Christian duty, to save souls from eternal damnation. By the end of the 17th century, Germany, which was the leader in the development of schooling, had laws in most of its states requiring that children attend school; but the Lutheran church, not the state, ran the schools [3].

In America, in the mid 17th century, Massachusetts became the first colony to mandate schooling, the clearly stated purpose of which was to turn children into good Puritans. Beginning in , children in Massachusetts and adjacent colonies learned to read from the New England Primer, known colloquially as "The Little Bible of New England" [4]. It included a set of short rhymes to help children learn the alphabet, beginning with, "In A dam's Fall, We sinned all," and ending with, " Z accheus he, Did climb the tree, His Lord to see.

Employers in industry saw schooling as a way to create better workers. To them, the most crucial lessons were punctuality, following directions, tolerance for long hours of tedious work, and a minimal ability to read and write. As nations gelled and became more centralized, national leaders saw schooling as means of creating good patriots and future soldiers. To them, the crucial lessons were about the glories of the fatherland, the wondrous achievements and moral virtues of the nation's founders and leaders, and the necessity to defend the nation from evil forces elsewhere.

Into this mix we must add reformers who truly cared about children, whose messages may ring sympathetically in our ears today. These are people who saw schools as places for protecting children from the damaging forces of the outside world and for providing children with the moral and intellectual grounding needed to develop into upstanding, competent adults. But they too had their agenda for what children should learn. Children should learn moral lessons and disciplines, such as Latin and mathematics, that would exercise their minds and turn them into scholars.

So, everyone involved in the founding and support of schools had a clear view about what lessons children should learn in school. Quite correctly, nobody believed that children left to their own devices, even in a rich setting for learning, would all learn just exactly the lessons that they the adults deemed to be so important. All of them saw schooling as inculcation, the implanting of certain truths and ways of thinking into children's minds.

The only known method of inculcation, then as well as now, is forced repetition and testing for memory of what was repeated. With the rise of schooling, people began to think of learning as children's work. The same power- assertive methods that had been used to make children work in fields and factories were quite naturally transferred to the classroom.

Repetition and memorization of lessons is tedious work for children, whose instincts urge them constantly to play freely and explore the world on their own. Just as children did not adapt readily to laboring in fields and factories, they did not adapt readily to schooling. This was no surprise to the adults involved. By this point in history, the idea that children's own willfulness had any value was pretty well forgotten. Everyone assumed that to make children learn in school the children's willfulness would have to be beaten out of them.

Punishments of all sorts were understood as intrinsic to the educational process. In some schools children were permitted certain periods of play recess , to allow them to let off steam; but play was not considered to be a vehicle of learning. In the classroom, play was the enemy of learning.

A prominent attitude of eighteenth-century school authorities toward play is reflected in John Wesley's rules for Wesleyan schools, which included the statement: "As we have no play days, so neither do we allow any time for play on any day; for he that plays as a child will play as a man. The brute force methods long used to keep children on task on the farm or in the factory were transported into schools to make children learn.

Some of the underpaid, ill-prepared schoolmasters were clearly sadistic. One master in Germany kept records of the punishments he meted out in 51 years of teaching, a partial list of which included: ", blows with a rod, , blows with a cane, 20, taps with a ruler, , blows with the hand, 10, blows to the mouth, 7, boxes on the ear, and 1,, blows on the head"[6]. Clearly, that master was proud of all the educating he had done. In his autobiography, John Bernard, a prominent eighteenth-century Massachusetts minister, described approvingly how he himself, as a child, was beaten regularly by his schoolmaster [7].

He was beaten because of his irresistible drive to play; he was beaten when he failed to learn; he was even beaten when his classmates failed to learn. Because he was a bright boy, he was put in charge of helping the others learn, and when they failed to recite a lesson properly he was beaten for that. His only complaint was that one classmate deliberately flubbed his lessons in order to see him beaten. He solved that problem, finally, by giving the classmate "a good drubbing" when the school day was over and threatening more drubbings in the future.

Those were the good old days. In recent times, the methods of schooling have become less harsh, but basic assumptions have not changed. Learning continues to be defined as children's work, and power-assertive means are used to make children do that work. In the 19th and 20th centuries, public schooling gradually evolved toward what we all recognize today as conventional schooling. The methods of discipline became more humane, or at least less corporal; the lessons became more secular; the curriculum expanded, as knowledge expanded, to include an ever-growing list of subjects; and the number of hours, days, and years of compulsory schooling increased continuously.

School gradually replaced fieldwork, factory work, and domestic chores as the child's primary job. Just as adults put in their eight-hour day at their place of employment, children today put in their six-hour day at school, plus another hour or more of homework, and often more hours of lessons outside of school. Over time, children's lives have become increasingly defined and structured by the school curriculum. Children now are almost universally identified by their grade in school, much as adults are identified by their job or career. Schools today are much less harsh than they were, but certain premises about the nature of learning remain unchanged: Learning is hard work; it is something that children must be forced to do, not something that will happen naturally through children's self-chosen activities.

The specific lessons that children must learn are determined by professional educators, not by children, so education today is still, as much as ever, a matter of inculcation though educators tend to avoid that term and use, falsely, terms like "discovery". Clever educators today might use "play" as a tool to get children to enjoy some of their lessons, and children might be allowed some free playtime at recess though even this is decreasing in very recent times , but children's own play is certainly understood as inadequate as a foundation for education.

Children whose drive to play is so strong that they can't sit still for lessons are no longer beaten; instead, they are medicated. School today is the place where all children learn the distinction that hunter-gatherers never knew—the distinction between work and play. The teacher says, "you must do your work and then you can play. That, perhaps, is the leading lesson of our method of schooling. If children learn nothing else in school, they learn the difference between work and play and that learning is work, not play.

In this posting I have tried to explain how the history of humanity has led to the development of schools as we know them today. In my next posting I will discuss some reasons why modern attempts to reform schools in basic ways have been so ineffective. Quoted by Orme, N.

Mulhern, J. Again, Mulhern Gutek, G. Quoted by Mullhern , p Again, in Mullhern , p Extracted in J. Martin Ed. Continued thanks, Dr. History, while not the most interesting subject, is crucial to understand where we are today. The story you tell is a terribly sad one. My friends and I joked in the past that school was just trying to tame us for when we would become suit-wearing robots in the cubicle world Please help us, the converted, by writing more about what else we can do as future parents similar veins of subject as the Sudbury School.

I believe the best way to break from this sad history is to support Sudbury schools. Talk about them, write about them, send your children to them, and start one if there is none in your area. For the long term, support school vouchers, so that everyone can afford to go to a Sudbury school who wants to. But we have to make sure that the bills that create those voucher systems provide real choice, and do not force private schools to effectively become alternative public schools.

I don't want to detract from the main thrust of this blog, article, and discussion.

Belief a short history for today

It is in the nature of things that he who pays the piper calls the tune. That government money always has strings. Many times, the government has promised money without strings, and every time it has reneged. In most parts of the country, private schools are left pretty much alone. Year Everyone cheers, and praises the government for freeing up all that money for use by any school So lots and lots of tax money is wasted, and those headmasters get larger salaries and buy themselves nice sports-cars. Big deal; people decide that the voucher system is 'worth it'.

The national media reports on Mr. Brown, who run the 'Greenback School. Students can choose to take Mrs. Brown's 'Sweatshop ' class, which sells off the class projects to clothing stores in order to help the school to afford an 'even higher quality education'. They could also take Mr. Brown's class in migrant farming, burger flipping , or coal mining mixing economics, geology and gym! Where does all this money go to? Why, to guarantee that the 'Greenback School' can afford top quality teachers like Mr.

Parents who choose to spend their vouchers at Greenback School are invited to give up to eight such guest lectures each year. It does so, in such a manner as to try and guarantee that the Greenback School scandal couldn't happen again. Year 5: Among the new requirements for a school to operate All of the paid staff in the school are licenced teachers, with a bachelors degree in education.

The school insures that during the school day, no more than two hours for lunch, recess and traveling from class to class is spent outside of organized school activities. The school cannot profit from any activity of the students. The school must explicitly spell out its curriculum, have its curriculum approved by a committee of the Department of Education, and aggressively pursue the curriculum.

All schools must present their students with semi-annual tests in reading, writing, arithmetic and American history. The school present a curriculum suited for the needs of each different age group which it claims to serve.

That is, it must design and defend a curricula for first graders which is different than that for second graders, which is different from that for third graders, etc. In other words -- as soon as you start promising someone else's money for something, you had better define what that something is. Otherwise, the peop[le whose money you are promising the taxpayer will be ripped off, and forced to pay for something it didn't expect. But something strange happened. Instead, they bounded toward Napoleon and his men.

This was later sold as part of a collection and ended up in the possession of Dr. Abraham Rosenbach. Rosenbach took Napoleon's penis on tour; it was displayed on a small velvet cushion in New York's museum of French art. Apparently it's now owned by the Lattimer family in New York. In , Liechtenstein sent out an army of 80 men to participate in the Austro-Prussian War.

They came back with 81 men, suffering no casualties and having made one friend along the way. Be right back; moving to Liechtenstein. He mixed two breeds of cows to create a super cow that would stand up to heat and give out lots of milk and her name is ubre blanca. When attackers chased him into a field of beans, he refused to enter and was killed instead. The reason behind this is not entirely known. A funny anecdote tells us that Pythagoras believed that a human being lost a part of his or her soul whenever passing gas.

A vast bean field stretched before him. He stood frozen, uncertain what to do. His eyes focused on a single bean dangling inches from his papyrus-covered feet. So true was he to his ideals that, even at the risk of losing his own life, he was unwilling to trample upon even a single bean. Staring down upon that vibrant bean, the sun low in the sky, he imagined it to be blossoming into a divine ripeness before him.

And as he stood there, hesitating, contemplating his next move, his pursuers caught up with him. Then, years later, he encountered a dude called Gaiseric just South of Rome.

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Johnson liked showing journalists his penis whether they wanted to or not and also talking about how big it was. Basically, the Dramatist Aeschylus heard of a prophecy that he would meet his demise by a falling object, because of this he went outside of the city in order to avoid his death, little did he know that an eagle with a turtle flew over and dropped the turtle on his shiny bald head, mistaking his head for a rock.

But there's no word on whether or not he heard a prophecy before heading to Sicily. He was sent to a small island in the Philippines to spy on the American forces. He evaded capture and remained in the jungle to carry out his mission for the next 30 years. His former superior had to come out of retirement to convince him the war was over. For decades after, you could allegedly still smell the molasses during the summer.

Unfortunately, 21 people died and people were injured as a result of the flood It would be cleared out every few days. His extreme diet, recurring stomach problems likely psychosomatic and reliance on quack drug pushers like Morell made life at his dinner table terrible for his guests. Speer writes about it in Inside The Third Reich. I guess that's why he had a dog? By all accounts, Hitler was a gassy guy. This included pills containing strychnine, a poison, "which probably explains his stomach pains," said Bill Panagopulos, president of Alexander Autographs. He wore a metal prosthetic nose for the rest of his life.

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He also had a pet moose that died when it drank too much beer and fell down a flight of stairs. In Tycho attended a party during which he held himself from going to the bathroom, subsequently suffered a burst bladder, and died 10 days later. Reportedly he had 'appeared on the public highway wearing upon his head what he called a silk hat which was shiny lustre and calculated to frighten timid people ' and the officers of the Crown stated that 'several women fainted at the unusual sight, while children screamed, dogs yelped and a younger son of Cordwainer Thomas was thrown down by the crowd which collected and had his right arm broken.

Listen to it here on YouTube.

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In the version of Annie there's a bit where Daddy Warbucks is deciding whether he wants to keep the Mona Lisa and says, 'There's something interesting in that woman's smile. I might learn to like her. Hang her in my bathroom. It's funny to think that the guy who literally invented fascism was also a connoisseur of shitty fanfiction. Continue Reading. Laozi emphasized harmony with the Dao—a referent to something that cannot be named—in order to achieve balance in life.

The principle of non-action meant that one should discern the natural course of things and cooperate with that movement. The result was a mix of philosophy and religion. Over the centuries that followed, both Confucianism Rujiao—the teachings of the scholars and Daoism Daojiao—the teaching of the Way developed elaborate rituals and sacred writings. To this day the philosophies of Laozi and Confucius, and the religious movements their lives and teachings inspired, exist in vibrant forms in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese culture as well.


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  6. Buddhism in China second century CE Buddhism, a cultural system of beliefs and practices based on principles of compassion and non-attachment, originated in the sixth century BCE in what is today Nepal. It was brought to China by Buddhist monks from India during the latter part of the Han dynasty ca.

    To help the Chinese comprehend Buddhist concepts, Buddhists borrowed ideas from Daoism via the Chinese language.

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    Both Buddhism and Daoism benefited from this exchange. Daoists expanded their ideas about the cosmos and ways to structure their monastic orders. Buddhists gained a lexicon that made it easier to teach their tradition. Over time Buddhism became a popular force in the lives of the Chinese, from the common people to the emperor himself. In fact, by the sixth century, Buddhism rivaled Daoism in popularity and political influence.

    It was during this time, and over the course of the next three centuries, that major schools of Chinese Buddhism formed. Even in mainland China, where religion is often suppressed by the government, there are practitioners of these two schools of Chinese Buddhism. Most scholars think of Buddhism as many Buddhisms. In the so-called classical period of Buddhism in China Tang dynasty, — CE , there were a number of schools of Buddhism that taught and promoted their own philosophies and meditation practices. The Huayen and Tiantai schools, for instance, varied in philosophy, location, and political influence.

    The teachings of various schools influenced and were adapted by Korea and Japan. One of the most popular figures in Chinese Buddhism is the Bodhisattva Guanyin the one who perceives the laments of the world—Guanshiyin. Having originated from Indian Buddhism as a superior being who aids the suffering of the world, Guanyin has become a key figure in the devotional practices of Chinese Buddhists and Daoists alike.

    Popular Religion and Syncretism: The Present Reaching Back to the Past Popular, or folk, religious practice in China today has elements as old as the ancestral rites of the Shang and Zhou dynasties and, dating from the Song dynasty — CE , is marked by a propensity for syncretism—the combining of different forms of belief or practice. A good example is the construction of temple altars. Nor is it extraordinary to see a selfprofessed Buddhist offer incense at a Daoist temple to a historical figure known for his Confucian virtues. For most people in China, there is no problem with mixing religious practices.

    Unlike some other cultures, where religious syncretism and even tolerance are viewed with skepticism or condemnation, the Chinese have always had the ability to select the religious practices and teachings that work best for them at the moment. In general religious pluralism simply adds to the many options from which the Chinese can choose on their journey toward a harmonious life. Glossary Rites A set way of acting or speaking during a ceremony. Divination The practice of predicting the future using omens or supernatural powers.

    Belief: A Short History for Today Belief: A Short History for Today
    Belief: A Short History for Today Belief: A Short History for Today
    Belief: A Short History for Today Belief: A Short History for Today
    Belief: A Short History for Today Belief: A Short History for Today
    Belief: A Short History for Today Belief: A Short History for Today
    Belief: A Short History for Today Belief: A Short History for Today
    Belief: A Short History for Today Belief: A Short History for Today
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