Regimens of Schooling

Mia Münster-Swendsen

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Latin Literature

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394016
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Regimens of Schooling

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Classical Studies
  • Classical Reception
  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


Show Summary Details


This article provides a sketch of medieval teaching and learning as a lived experience, concentrating on practice rather than pedagogic theory and hence on a select number of texts that contain vestiges of this practice. The focus is on the formative period of the medieval schools from the late tenth to twelfth century, the period before the emergence of universities, and on those stages in which the chief concern was the arts of language—grammar and rhetoric in particular. Medieval primary education sought to teach linguistic skills while at the same time instilling a moral habitus through imitation of textual as well as human examples. The school was a consciously disciplinary system with an ethical purpose beyond the teaching of intellectual skills. For students, disciplina became internalized through emulation in a setting where the persona of the magister, demonstrating a living exemplum of learning and cultivation, occupied the center of attention. Two examples are presented that provide a sense of the conduct of teaching: one consisting of teaching materials from a monastic school milieu; and one from a cathedral school representing the work of a student. Both are from the decades around the year 1000 and from the German Empire, but they reflect practices representative of medieval schools throughout the period.

Keywords: medieval teaching; language; disciplinary system; intellectual skills; monastic school; cathedral school

Article.  10192 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Reception ; Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.