The Evolution of Education

Think back to when you were in elementary school. Do you remember practicing your cursive on the blackboard, copying notes from a projector and watching Bill Nye the Science Guy?

4 min read

How many of your everyday activities would seem foreign to the kids of today? The evolution of education presents itself when you stop think how nowadays, few schools even teach cursive, kids are given tablets and personal computers at the beginning of them school year and notes are typically offered online.

Education continues to evolve at a rapid rate as technology advances and more research is done on learning. Learning has gone from private tutors for the wealthy, royal and clergy to dedicated teachers for students of all backgrounds.

Medieval Ages

Education has only recently become widely available to everyone throughout the United States. In the medieval decades, very few were allowed to learn. If you were the son of a royal, wealthy merchant or a clergy member, you were offered the best education, typically at your own home. Some of the best-educated minds were employed as private tutors to teach boys Latin, French, English, arithmetic and writing. Very few girls were offered the same education, although there were some exceptions. Girls were typically taught at home by their mothers, and were only taught enough to be a good wife. Some were taught basic reading and book-keeping, as well as dancing, embroidery and singing. The poor were typically not educated beyond their basic trades, such as farming or working as a blacksmith.

Before universities, most higher-learning occurred at monasteries. Many universities were paid for by either the students, churches or the state.

Distance Learning in the 1700s

It may seem like a new idea only available through advanced technology, but distance-learning education was first advertised in 1728 by Caleb Phillips for a shorthand course. Students enrolled in the course would have assignments mailed to them, which they would complete and send back to be revised by the course director.

1800s to Early 1900s

Following the evolution of education, by the 1800s, children were taught in single-room schoolhouses. Children within a five-mile radius of the school would walk to and from school every day, where they memorized facts and focused on reading, writing and arithmetic. The teachers were typically single women who passed a qualifying exam to receive a teaching certificate.

Before the 1900s, and even up until the last 50 years, it was common for students to drop out of school to help on the family farm or seek employment to help the family. Few earned a complete education.

Technology Jumps In

Although technology was being developed to improve education in the first half of the twentieth century, the first great technological advance was in 1953 when the University of Houston televised college courses through the first public television in the US. Broadcasts were between 13 and 15 hours each week and ran at night.

The Last 20 Years

Even as few as 20 years back, education has evolved to look vastly different. Although there were more education regulations and changes in teaching style, students would still have to be present in a classroom. Students have gone from taking notes from the blackboard to an overhead projector to copying them from the SMART board to downloading notes from the school website on their personal computers.

Online Classrooms Today

For those who have never taken an online class, the idea of earning an entire nursing degree online can be overwhelming and a bit daunting. Many imagine it as a completely independent process that involves teaching yourself based on textbooks and slideshows. However, now that technology is practically one step ahead of us, online learning has become a more viable option for many people.

Students who earn degrees from online classrooms are as involved with the professors as if they were in a traditional classroom. Professors will post lectures online, provide notes and activities, chat with students in real time and virtually meet with students to help them understand a topic. Students can even engage with one another to form study groups or just chat about the class.

If you are attending an online nursing school, you will even have the chance to meet with your professors and classmates while you are doing your clinical placements and working in the simulation labs.

Education will continue to evolve. You never know- you may be able to project a hologram into classes in the future.

Are you interested in becoming a nurse? Take a look at the various nursing programs near you available throughout the country.