Curriculum Guideline

The History of Education in the Western World Since 1500

Effective Date:
Course Code
HIST 2230
The History of Education in the Western World Since 1500
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 2 hrs. per week / seminar Seminar: 2 hrs. per week / seminar
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

The course will involve the use of a number of instructional methods to achieve its objectives, including the following:

  • lectures
  • small group discussions
  • seminar presentations by students
  • guest speakers
  • analysis and interpretation of audio-visual materials
Course Description
This course will introduce students to the history of education in western societies from 1500 to the present. In this course students will examine approaches to the study of education, the rise and transformation of educational institutions, and relationships between schools, professions, culture and historical change. Students will read both secondary and primary sources (documents, memoirs, and novels), as well as explore a variety of visual representations of educational experiences (art, films, documentaries).
Course Content
  1. Introduction to the History of Education
  2. Research Methods in the History of Education
  3. Greek and Roman Origins of Western Education
  4. Medieval Education; The Medieval University
  5. Renaissance Education: Humanism, Liberal Arts, and Scholarship
  6. Religious Reformation and Education
  7. Education in the Age of Enlightenment
  8. Education and Revolution (1750-1815)
  9. Education and Industrialization (1800-1914)
  10. Education and Nation-Building in the Nineteenth Century
  11. Education, Elite Formation, and Ideology in the Nineteenth Century
  12. Education, Evolution, and Social Darwinism
  13. Imperialism and Education
  14. Education, Professions, and Politics in the Twentieth Century
  15. Russian Education in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
  16. American Education in the Nineteenth Century
  17. American Education in the Twentieth Century
  18. Race, Nation and Education in Pre-Confederation Canada
  19. Race, Nation and Education in Post-Confederation Canada
  20. Campus Cultures, Universities, and Protests
  21. Gender, Ethnicity and Education
  22. Education and Culture Wars
  23. Mass Schooling, Literacy and Social Change
  24. Labour Markets and School Systems
  25. Education, Media, and Propaganda
  26. The Ends of Education in the Contemporary Western World
Learning Outcomes
  1. The critical examination of historical sources (reading history).
  2. The creation and communication of personal interpretations of historical problems (writing history).
  3. The independent analysis of the ideas of other students and the instructor in class and in seminar sessions (discussing history). HIST 2230 The History of Education in the Western World Since 1500
  4. At the conclusion of this course students will be able to discuss, interpret and analyse the following:
         a) approaches to the study of the history of education
         b) relationships between education, social change, and culture
         c) contributions to education by significant groups in history
         d) individuals in history whose contributions affect current education
Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accord with the Douglas College student evaluation policy. Specific components of evaluation will include some of the following: mid-term and final exams consisting of short answer questions and essay questions; research paper; seminar presentations; short debate/position papers; participation in class discussions.


Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester and will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.


An example of one evaluation scheme:

Short essay assignment               10%
Seminar presentation  10%
Midterm exam  15%
Major research essay  25%
Final exam  25%
Participation  15%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Possible Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:


Boyd, William; King, Edmund James. (1995). A History of Western Education. Lanham, MD: Barnes and     



Guteck, Gerald L. (1995). A History of the Western Educational Experience. Second Edition. New York:

        Waveland Press.


Guteck, Gerald L. (2001). Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education: Selected Readings.  Upper

        Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.


Locke, John. (1996) Some Thoughts Concerning Education. Eds. Ruth W. Grant and Nathan Tarcov.

        Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing.


Rousseau, Jean Jacques. (1979). Emile. New York: Basic Books.

Newman, John Henry. (1996). The Idea of a University. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.


Rury, John L. (2005). Education and Social Change: Themes in the History of American Education, 2nd ed.

        Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.


Coursepack of selected documents and periodical literature


Alexander, J. W. and J. Dixon. (2006). Thomson Nelson Guide to Writing in History. Toronto: Thomson/



One 1000-level Arts course