Who Invented School and Why Did They Invent it


Admit it or not, without having an educational foundation, you wouldn’t be able to open up your search engine on the Internet, make a research on who and why invented the school and probably you wouldn’t be able to read this opening sentence of this article. Schools are believed to have an extensive history, dating back to the Byzantine Empire in 425 A.D. While the idea of passing knowledge in a variety of ways has always been around, schools have implemented specific systems that can help children learn in a more organized and more efficient way.

Once in a while, scholars and students are beating their heads against the wall with the simple question: Why was the school invented and who is the one to come up with that idea? This question usually comes in mind during test days, when they are wondering who is responsible for their punishment. The history of schools begins in ancient Greece, where students used to meet in a learning area. These schools were known as academies. When the term “academy” became well-known, the famous scholar Plato developed a school of philosophy, called Akademia.

The education system that the whole world knows and uses was invented by the Byzantine Empire, but it was much different than today’s. These schools, invented in the distant 425 A.D., were especially meant for military personnel. The Greek philosophers would talk with military personnel on a variety of topics, but would also share knowledge on specific subjects, such as Mathematics, History, Language and Philosophy. But with the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453 A.D., these school systems fell too.

“Cut off one head, two more shall grow.” The end of these school systems didn’t mean the end of the school systems. The Islam was one of the greatest contributor to the invention of schools, as this culture has always been all about knowledge and learning. Their eager for knowledge has helped in the development of a systematic method of teaching. In the beginning, Mosques were the learning areas, but towards the end of the Ottoman’s reign, specific facilities were built to offer learning to all. These facilities housed mosques, dining quarters, madrassas, hospitals and more.

Horace Mann is the name that comes as the ultimate answer to “who invented the school”. Born in 1796 in Franklin Massachusetts, Horace Mann is believed to have invented the school system we all know today. He was both a college professor (teaching Latin and Greek) and a college president. However, before this man, there were many schools and teaching methods in Greece already, which makes the whole story a bit blurry. Yet, he takes a lot of credit when it comes to invention and contribution to the Normal School System in 1838.

Another man who is believed to have invented the school is Harry P. School. Around 1369, he started gathering neighborhood children with an unacceptable behavior and locking them up in a building. In other words, his “school” was a place where children were being punished. His concept may have been rough, but the parents of the punished children liked Harry’s idea. Truth be told, Harry P. School is not the inventor of school, but he definitely deserves some credit because of his idea of gathering children into one place in order to correct their wrongs.

These names are just two of the long list of “people who invented the school”. It is impossible to say that there is only one person who did it, because each and everyone contributed in their own way and helped in creating the educational system that all schools in the world use.

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