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The major change in education during the Renaissance had to do with making education serve the purpose of the humanists. This meant that education was aimed much more towards secular purposes than it previously had been. It also meant that education was based more on science than simply on learning what ancient authorities had said.
In times before the Renaissance, education was centered around the Church. It was based on Biblical teachings and its whole purpose was to get people ready to be leaders in the Church. By contrast, humanistic education was meant to create good people and citizens. For this purpose, education became more practical. It started to emphasize such things as history, astronomy, music, and geometry that were not that much use to Church leaders but which were of importance to people who wanted to be part of a Renaissance, humanistic society.
Renaissance is the French word for rebirth. It is the time of change that happened in Europe between the 14th and 16th centuries.
It was an age of growth in Europe. New, powerful city states emerged. A new middle class had more and more money to spend. Great artists, writers and thinkers lived during this time.
The Renaissance was especially strong in Italian cities. They became centres of trade, wealth and education. Many cities, like Venice, Genoa and Florence had famous citizens who were very rich and gave the city a lot of money.
In 1445 the German Gutenberg invented the printing press. He changed the lives of millions of people throughout Europe. For the first time, bookmaking became cheap and Gutenberg was able to print many books very quickly.
In the Middle Ages books were very expensive because they were written by hand. Only priests and monks could read them because most of them were written in Latin.
In the Renaissance the middle classes had the money to buy books but they wanted books that they could read in their own language. A publishing boom broke out and buying and selling books began to prosper in many European countries. People bought travel books, romances, poetry and almanacs. They read more and became better educated.
The word "Renaissance" means rebirth and this what happened. When the printing press was invented it allowed people to start reading. When people do that they start thinking and new ideas are developed. The Crusaders were returning from the middle east with new ideas, and new inventions this added to it. People likeMichelangelo were looking at the old philosophers and becoming NeoPlatonic in thinking, so that would mean that the church was loosing power. Instead of the church the only means for man to communicate with God it was shown in the Sistine Chapel of man touching the hand of God. Art, education, and science all grew. The age of exploration started and more people saw more things and experienced new worlds. This all added up to more education and a change in society that connects directly to us.
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