What are the historical roots of education?
This is a big question, but in the Western European and American tradition, the push for education was often rooted in Protestant religious belief. As the Reformation took over in many parts Europe, the supremacy of Sola Scripture, meaning using only the Bible as a guide to teach conscience and behavior, became widespread. Bibles were translated from Latin into the vernacular—the common languages of Europe—but this was of no help if people couldn't read. Therefore, Protestants and often, in countries like England, dissenting Puritan groups, set up schools to teach poorer children to read and, sometimes, write.
A certain level of education is also required in most cultures for the mass of the people to be functioning, working, productive, and contributing members of society. Therefore, the people with power and wealth will often allocate a certain number of resources to making sure that most of their people have at least a basic education in reading, writing, and arithmetic, along with whatever other skills are deemed essential by their society.
Finally, education is also rooted in the need to indoctrinate young people into the most important values of the culture they are part of so that they have a sense of social morality, pride, and belonging. They are taught the stories and doctrines that transmit what is distinctive about their culture and their way of life.
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