Sunday, November 8, 2020

Review of The Rise of Universities by Charles Homer Haskins

This review is written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Education
Intriguing Connections = How to Teach? How to Learn?

Elaborate Description

An easy and quick read on how universities came to be. Most of the book describes the early 12th and 13th century Western university, teacher and student. The earliest universities were founded in Paris and Bologna. The university arose out of students need to prevent the individual student from the townspeople’s expropriating prices. Before universities, if someone studied under a scholar, they would not be able to show proof of the studies. The rise of universities was the diploma received as proof of the studies and the general concentration of study.

Over time, and due to the demands of the students, the teachers become professionalized and needed a sort of license to teach. Also over time, universities became guilds for scholars and students became more a necessary cost. Teachers taught mostly practical issues such as law, medicine, grammar, and logic. Teachers can teach anything as long as it was what acceptable from the perspective of the authoritarian doctrine.

The medieval students resemble students of contemporary time, with more time spending in leisure than study. Students used to write letters to their patrons for more money for studies, of which the money was often not spent on studies. Some of the money went to bribing the teachers for good grades.

The author explains that part of the rise of universities was the knowledge bought from the Arabic world, while does not specify whether they had universities. The book also misses what seem to be universities, at least by definition, in China at earlier times.

Book Details

Edition ISBN:  0801490154
Pages to read:   98
Publication:     1972
1st Edition:      1923
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    4
Content          3
Overall           3