ETYM Latin educatio; cf. French éducation.
1. Activities that impart knowledge; SYN. instruction, teaching, pedagogy, educational activity.
2. Knowledge acquired by learning and instruction.
3. The gradual process of acquiring knowledge.
4. The profession of teaching (especially at a school or college or university).
5. The result of good upbringing (especially knowledge of correct social behavior); SYN. training, breeding.
Process, beginning at birth, of developing intellectual capacity, manual skill, and social awareness, especially by instruction. In its more restricted sense, the term refers to the process of imparting literacy, numeracy, and a generally accepted body of knowledge.
The earliest known European educational systems were those of ancient Greece. In Sparta the process was devoted mainly to the development of military skills; in Athens, to politics, philosophy, and public speaking, but both were accorded only to the privileged few.
The Romans adopted the Greek system of education and spread it through Western Europe. Following the disintegration of the Roman Empire, widespread education vanished from Europe, although Christian monasteries preserved both learning and Latin. In the Middle Ages, Charlemagne’s monastic schools taught the “seven liberal arts”: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy; elementary schools, generally presided over by a parish priest, instructed children of the poor in reading, writing, and arithmetic. From the monastic schools emerged the theological philosophers of the Scholastic Movement, which in the 11th–13th centuries led to the foundation of the universities of Paris (Sorbonne), Bologna, Padua, Oxford, and Cambridge. The capture of Constantinople, capital of the E Roman Empire, by the Turks 1453 sent the Christian scholars there into exile across Europe, and revived European interest in learning.
Compulsory attendance at primary schools was first established in the mid-18th century in Prussia, and has since spread almost worldwide. Compulsory schooling in industrialized countries is typically from around age 6 to around age 15; public education expenditure is typically around 5% of GNP (Spain 3.2%, Japan 4.4%, Denmark 7.7%).
Process of acquiring new work-related skills. Training can be on-the-job or off-the-job or a combination of both, as in an apprenticeship scheme. Induction is the term used to describe the training given to a worker when he or she first starts a new job.
Activity leading to skilled behavior; SYN. preparation, grooming.