John Calvin: an educational innovator or a reflector of society
Codling, Jim Llewellyn
AdvisorHamil, Wolf Burnette
Hopper, F. Peggy
This study examined the influence of John Calvin in education, as well as those influences that affected him. It examined his writings to determine if his vision, as to the scope of education and its purpose, made him an innovator. The research searched for reforms in the areas of curriculum, understanding of the teaching office, and universal education. It also looked at philosophy, economics, and labor. Schools existed in Geneva before Calvin arrived in 1536; however, they did not function in the way that Calvin would have liked. Calvin provided the elementary students with a needed text when he prepared a catechism. The students had written material that they could read and study and a systematic presentation of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. Calvin also wanted more appropriate facilities in which the students could learn. Although his organization of the schools improved the atmosphere for learning, the building of the Academy was his dream and became his major educational achievement in the city of Geneva. Because 16th century students needed to be prepared for the new world, there was a need for curriculum change. The students were required to read many of the prominent Greek and Roman authors in the ancient languages but the student learned theology, Hebrew, poetry, dialectic and rhetoric, physics, and mathematics as well. Calvin wish to graduate a well rounded scholar who could take his or her place in society. All people were to work to their potential at their job because in doing their job they would honor God. Teachers were especially important. Those who taught would affect the quality of education. Calvin worked to provide teacher training and support. He believed that the teaching office was a special calling from God and education was a means to prepare the young person for his or her calling.