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the process beginning at infancy by which a human being acquires the culture of his or her society

Confucius (551-478 BC)

Chinese philosopher and government official who devised an ethical system still in use in China and other parts of the world today

Judeo-Christian tradition

the Western cultural tradition that has been shaped by Judaism and Christianity


the first five Books of Moses that form the foundation of Hebraic religion, culture, and education


members of a group of inherent educators in ancient Greece during the period from 470 to 370 BC who emphasized rhetoric, public speaking, and other practical skills. Their approach contrasts with that of the speculative philosophers Plato and Aristotle


the theory and practice of public speaking, declamation, and oratory in ancient Greece. During the Middle Ages it tended to emphasize written discourse as well as speaking. Along with grammar and logic, rhetoric was part of the trivium of the liberal arts

Socratic method

an educational method attributed to the Greek philosopher Socrates by which the teacher encourages the student's discovery of truth by asking leading and stimulating questions


the recalling or remembering of ideas that Plato asserted were latently present in the mind. Through skilled questioning, the teacher stimulates students to bring these ideas to consciousness.

Plato's "Republic"

Plato's most systematic philosophical statement on politics and education. Using the format of dialogues, it portrays a perfect city ruled by philosopher-kings according to the principle of justice


religion founded by Mohammed (569-632); currently practiced in many Middle Eastern and other countries


the most sacred book of the Islamic religion and culture


the intellectual and educational approach used by educators in medieval universities, involving the study of theological and philosophical authorities

classical humanists

the leading educational theory and general method during the Renaissance. Refers to the study of the classical Greek and Roman texts with an emphasis on their humanistic (human-centered) meaning

vernacular schools

primary institutions that provided instruction in students' common language, in contrast to schools that instructed in classical languages such as Greek or Latin

dual-track school system

the traditional European pattern of separate primary schools for the masses and preparatory and secondary schools for males in the upper socioeconomic classes

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