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On Education

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This essay was printed in the periodical Meiroku Zasshi in May 1874. The magazine was produced by a small group of intellectuals committed to the study of Europe and America. This journal, and the individuals who contributed to it, were at the core of the "Civilization and Enlightenment" movement in Japan in the 1870s. These intellectuals viewed themselves as enlighteners responsible for... Read More »

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Ostracon

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In Greek and Roman times children and adults often wrote on ostraca (that is, pieces of broken pottery and limestone flakes). They were costless and convenient writing materials. On this flat limestone piece a student practiced letters of the alphabet. S/He did not do so at random but tried to reproduce a nonsensical verse that contained all the letters. Some dots are sprinkled in the text,... Read More »

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Ottoman Decree, 1856

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The Ottoman Empire undertook extensive reforms between 1839 and 1876, a period known as the Tanzimat (reorganization). Europeanized Ottoman bureaucrats and a series of decrees from the sultan shaped these reforms that sought administrative, military, legal, and educational improvements. A series of reversals in wars with European powers during the 18th century and the realization that the West... Read More »

Persian Language Rare Materials

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The Persian Language Rare Materials Collection is an online repository of manuscripts, printed books, lithographs, and imprints which have a variety of purposes, including discussing scientific, religious, philosophical and literary topics.
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Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s "Children's Games"

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Flemish painter, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, painted "Children's Games" in 1560. While many of his other paintings also portray peasant folk culture, this summer townscape that is devoid of adults is rich in detail about Medieval children—especially at play. The painting provides a window into amusements and recreations in the past in its detailed depiction of some 200 children engaged in nearly... Read More »

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Pippi Graffiti Stencil

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This image found on a wall around the University of Vienna and the Austrian Parliament, in 2008, is a graffiti stencil of Pippi Longstocking, the eponymous fictional character created by the Swedish children's book author, Astrid Lindgren, in 1945. Since then, Pippi Långstrump (in Swedish) has been translated into 90 languages and made into movies and TV series. The image here is based on the... Read More »

Portrait of Francisco López de Solís

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This partially damaged painting depicts Francisco López de Solís, who occupied many posts throughout his career. He served as a lawyer for the Fisco del Santo Oficio, a judge on the high court of both the Philippines and Guatemala. Also in Guatemala, López occupied the posts of President, Governor, and Capitan General, Inspector of the Chiapas Province, and Head Teacher at the Metropolitan... Read More »

Portrait of Gaspar Sánchez

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This seventeenth century painting depicts the Jesuit theologian Gaspar Sánchez. He was born and educated in Spain, but his published works were distributed throughout the Spanish world. For example, the Jesuit library of Tepotzotlán has multiple volumes. Several aspects of this artwork shed light on the identity of Sánchez. The dark clothing he wears are traditional Jesuit robes, and the... Read More »

Prague Embassy cable, Student Strike Situation Report

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This November 21 U.S. embassy report demonstrates the influence of the independent student strike at the beginning of the Velvet Revolution. The students' power stemmed largely from their ability to organize quickly. On November 18, student leaders in Prague had announced an immediate university strike in addition to the general strike. That Monday, thousands of students refused to attend... Read More »

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Preamble to the Fundamental Code of Education

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The following paragraphs came at the beginning of a 109-article plan, promulgated in 1872, to establish a national school system under the direction of the new Meiji government. This ambitious plan divided the country into eight university districts, each of which was divided into 32 middle-school districts. This plan drew upon a close examination of educational systems in the West—the U.S.... Read More »

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