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Kuttab, or Primary Level Qur’an School

Source

This public building of Mamluk Cairo in Egypt has two functions. Its lower level housed a sabil, or fountain, for dispensing water to thirsty travelers and denizens of the city, and its upper level was a public primary school for the teaching of Qur'an, called a kuttab. Kuttab schools taught basic literacy skills such as arithmetic and grammar along with recitation of the Qur'an needed to... Read More »

Last Day of School, Calgary image thumbnail

Last Day of School, Calgary

Source

The children of various ages shown bursting through the doorway of the stone school building in Calgary, Alberta, have just been released for their summer vacation. These elementary school children photographed in 1956 represent the post-World War II baby boom generation at its height, at a time when Calgary, Alberta, was also undergoing rapid growth from an oil production boom in the province... Read More »

Mencius and his Mother: A Lesson Drawn from Weaving thumbnail

Long Teaching Module: Children in Ancient China

Teaching

The unprecedented interest in the child who assumed unique importance in the Han period was set into motion by a convergence of historically-specific conditions: (1) the establishment in the Qin dynasty (221-207 BCE) and the further development in Han times (206 BCE-220 CE) of a merit-based civil service, which increased the educational and occupational opportunities of boys moving up the... Read More »

Thumbnail of ijazahs diploma

Long Teaching Module: Education in the Middle East, 1200-2010

Teaching

In recent years, westerners have been fascinated by the education of children in the Middle East, raising concern over whether or not schools teach extreme radicalism or anti-Americanism. The Arabic word madrasa, which literally means "school," has come to imply in the minds of some pundits and politicians a pro-terrorism center with political or religious affiliation. The situation was very... Read More »

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Long Teaching Module: Educational Reform in Japan (19th c.)

Teaching

Soon after overthrowing the Tokugawa government in 1868, the new Meiji leaders set out ambitiously to build a modern nation-state. Among the earliest and most radical of the Meiji reforms was a plan for a centralized, compulsory educational system, modeled after those in Europe and America. Envisioning a future in which "there shall be no community with an unschooled family, and no family with... Read More »

Title page of The Ancient History of the Maori

Long Teaching Module: New Zealand Childhoods (18th–20th c.)

Teaching

This teaching module explores how colonization shaped the nature of childhood in New Zealand both among indigenous populations and those of European descent. Read the essay below outlining the history colonization in New Zealand and the policies introduced by Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries that impacted the way children were raised and affected their engagement with and exposure... Read More »

Thumbnail image of The Secret of England's Greatness painting.

Long Teaching Module: Women in the British Empire, 1800-2000

Teaching

This module will help students explore the importance of women—both British women and women from British colonies—to the British Empire, as well as their importance in developing an understanding of Britain as an imperial power to a domestic audience at home. As a result, these materials provide some insight into the ways in which concepts of racial purity and proper gender roles bounded the... Read More »

Title page of witch hunter manual, Malleus Maleficarum

Long Teaching Module: Women in the Early Modern World, 1500-1800

Teaching

Talking about an “early modern world” allows us to investigate the interconnectedness of world cultures, as opposed to their isolation. In fact, the period between 1400 and 1800 was characterized by the advent of the Age of Exploration, which made encounters between cultures almost inevitable, even when some areas (most notably, China) turned inwards and shunned international interactions.... Read More »

Thumbnail of women and children in mosque

Majalis al-‘ushshak: Gathering in a Mosque

Source

This image from a 16th-century Persian manuscript illustrates the visit of a renowned teacher to a mosque. Such visits were much anticipated, and this image demonstrates the wide range of people who attended. Seating arrangements illustrate the social organization for the event. The guest of honor sat on the seat at the top of the minbar, or pulpit, while the older men sat in the first row.... Read More »

Maqamat al-Hariri, Kuttab School

Source

In this painting of a kuttab, or primary school, boys sit on a mat or carpet huddled close together with their writing boards. Boys, and sometimes girls, learned to recite the Qur'an at an early age, as well as the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic in schools called kuttabs. It might be held in a mosque, a building especially for the purpose, or an open courtyard, as in West Africa.... Read More »

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