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University Format over the centuries

  1. Jan 25, 2013 #1
    So does anyone know how teaching has evolved over the centuries? How Aristotle taught his students, was it like everyone gather around him as he gave a lecture in the sand making circles and such?

    How about Oxford in the 1600s? What was a lecture like back then?
     
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  3. Jan 25, 2013 #2

    PAllen

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    Sorry, I don't go back that far. I can't talk about anything earlier than the classes I shared with Hamilton at Trinity College ....
     
  4. Jan 25, 2013 #3

    Andy Resnick

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    The term 'academy' dates to Plato, and the western concept of a 'university' dates back to the middle ages- 1200 or so.

    In terms of lectures/teaching styles, the 'Socratic method' of dialog and questioning dates to Socrates and Plato, while 'lecturing' dates from the medieval universities.
     
  5. Jan 31, 2013 #4

    HallsofIvy

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    By the way, the term "university" comes from the word "universal" and was a group of colleges that banded together. The United States tends to follow the European pattern where we have a "college of arts and sciences", "college of architecture", "college of engineering", while students in all colleges may live in the same dormitories- that is, the "colleges" center on subjects, not student. Oxford, Cambridge, and English universities in general, have colleges based on living quarters with, say, Literature, Math, etc. course offered at the lecture halls of each college though upper level classes may be taken at which ever college has specialists in that field.
    Although I have never attended an English university, my understanding is that lower level courses, at least, tend to large lectures by "professors" with additional individual tutoring by "tutors" who work for the university (not our, American, concept of "free lance" tutors). And upper level and graduate courses may be entirely "individual tutoring".
     
  6. Jan 31, 2013 #5

    Andy Resnick

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    I would only add that in the US university, undergraduate education mirrors the 'Oxbridge' model (groups of colleges, living on campus, etc.), while graduate education mirrors the German research university model.
     
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