Brief History of Schools
The earliest forms of teaching started in 4,000 BC with the Sumerians in the region of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Teaching was practiced at home and within the community in an informal way, having parents as the main responsible for transmitting knowledge focused on survival and the perpetuation of cultural standards. Agriculture, astronomy and commercial practices started the cuneiform writing (writing with wedge-shaped objects), used to register harvest seasons, river flood season and other important aspects for community life and for the dynamics of the first towns and cities.
It was only around 387 BC in Ancient Greece - birthplace of Western civilization and modern pedagogy - that the school model as we know began to be forged. Aimed at teaching the elites, schools were not intended for vocational or manual labor education. Rather, they were places for discussion of themes related to arts, philosophy, politics and arithmetics, with the objective of educating the intellectual and leading class of society.
It was also back then that the figure of the teacher was instituted. Philosophers, called masters, usually met with a group of up to five apprentices to teach human virtues and ethics. The teaching aimed at integral formation, which involved body and spirit, preparing men for the exercise of citizenship and social interaction.
The learning spaces were also the most varied - education happened at sports arenas, theaters, through group activities, political meetings and architecture, for example.
Teaching the masses
The growing complexity of trade and economic practices has had a significant impact on the educational model and since 1750, as a result of the Industrial Revolution, the priority of formal education has become training workers to operate in factories and industries.
Large-scale and standardized production has created the demand for laborers with at least a basic level of instruction to operate the machines. At the same time, bourgeoisie began to see schools as a powerful tool to control and discipline working masses.
In order for teaching to reach as many people as possible in the most standardized way possible, the logic of industrial production was brought into the classroom. Many students in class, chairs lined up, almost exclusively expositive classes, little interaction and silence during classes. The rest is history ... and we all know it well.