Ancient Greek education was one of the richest in the classical period. Except for Sparta, the rest of Greece saw private schooling. Public schools were established in the Hellenistic period. But there was a problem with the schooling. Teachers could be afforded only by wealthy families. Ancient Greek education was more importantly given to boys and not much to girls.
Ancient Greek Education
Boys were required to know how to write and read. They were also taught to quote from literature. It was also important for boys to be able to sing and play musical instruments. Knowledge of at least one instrument was mandatory. Boys, in fact, were also trained for athletics so that they could join the military with ease.Unlike today, it was not important for Greeks to educate their children for jobs; rather it was more important for them to educate their child to become an efficient citizen.
Though the education received ones for boys, girls were also educated but only in childhood under the ancient Greek education system. They were taught writing and reading along with a bit of simple arithmetic. It was more important for them to manage the domestic work rather than become an eminent public citizen.
Education in Ancient Sparta
The age of seven was the age when most boys in Greece went to school. If they lived in Sparta, they were sent to live in barracks. There were broadly three kinds of teaching. This included Grammatistes, Kitharistes, and Paedotribae. The first group was used for exclusive imparting of arithmetic, the second group imparted knowledge for dance and music and the third group implied knowledge of sports.
Wealthy boys had a servant or slave who took care of them when they attended private schooling. This slave was called a paid-agogos. He used to stay with the boy to attend to his needs in the daytime. Teachers of ancient Greece had private quarters.
They taught writing, reading, singing, and mathematics. They were also responsible for teaching the boys to play the flute and the lyre. At twelve years of age, the boy was also taught sports like running, wrestling, javelin and discus throwing.Ancient Greek education thus aimed to make wealthy freeborn boys educated men so that they could serve their nation states.