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Teaching

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Inside the monastery, the head of the school was the "magister scholae", the "school's master". He might bear other names. By the end of the 9th century, he was called the "scholasticus". The school's master had assistants who were called "seniores". Teaching methods were the same in monastic schools as in cathedral ones

Due to the scarcity of books, the method of teaching based upon the master dictating and pupils writing down. "Legere" ("to read" in Latin) was synonymous to "docere" ("to teach"). Pupils were writing down the text and the master's explanation or commentary at the same time. They learned by heart. Textbooks were available to the pupils though. They were either works of the Antiquity (Martianus Capella, Cassiodorus) or works by the masters of Middle Ages' beginnings (Isidore of Seville, Venerable Bede)

Advanced studies mostly based upon rethorics and grammar as few place was left to dialectics, thus logics and reasoning as even studies in theology was not that much expanded. The seven liberal arts eventually came to be memorized through two rimes which were learned by heart, with a abbreviation of each name:
'Gram loquitur, Dia vera docet, Rhe verba colorat,
 Mus canit, Ar numerat, Geo ponderat, Ast colit astra'
(which translates: grammar speaks, dialectics teaches, rhetorics give words a color, music sings, arithmetics computes, gemetry weighs, astronomy is about stellar objects). 7 terms also were summarizing the content of each art: 'lingua, tropus, ratio, tonus, numerus, angulus, astra' or 'language, rimes, reason, tones, numbers, angles, stars'

The school-room was the monastery cloister and in some cases, for very popular teachers, the street or a public square. In the monastic schools, like in St-Gall, for example, figurations of liberal arts were extant in the decoration. Students were sitting on the ground where straw had been strewn. They were writing on wax-tablets. Discipline was a care of the masters as was students' neatness and timetable. Discipline was enacted by the "proscholus", the "prefect of discipline"

Website Manager: G. Guichard, site Learning and Knowledge In the Carolingian Times / Erudition et savoir à l'époque carolingienne, http://schoolsempire.6te.net. Page Editor: G. Guichard. last edited: 3/15/2011. contact us at geguicha@outlook.com