From the earliest days of man, a long time before language had been developed, informal education existed with knowledge being passed on from peer-to-peer and from adult to child. The men and women that inhabited the Earth had to ‘invent’ education to help ensure their survival. They had to teach their children a whole set of essential information that was not included in their cultural heritage, but created by them.
In the Palaeolithic age, they taught ways to make and build fires and the use of tools to hunt big animals, while in the Neolithic they transmitted more elaborate information, which would pavé the way for the development of agriculture and farming throughout their civilization. Meet the top 6 educational leaders ever to have graced our planet earth who have made an impact for the better on the lives of fellow-men.
Educational Leaders Who Have Changed The World
1. Jaime Escalante (Bolivian 1930-2010)
An immigrant from Bolivia, Escalante gained international attention while teaching underprivileged inner-city students at a low achieving east-Los Angeles high school. He took an unconventional approach to teaching calculus, including music and even toys in his lessons.
His main intention while teaching was to remove the impression of calculus as an extremely difficult subject – as one of the signs in his classroom read: “Calculus need not be made easy, it’s already easy.” The program proved a success when in 1982, 18 of Escalante’s students achieved high scores in a college placement.
2. Jane Addams (American 1860-1935)
Addams believed a good education makes a good citizen, and that this opportunity should be open to students of all genders, races and backgrounds. A staunch supporter of equal rights for all, Addams was at the heart of the female emancipation and other progressive movements within the US at the beginning of the 20th century.
Teaching was just one facet of her broader approach to social equality, which she promoted through her work with Hull House in Chicago. This community settlement house aimed to educate and support the generally poorer immigrant population within the city, using help from middle and upper-class philanthropists to fund the efforts.
3. Roger Bacon (English 1214-1292)
Bacon had a keen interest in all facets of science, including the secretive practice of alchemy and even magic, and was a staunch teacher of Aristotle’s work. Known as ‘doctor mirabilis’, or ‘wonderful teacher’, by his contemporaries, Bacon took it upon himself to reform the studies of theology and philosophy in universities.
Himself a multi-linguist, the study of languages was incorporated side-by-side with mathematics and science at his suggestion. Though his reforms were adopted with success, his pursuits of alchemy and astrology eventually gained him notoriety and he was imprisoned shortly before his death.
4. Sir David Attenborough (British 1926 – )
When he was first offered a place on a training course with the BBC television department in 1950 Attenborough didn’t even own a television. He accepted, though, beginning a broadcasting relationship that is still going strong today and has provided entertainment and education to millions around the world.
His programmes on natural history and the planet, such as the Life series and Planet Earth have been highly influential and inspired many to learn more about the world around us.
5. Emma Willard (American 1787-1870)
Though it was still relatively rare for women in her time, Willard received a good education from a young age thanks to a liberal father who believed she deserved the same opportunities as men. This liberal spirit stayed with Willard throughout her life, as she worked towards providing equal education and rights for women.
Through petitioning politicians, writing pamphlets and even soliciting the help of former US presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, Willard was eventually granted funds to found a school. Willard’s female seminary in Troy, New York, was founded in September 1821.
6. Friedrich Froebel (German 1782-1852)
Froebel is credited with founding the first ‘Kindergarten’, or primary school. He understood that the development of young minds, particularly toddlers, played a vital role in later life. His Kindergarten, coined in 1840 and literally meaning ‘children’s garden’, aimed to encourage learning through play and creativity, taking an interactive approach to draw out the students’ full potential.
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Froebel’s system employed female teachers, believing that their experience in nurturing their own children could be successfully brought into the classroom. This in turn encouraged more women to choose teaching as a career.
These are the men who comes to my mind when i think of the educational leaders who have changed the world. If you think that I have missed someone of utmost important, do enlighten me about him using the comments section below.