Academia is derived from the Greek work akademeia. The term loosely translates in to the gathering and passing on of culture and knowledge. It relates to universities, colleges and other institutions of higher education. Academia is taught by academics. Academics are professors or researchers who work in the fields of higher education. Early academia revolved around the seven liberal arts and relied heavily on religious theory and teachings.
Components of academia
Academia is made up of different subjects. The main base for academia are the subjects of trivium and quadrivium. These are ancient studies that formed the basis for knowledge and study in medieval times and are also named the seven liberal arts. The trivium and quadrivium now have been divided into separate studies and departments in most institutions but the basic fundamentals of each are still intact.
- Trivium-basic three ways of Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic
- Quadrivium-basic four ways of Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy
11th Century Catholics
In the early days of academia, individuals who wanted to learn about ancient societies had to enroll in a monastery. This meant that only those intending to become monks or priests were privy to the information of the ages. In the 11th century, Roman Catholic leaders decided that the knowledge that had been saved for those following faith should be spread throughout Europe. It was then that the academics moved to cathedrals within the major cities of Europe. These cathedrals are considered the first institutions of higher education. Perhaps the most well known of these schools were Oxford and Cambridge.
Abelard method of education
Peter Abelard was a 12th century French philosopher who established his own method of educating when he published Sic et Non. In this book, he described education without read-aloud lectures from textbooks. Instead he seemed to open a new revolution in higher education. His process was to take two or more texts of differing opinion and have the students read question and discuss each point of view. This method is still in use today.
Early American academia
In the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin opened the Academy and Charitable School of the Province of Pennsylvania. This school was the beginning of the end for religious point of view. Students were now allowed to question theory and practice without having to adhere to guidelines set by the church. The school is now known as the University of Pennsylvania