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This article discusses the history of education, tracing the evolution of the formal teaching of knowledge and skills from prehistoric and ancient times to the present, and considering the various philosophies that have inspired the resulting systems.Other aspects of education are treated in a number of articles.Some restrictions on educational freedom are discussed in censorship.For an analysis of pupil attributes, see intelligence, human; learning theory; psychological testing.Education in primitive and early civilized cultures The term education can be applied to primitive cultures only in the sense of enculturation, which is the process of cultural transmission.A primitive person, whose culture is the totality of his universe, has a relatively fixed sense of cultural continuity and timelessness.New empirical results show the importance of both minimal and high level skills, the complementarity of skills and the quality of economic institutions, and the robustness of the relationship between skills and growth. Education, as a discipline, is concerned with methods of teaching and learning in schools or school-like environments as opposed to various nonformal and informal means of socialization (e.g., rural development projects and education through parent-child relationships).International comparisons incorporating expanded data on cognitive skills reveal much larger skill deficits in developing countries than generally derived from just school enrollment and attainment. Education can be thought of as the transmission of the values and accumulated knowledge of a society.
As for prehistoric education, it can only be inferred from educational practices in surviving primitive cultures.
Instead, the entire environment and all activities are frequently viewed as school and classes, and many or all adults act as teachers.
As societies grow more complex, however, the quantity of knowledge to be passed on from one generation to the next becomes more than any one person can know, and, hence, there must evolve more selective and efficient means of cultural transmission.
For a treatment of education as a discipline, including educational organization, teaching methods, and the functions and training of teachers, see teaching; pedagogy; and teacher education.
For a description of education in various specialized fields, see historiography; legal education; medical education; science, history of.