How was an education in old Korea, in the XV-XIX centuries? With a certain share of the stretch, we can say that in those days there were initial, secondary and higher educational institutions. An exemplary analogue of the current elementary school was then a rustic school "Sodan", High school more or less corresponded by the county state school "Hang" and school in the Confucian Temple "coincide", And the Korean University (or, Rather, the Academy of Public Service) was Songungan. Of course, this comparison is a very approximate. The certificates of maturity in old Korea were not issued, and the decision on whether the disciple of this or that school, depended mainly from the teacher, who first of all paid attention to the level of knowledge and abilities of the candidate in students.
And nevertheless, something in this comparison is. The path to the tops of knowledge for most Koreans began in their rustic school — "Sodane" (Translated from Chinese — "Hall of books"). For the overwhelming majority of students – children of wealthy peasants – this path there and ended, because in the pre-industrial era, to get a full education and in Korea, and in other countries could only be very and very few. Nevertheless, in general, in terms of the level of education of the country of the Far East, in general, and Korea – in particular, significantly averaged the then Europe and Russia. From the beginning of the XVI century, elementary school "Sodan" was the norm in each large Korean village. Contained school usually rural community, Korean "peace", Although sometimes the school founded local rich to teach their children. However, and in such private schools still often took capable children even from the poorest families. In the Korean village understood: to learn a capable boy (about girls, a clear case, speech and there was no) – It is a profitable investment. If in the future the boy becomes an official, the costs will return with a hundredfold, because he will help fellow villagers in solving their affairs and problems, gone for them in the provincial city, and even in the capital. Therefore, in the old Korea, even existed something like a system of scholarships who paid the peasant communities of particularly gifted children from poor families.
From this, however, it is already clear what and why studied in old Korea. The main goal of the whole education system was to prepare a Confucian official who would be "servant king, father peasants", and which would own all the necessary future managers knowledge. What was required of the official and intellectual (two of these social groups in the old Korea practically merged into one)? First of all, knowledge of philosophy, history, literature, government theory. However, all these wisdom were kept in the books that were written exclusively in the ancient Chinese language. This language (in Korea it was called "Hanmoon", in China — "Wenian") Until the end of the last century, played in the Far East countries the same role that Latin in Europe was the only language of high culture, science and state office work. In this regard, by the way, Korea did not differ from Japan, nor from Vietnam, nor even from China himself, for the uneducated residents of which this language was completely incomprehensible by the X century.
Therefore, the main content of older "primary and secondary education" It was reduced to mastering ancient language. Korean writing was dealt with as if between the case, she did not pay much attention. The arithmetic played as subordinate role. They taught the Ancient Chinese way boring, heavy, but to the extreme effective – memorizing the lengthy texts in this language. At the same time, the hieroglyphic remembered, because to own ancient Chinese at a decent level, you need to know at least 4 thousand characters! At school, students were sitting on the floor, in front of the low tables, and from morning to evening, the texts were withdrawn, repeating them out loud tens and hundreds of times. SUNTING MORHING, RECEIVED FROM SCHOOL COURT, for a long time, was considered a symbol of peace and prosperity: after all, if children go to school – calm in the country, if the village can keep the school – it is not so poor.
From time to time the teacher called the student to answer learned (in the literal sense of the word) lesson. It is curious that, answering, the student was supposed to turn to the teacher back. Evaluated the knowledge of schoolchildren on the five-hundred.
Rural teacher lived almost at the same level as the middle peasant, his salary (usually paid by nature) was enough only to not be hungry and somehow dress himself and family. However, in those days, too, it was also possible to work a little by private lessons, as well as the preparation for single-bedrooms of all sorts of stages and official papers. However, with all the constraint of the teacher’s material situation, he was hardly the most respected man in the village. Local riches at a meeting with the teacher bowed to the belt. The teacher was the incarnation of knowledge and book wisdom, the hopes of many ambitious parents were associated with him that their children may be able to "Go to people". A reminder of this relation is the Chinese proverb, very popular and in old Korea: "Teacher, sovereign, father – the same thing"
V "Sodane", who, if we remember, was an exemplary analogue of primary school and where the study of the ancient Chinese only began, the texts were taught simpler. Usually started by S "Thousands of hieroglyphs" — Collecting short checks in the ancient Chinese language. On this, for most Men’s sons, book wisdom ended, they had to work, marry, become on their feet, and linger at school longer than for two or three years, they could not. Thousands of hieroglyphs who have learned in Sodane, and the initial knowledge of the ancient Chinese grammar gained there, enough to disassemble with sin to the sin, as well as write a simple letter or petition. For a man it was more than enough. Children are coaching (or, sometimes more complex) crossed to more complex texts. Children at the age of 6-8 years have come to Sodan, and ended in 12-14 years. However, there were no special formal requirements – everything depended on the abilities, desires and hard work of the student, as well as from the material possibilities of his parents.
At the end of Sodana, those teenagers who could and wanted to learn further were received either to the State School "Hang" (Translated from Chinese — "Local School"), or in a private school in the Confucian temple. State schools in the XIV-XIX centuries operated in the overwhelming majority of county centers. With such schools, there were hostels for students (separately – for the nobles, separately – for common people), teachers were civil servants, and students received material assistance from the county authorities.
Since the XVI century, state schools began to decline. One of the reasons for this was competition from "Private sector" — Schools in Conuucian temples (these churches were called "coincide" — "courtyard book"). Sovoni were private institutions, they were based on local nobles in memory of some famous figure (usually, but not always – their countryman). The quality of education in the coofers was usually better than in the State School. Confucian temples were not only and not so much educational institutions, how many political centers distant by Korean analogue of old Russian nobility meetings. The local top was going there to chat on a variety of topics, talk and argue about the current policy, to organize any intrigue (for example, to expel the provincial provincial nobility of the governor or to reduce taxes). Was in the temple and library, and often, a small hotel, and, of course, school. It is clear that training in such a school gave the student the opportunity not only to get an education, but also to establish useful links, and even to join the world of local noble politics.
At this stage, schoolchildren were no longer on educational texts, but according to the original works of Chinese philosophers and historians. They read the Great Confucius, an outstanding historian of the ancient China Csyan’s Sum, Poets of the Tang and Prosaikov Times of Sun Dynasty. Large importance was attached to the renovation in ancient Chinese language. Some of the teachers paid a little time and the Korean authors who wrote in Chinese, but in general Korean "programs" (if this modern term is generally applicable to the realities of the Middle Ages) imitated Chinese. It was not in the program and exact sciences, so the old Korean formation wore, no matter how we say, purely humanitarian.
In general, Korea was believed that for the future official, the most important thing is to be educated people and own the foundations of the only right Confucian philosophy. Korean officials were not expertise. The same person could be sent by the ambassador to China, to work as a deputy minister of finance, lingay the construction of reservoirs and finally become the head of the criminal police. Such things did not surprise anyone, because if a person owned the Confucian philosophy and knew her classics well, he was thought to figure out all the problems of public administration (whether it is not true, several recalls approach to the preparation of party workers in the USSR?). True, there were small educational institutions in the capital, where experts on right, medicine, foreign languages were preparing, but these schools did not use particular authority, and children from "Good" noble families there, as a rule, did not go. Special career "narrow" specialist was not to do.
So the main goal of secondary education was quite defined – preparing for state exams on officials. However, state exams and "higher education" In the old Korea – the topic is special, and we will talk about it another time.