Deborah Youngs
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Boys and girls
in The life–cycle in Western Europe, c.1300-c.1500
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This chapter considers the forms that vocational training took and the options available to the growing child in the years 1300-1500. The period 1300-1500 witnessed a growing number of voices expressing the value of literacy skills and formal education to individual, familial, spiritual and commercial development. The Church had made the provision of schooling a canonical requirement. For both sexes and across social groups, education was directed at providing them with the skills required for adult life. Since the nineteenth century, the fundamentals of a child's early education in Western Europe have been reading, writing and arithmetic. Schools are the main forums for this training, as well as providing common cultural and social experiences for five-to-fourteen-year-olds. For the aristocratic boy, later childhood saw him move out of the domestic sphere and the world of women, be that nursery or nunnery, and into the public arena for training among men.

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