The Middle Ages (500-1500 CE) is often viewed as a low point in the world of education. This was a time a strong superstition among people and a lack of scientific progress.
The European world was divided into three classes or estates which were the Priest, Nobility, and lastly, everyone else. These were the three estates. The Priestly estate held significant power over the other two estates. The priests would use the psychological terror of removal from having access to the sacraments of the church to maintain power.
When an individual was denied the sacraments it was called excommunication, when a region loss access to the sacraments it was called an interdict, final if an entire province or kingdom was denied the sacraments war was then declared and this was called a crusade.
There were two common forms of education below the university and these were the Knightly schools and the Burgher schools.
Knightly schools trained boys to become knights. The training was divided into 3 segments of seven years each. The first segment was from 0-7 years of age under the care of the mother. From ages 7-14, the boy would live with another knight perhaps as a page. The third stage from 14-21 had the boy serving as a squire. At the age of 21, a young man was declared a knight.
The subjects taught in the KNightly practicum focused on the physical, artistic, and strategic. Music, chess, manners, poetry, and military training were all part of the curriculum. There was almost no intellectual training but an obsession with practical learning.
Burgher Schools were for tradesmen and artisans and provided a basic education. The subject taught included reading, writing, and arithmetic as well as geography, history, natural science, and Latin.
THere was a constant power struggle between commoners and the priest for control of these schools. Locals wanted to control these schools themselves. However, technically only the church had permission to teach. This resulted in alternating back and forth in terms of control.
Teachers in these schools were paid almost nothing and traveled from school to school as vagrants. Teaching was not seen as a noble profession at this time thus having a powerful effect on the quantity and quality of education.
Education in the Middle Ages was designed to meet the needs of the three estates. People would often attend school corresponding to their rank in society. This system had an air of stability until rapid social changes brought about the decline of this system.