As I begin my history report on the medieval University, I would
like to briefly explain its origin; it is crucial in understanding its
development. The "university" as an institution or entity was established
during the middle ages, or medieval period.  During the ll00's,
universities broke into specialty areas:  Bologna - Law, Paris - Theology,
and Salerno - Medicine.  Moreover, universities were a group of faculty,
not a group of buildings, contrary to our modern belief. 

	By around the eleventh century, medieval educators developed
Scholasticism, a method of inquiry, scholarship, and teaching.  The
scholastics, as these teaching clerics were called, turned to faith and
reason as complementary sources of truth.  Schools were governed and
protected by the church.  Hence, theology was the number one most
important subject in medieval universities.  In example, Thomas Aquinas
(l225-l274), a Dominican theologian, taught at the University of Paris and
made Realism acceptable to Christianity.  Basing his Realist philosophy on
education, concrete and visual, Aquinas believed humans possess a physical
body and a spiritual soul.  Aquinas portrayed the teacher's vocation as
then combining faith, love, and learning.

	The Medieval contribution to western education has had several
lasting effects.  The primary contribution has been preserving and
institutionalizing knowledge - that is by by presenting it within an
organized framework.  Within the university, medieval educators not only
taught but also preserved knowledge by recording and codifying it. Another
contribution to our present education system I wish to mention, in the
form in which we have them are, according to Hastings, teaching
corporations, courses of study, examinations, and degrees.  I have
especially found it interesting that the code of dress the students wore
on a daily basis was a "cap & gown."  We know this as our modern-day
graduation "cap & gown."  All of these elements are a direct inheritance
from the Middle Ages. 

	Again, the greatest contribution I wish to stress has been, above
all, the creation of THE institution.  As we know the "University" today
and are familiar with what it represents in terms of higher education, we
can come to appreciate it's value in society.  From a historical
perspective, we have come a long way in adopting and revising educational
concerns to better serve society in this day and age we live in.  However,
through researching this topic of Medieval Universities, we can clearly
see that the crucial foundation, the preservation of knowledge, has
continued to perpetuate throughout these next several hundred years. 
l.  Hastings, Rashdall (l936) The Universities of Europe in the Middle

2.  Levine, Ornstein (l997) Foundations of Education.  (Pgs. 84-86)

Prepared by Ljubinka Jocic