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Considering that we live in the 21st century, we can barely imagine what it must have been like for young children who were of school going age to have lived in the 18th century.

They did not have homework service, that is for sure, which in today's’ date is a blessing for many. But to demonstrate how student life was in the 18th century we have quite a few examples.

The first and the most basic rule during the 18th century amongst students were that male and female students were taught separately. Women after a certain age, if they were from the well to do families were sent to finishing schools where they learned the etiquettes of modern life and how to become the perfect and doting wives. Men, on the other hand, were taught important things like maths, science, and astronomy.



It is also to be kept in mind that education was not for all. It was only for the upper caste and for people who had the money to afford them. In countries like India, it was the Brahmins who taught children how to read and write. Women were not at all permitted to be educated since it went against the culture.

Also, quite a relief for the students of those eras was that school year was significantly shorter. People who could afford it sent their children to expensive private boarding schools. It was there that they made friends and connections that lasted them for the entire length of their lives. School for these students started at about 9 and ended at 2 pm or depending on their schedule.

However, students of that time, who did not attend boarding schools had to walk for miles to reach their schools. The funny part was that walking for a few miles did not seem like a task to them because apart from the lot that was well-off no one else had transportation of their own.

Students nowadays love their stationary. However, back in the 18th century when fancy stationery was not available, students had to make do with the old-fashioned chalk and slate to do their in-class work as well as their homework. And one had to be extremely diligent in one’s work if one did not wish to face the wrath of the schoolmaster or the punishment that would follow. In fact, unlike now corporal punishment was very much present and used as a tool for disciplining students all over. It was seen as an effective tool and parents actually encouraged the school to engage in such practices, as difficult it may look to believe as of now.

There was also a bit of favoritism present in the education system as it was seen that the stronger and sharper students were taught directly by the teacher. But those who failed to understand the subject at the first go were side-lined only to be taught later by their peers instead of being helped by the teacher as should have been the norm.

Also, home-schooling was quite common especially amongst students from the upper sections of the society. The teachers stayed with the family of the students and taught him or her everything they need to know about the world and about education. It was after their education was finally complete that these teachers left to find another position at another household.

Discipline was the key word in education at that time, and the students had to obey whatever the master said to the tee or fear a sound lashing from him. All teachers were male apart from in finishing schools since women were not educated. Also, there was no system of providing lunch for the children. Everyone was supposed to bring their own lunches to school to eat during the breaks.

Thus, the most important distinction that we can see is that there is a major influence of the caste system and of money in how and where you receive your education. In countries like India that was colonized by western powers, there was a trend to try going abroad for better educational purposes. Very few succeeded because of monetary issues but the ones that did bring revolution in those countries.

There were many students who were paper writing pros. They could spin anything out of the yarn which is why the 18th century also saw a host of great literary geniuses emerge. Overall, there is quite a lot of difference in the education systems of today and of the 18th century, and it is a wonder to see how much we have evolved since then.