The Gathering of Many Teachings. Religious Backgrounds of Adult Education in Romania (16th -18th centuries)
Although the history of the 16th -18th centuries fails to offer comprehensive information about the contemporary interest in adult education, there is evidence of initiatives to provide adult instruction, undifferentiated, yet concurrent with the education provided to children and young people. This paper gives insight into the old Romanian literature on the territory of Moldavia and Wallachia, in order to identify and analyze ideas, reflections and pedagogical solutions relevant for the continuing and adult education. While the religious educational aims and contents prevailed during the 16th century, being in close connection with the cultural activity of the time, mainly carried out within the churches and monastic schools, and intended to educate the upper class, the period between the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century showed the tendency to diversify the content, for reasons related to the need of population, regardless their social class, to access the scientific and practical knowledge of that time. The historical research will consider both texts that capture the general movement of ideas of the time, and the criticism accumulated in the Romanian cultural space, structured in a distinct direction of historical research on education, the history of education. We will resort to historical arguments in order to establish the main directions relevant to the specificity of continuing and adult education that stand out within this period: a. elements of religious education for adults in the Slavonic literature (16th-17th centuries) ; b. diversifying the ideas of adult education in the content of religious texts in order to disseminate moral and social cohabitation norms with educational value, through multiplication of translations into Romanian of biblical writings (end of 17th century - first half of the 18th century); c. the appearance of the first instructional and practical textbooks for adults (second half of the 18th century).
Keywords: religious education for adults, moral education for adults, practical textbooks
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