Education in Golarian


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A lot has been said and written about the places that peo0e go for higher education in Golarian, but what about the younger people? Where does one study the basics before they go to these esteemeed schools? Is it in a temple of a good who values knowledge (such as Pharasma), in a small local school house, or something else? I know that the rich and noble families would be able to provide private tutors, but what about everyone else?


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There's probably some variation, but societies will probably follow the historical patterns in the real world: civic institutions, religious organizations, and trade guilds will probably provide some form basic education to a large portion of the population. It would be difficult to function as a productive member of many societies* without minimal literacy and math, plus a high-level overview of the laws. Anything beyond that would probably be dependent on self-learning and/or formal training in a profession, becoming a priest, etc.

*- note that oppressive societies that exploit a portion of the populace as "unskilled" labor (serfs, slaves, etc.) may restrict some parts of the basic education to certain castes/classes; even then, however, "educated/skilled" members of that caste/class might be considered even more valuable and possibly even have more power (in some respects) than "free" citizens


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In my world nearly all temples support education, if skewed. The Milani give a more honest message, education without indoctrination is the very essence of revolution.


The idea of public education is largely tied to the idea of a democracy. IE, in order for a democracy or a democratic republic to function, it needs a general population educated enough to understand civics and policy. Therefore I'd avoid any government supported educational system in any campaign setting beyond Andoran, Galt, or Rahadoum.

I can see secular private schools in just about every nation, particularly Ustalav, Taldor, Katapesh, Qadira, basically anywhere with a strong nobility and/or merchant class.

You could make a strong case for the church of Aroden, which had a huge presence pre-death shifting focus as a network of education and elevation of mankind through knowledge and skill.

Out in the frontiers and the fringes, because of how strong the religious presence in the Inner Sea is, I would be surprised to see a one-room schoolhouse situation that isn't somehow connected to Abadar, Erastil, Pharasma, or Torag.

Anyhow, that's my perspective. I hope you find something that works in your game!


^I strongly suspect that once cults of other deities saw successful results of one room (or larger) schools run by your listed deities, they would try hard to use the concept for their own purposes. After all, the church of Admodeus runs orphanages . . . .

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

in towns and hamlets and such, I would expect apprenticeships to be the norm. There is evidence of this by the number of 'family businesses' that are in adventures. In cities, it I haven't seen too much mentioned about schooling the young. Some of the fiction mentioned 'back in school days....' but it seems that a lot of the upper class rely on tutors and not school systems.


Dragonchess Player wrote:

There's probably some variation, but societies will probably follow the historical patterns in the real world: civic institutions, religious organizations, and trade guilds will probably provide some form basic education to a large portion of the population. It would be difficult to function as a productive member of many societies* without minimal literacy and math, plus a high-level overview of the laws. Anything beyond that would probably be dependent on self-learning and/or formal training in a profession, becoming a priest, etc.

*- note that oppressive societies that exploit a portion of the populace as "unskilled" labor (serfs, slaves, etc.) may restrict some parts of the basic education to certain castes/classes; even then, however, "educated/skilled" members of that caste/class might be considered even more valuable and possibly even have more power (in some respects) than "free" citizens

Of course, going by historical patterns, most societies will exploit a large portion of the populace as "unskilled" labor and provide little in the way of formal education to the vast majority.

Unskilled labor being something of a misnomer, since the vast majority of that is farming, which isn't really unskilled, but traditionally worked on more of a family apprenticeship basis than a classroom one.

That said, I don't think most of Golarion actually runs like that. Large areas seem to be far more open than historic parallels would suggest. Education to at least basic literacy seems to be common, though it's not clear exactly how it's handled.


Education is discouraged where social advancement is discouraged. Social groups, such as temples and guilds will tend to encourage education when such education gives them a competitive advantage. Most small-school teachers are essentially tutors hired by small communities who are hoping for some advantage. Kingdom-wide education campaigns are not the norm, though, in my take on Golarian both the Abadar and the Milani temples tend to produce educators, but then almost any group where literacy is an advantage does so. A large portion of the supposedly literate are more accurately "iconerate" rather than truly literate, as more than that is not needed for efficiency's sake, and may well be dangerous to the status quo.


Daw wrote:
Education is discouraged where social advancement is discouraged. Social groups, such as temples and guilds will tend to encourage education when such education gives them a competitive advantage. Most small-school teachers are essentially tutors hired by small communities who are hoping for some advantage. Kingdom-wide education campaigns are not the norm, though, in my take on Golarian both the Abadar and the Milani temples tend to produce educators, but then almost any group where literacy is an advantage does so. A large portion of the supposedly literate are more accurately "iconerate" rather than truly literate, as more than that is not needed for efficiency's sake, and may well be dangerous to the status quo.

Or formal education is mostly a waste in an economy where most everyone is going to be farming at just above the subsistence level anyway.


thejeff wrote:
Or formal education is mostly a waste in an economy where most everyone is going to be farming at just above the subsistence level anyway.

true, but really rather irrelevant. in most places and times, even this world, subsistance level farming in settled lands hasn't really existed since the Bronze Age. The plagues didn't even cause much more than a hiccup in Europe farming, good lands did not go back to the wild for long. The agrarian myth, where most people are just farm labor is just a myth, even in China, where it was closest to true, with a higher preponderance of labor intensive crops. Migrant and itinerant labor filled in at peak labor times, and written labor contracts have been a thing for as long as there has been writing, so even among laborers some education is advantageous. Much of the population is going to be urban or demi-urban, and education is an advantage. Even in ancient Chinese literature, poor farmers educated their children hoping for advancement into government and commercial success.

Democracy is not a root of education, capitalism is more of one. It is rather Western chauvanism to believe such.

Golarian is not likely to be as grim as some paint it.


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Daw wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Or formal education is mostly a waste in an economy where most everyone is going to be farming at just above the subsistence level anyway.

true, but really rather irrelevant. in most places and times, even this world, subsistance level farming in settled lands hasn't really existed since the Bronze Age. The plagues didn't even cause much more than a hiccup in Europe farming, good lands did not go back to the wild for long. The agrarian myth, where most people are just farm labor is just a myth, even in China, where it was closest to true, with a higher preponderance of labor intensive crops. Migrant and itinerant labor filled in at peak labor times, and written labor contracts have been a thing for as long as there has been writing, so even among laborers some education is advantageous. Much of the population is going to be urban or demi-urban, and education is an advantage. Even in ancient Chinese literature, poor farmers educated their children hoping for advancement into government and commercial success.

Democracy is not a root of education, capitalism is more of one. It is rather Western chauvanism to believe such.

Golarian is not likely to be as grim as some paint it.

Land didn't go fallow, but labor shortages did have huge social effects. Still, I'd need to see a source for the overwhelming majority not being farming. Even modern developing countries tend to run more than half and the numbers only go up before modern techniques and equipment. "Subsistence" might be a little low, since there was surplus to pass up the social hierarchy or sell into the cities.

(Claiming capitalism is the root of education is just as much Western chauvinism as claiming democracy.)


And just how grim Golarion appears to be depends very much upon what part of Golarion you are looking at. Actually, that's true of Earth as well . . . .


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Note that I think Golarion is in general much less grim than much of real history - with the exception of those areas that are horrific for one reason or another.

Education to at least basic literacy seems to be the assumption for Golarion. As does a good deal of freedom and social mobility. So direct comparisons to our history probably aren't very meaningful.


thejeff wrote:

Note that I think Golarion is in general much less grim than much of real history - with the exception of those areas that are horrific for one reason or another.

{. . .}

Thinking back on this, and thinking of very recent history on our world, I can no longer recommend Earth as a place of refuge for anyone from the Pathfinder Campaign Setting. (Although I have to admit, if somebody from there DID make it over here, good luck to anyone trying to deport them . . . Ha Ha Ha.)

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