Women’s Education in the Renaissance

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Within a society, education is an absolute must to succeed. During the Renaissance, education was not seen as important but to if you were, you would be seen as superior. Throughout history, men and women have received different treatment when it came to jobs all the way to the access to education. Women have always received the negative side of differences. Stereotypes developed about women that stated they should stay home to cook and clean and provide children. This lead to the opportunities missed in receiving education. Women during this time had no political rights. Women could become nuns if not married and did not live with any male relatives. Most women would be able to speak their mind but were not considered if it did not benefit the males. The motto was for them to be seen and not heard. Only the wealthy could receive some education but what was learned may not have always been utilized.

Opportunities for women during the Italian Renaissance may have changed but only for the daughters of the wealthy. Even after those daughters received education, they were still expected to fulfill their duty as housewife. Education throughout the renaissance was created with the humanist ideals (Womer,2007). Humanism was used to develop education, it is the system of thought that attaching importance to humans rather than supernatural matters. The goodness of human beings was an important value of humanism. For the women who received education, afterwards were only limited to certain options compared to men. Only certain jobs would be obtainable compared to the men who had endless amounts of opportunities.

Most of the material covered during the Renaissance period was language and literature. The basics included grammar lessons from ancient texts. The Humanism ideas included incorporating philosophy and reasoning. When this was introduced to women, it gave women the negative advantage. Within the early renaissance, the noble women and upper classes had the obligation to obtain literacy through schooling. Society had values they wanted to ensure in all of their people, education would be the only to spread the values. Many great women came about education through the renaissance age, one of them being Isabella d’Este who was considered the First Lady of the Renaissance. She promoted the arts and allowed artists, writers, and poets to be able to exchange ideas between each other. She had great influence over politics and economics. Only some studies would be allowed for the women in addition to household duties they also had to learn arts and music. For the lower class and peasant women, education was only limited to household training such as cooking, cleaning, sewing, and more.

Humanists had rediscovered famous writings along with scientific matters, philosophy and art. The spread of classical texts from ancient Greece and Rome was an educational outlet as well. Although education was accessible, it was not always attainable. As it is today, it was similar back then, only money could give someone an opportunity at education.

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Women's education in the Renaissance. (2020, Mar 30). Retrieved July 17, 2024 , from

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