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Education in Randland


drewk
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So with the search function being currently disabled, I figured I'd post something that I've been thinking about recently.

 

Have we heard about any kind of school in Randland (barring the WT obviously)? I've read through the series several times and don't remember a mention of it, but I'm sure there are people on here far more diligent than I about digging up this kind of information.

 

I noticed this because we haven't run into many characters (any?) that haven't been able to read or write, regardless of trade. While this could be answered simply by saying that parents pass down this knowledge, I wonder why any hardworking farmer would take time out of his day to teach the kids to read instead of having them do chores and things around the house.

 

This omission is especially glaring in light of the advancement of cities like Caemlyn, Illian, Tear, and Cairhien. These are huge prosperous centers of economic activity, clerks, and guilds. Schools seem like a logical step in the process. Did RJ just not have time to develop this aspect of civilization more in depth? It doesn't seem likely that he would have left it out entirely, as he has gone to great lengths to describe other things.

 

Anyway, just curious to see what you all have to say.

Edited by drewk
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So with the search function being currently disabled, I figured I'd post something that I've been thinking about recently.

 

Have we heard about any kind of school in Randland (barring the WT obviously)? I've read through the series several times and don't remember a mention of it, but I'm sure there are people on here far more diligent than I about digging up this kind of information.

 

I noticed this because we haven't run into many characters (any?) that haven't been able to read or write, regardless of trade. While this could be answered simply by saying that parents pass down this knowledge, I wonder why any hardworking farmer would take time out of his day to teach the kids to read instead of having them do chores and things around the house.

 

This omission is especially glaring in light of the advancement of cities like Caemlyn, Illian, Tear, and Cairhien. These are huge prosperous centers of economic activity, clerks, and guilds. Schools seem like a logical step in the process. Did RJ just not have time to develop this aspect of civilization more in depth? It doesn't seem likely that he would have left it out entirely, as he has gone to great lengths to describe other things.

 

Anyway, just curious to see what you all have to say.

 

I havent noticed any kind of school, I know there where in the AGL as atleast one forsaken was a Teacher. Learning is done within the home I believe but maybe some villages for eg Two Rivers the Wisdom ect offer some teachings.

 

On a further not there seem to be apprentases so maybe stuff is learned in the work place also

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So with the search function being currently disabled, I figured I'd post something that I've been thinking about recently.

 

Have we heard about any kind of school in Randland (barring the WT obviously)? I've read through the series several times and don't remember a mention of it, but I'm sure there are people on here far more diligent than I about digging up this kind of information.

 

I noticed this because we haven't run into many characters (any?) that haven't been able to read or write, regardless of trade. While this could be answered simply by saying that parents pass down this knowledge, I wonder why any hardworking farmer would take time out of his day to teach the kids to read instead of having them do chores and things around the house.

 

This omission is especially glaring in light of the advancement of cities like Caemlyn, Illian, Tear, and Cairhien. These are huge prosperous centers of economic activity, clerks, and guilds. Schools seem like a logical step in the process. Did RJ just not have time to develop this aspect of civilization more in depth? It doesn't seem likely that he would have left it out entirely, as he has gone to great lengths to describe other things.

 

Anyway, just curious to see what you all have to say.

 

Knowledge of craftsmanship was passed on like usual, through apprenticeship, and farming knowledge passed down from family members etc...

Then you get the occasional brilliant mind (Aludra) who thinks up something, then eventually more people learn, and it grows.

 

As for actual education, aside from what you can learn in the books, RJ had this to say.

 

RJ's blog 22 November 2005 "I'M BAAAA-AAACK"

 

Education in this world is a very sometime thing. In the Two Rivers, where literacy is valued, parents teach children, and if, say, old Jondyn is known to be knowledgeable about history, parents send their children to him. This education is not as broad as that they might receive in a school, but then, the education given in many schools as late of the 19th Century would hardly stand up to today’s standards. Rhetoric was given as great a weight as mathematics when it wasn’t given more. Modern languages were deplored, and not taught even at university level. Parents teaching children is the general model followed. Sometimes a village might hire a sort of schoolmaster, but this is usually thought to be a waste of money since the parents between them have enough knowledge to teach most subjects to the extent necessary.

 

So take that how you will.

 

Hope that helped.

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I'll just point out that the initial characters from the Two Rivers would all be considered successful tradesmen, their children, and apprentices. Except Rand... but, frankly, considering Tam's past it isn't that surprising that he was educated. Perrin and particularly Mat would need to know their figures and how to read for business transactions (horse-trading and blacksmith) with strangers they didn't necessarily trust. The presence of banks also made knowledge like this of importance (Moiraine mentions a bank in New Spring) for businessmen.

 

The thief in Knife of Dreams managed to trick people he'd been a scribe though, by knowing how to write somewhat. So I'd say most people aren't that educated, its just that we tend to see the more educated people.

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Keep in mind that for the majority of the latter half of the series, Randland has been in upheaval, and in that kind of environment, the one of the lowest level priorities is teaching kids how to read and write. It doesn't strike me as that odd that a farmer might know how to perform the three basic Rs (readin', ritin', 'rithmatic - American colonial culture had small one-room schoolhouses that would teach students at varying levels of age and education. It's not that much of a stretch to have a bigger version of the same in the towns and greater cities, and it's off-scene because this is a book about young adults+, and not centered in a learning environment such as Hogwarts. The apperance of children here is a rare thing, generally highlighted only by Olver and his ruffian friends or the refugee children from various nations.

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I think I was more surprised that it hadn't been mentioned AT ALL. All things being equal, odds are that one character would have met someone who was a schoolteacher, or a child that was skipping school, or even rode past a schoolhouse at least once in the series if there was such a thing.

 

Perhaps this is one of the major difference between the present in the series and the AoL. The development of education in the next age, partly fueled by Rand and his academies, could be the first steps down the path toward bringing the world into the next AoL.

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There is a reference to education in News Spring. I don't have it on me, but it's basically Moiraine thinking on how those taught to read and write in the Tower often had more legible hands than those who came to the Tower with the knowledge. Or something.

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I always got a kick out of Mat when he tries to write, he obviously didn't practice much. People like Rand and Perrin that seemed to read books more frequently (the Adventures of Jain Farstrider, for instance) don't seem to have any problem writing though. I seem to remember them chiding him about never reading at one point. The opportunities must be there for most people growing up.

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The opportunities must be there for most people growing up.

 

This due to one of the background details that RJ didn't get around to mentioning in the books:

 

Printing presses for example were one of the things that managed never quite to be wiped out completely. Printing started up again, even a few times during the Breaking people managed to get printing presses going, and once the Breaking was over, printing was one of the first trades to get going. You might call it the first higher trade to get going.
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So if you could get a degree in Randland, what would it be?

 

Here are some of my suggestions:

 

Bachelor of Tinkering with Steam Contraptions

 

Masters in Creating Astoundingly Apt Fishing Metaphors

 

Doctor in Opposite Gender Psychology

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So if you could get a degree in Randland, what would it be?

Masters in Creating Astoundingly Apt Fishing Metaphors

 

Doctor in Opposite Gender Psychology

The first one seems to be held by most Tairien folks and not a few Illianers. The second seems to be held by nobody that I have seen a PoV from.

 

 

BA in Great Captaining with a minor in Blademaster

 

PhD in Sniffing (All women)

 

Masters in Browbeating (Aes Sedai)

 

Master of Cartography? (Roidelle)

 

Music 101? (Mat)

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The second seems to be held by nobody that I have seen a PoV from.

 

That's why it would be such a valuable degree to hold! Although I think maybe Rhuarc or Davram Bashere has one.

 

PhD in Sniffing (All women)

 

Don't forget Hurin!

 

Here's another:

Master's in Detecting Minute Changes in Facial Expressions

 

PhD in Daes Dae'mar

Edited by drewk
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Masters in Creating Astoundingly Apt Fishing Metaphors

Doctor in Opposite Gender Psychology

I laughed SO HARD.

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Matrim Cauthon, Professor of colloquial linguistics.

 

Nynaeve al'Meara, doctorate in creative hairdressing.

 

Perrin Aybara, doctorate in optometry and rambling.

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BA in Philosophy with the White Ajah. Being male, I'd probably need to be bonded to one of them.. I'd like to debate with them about the cyclical nature of time :tongue:!

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Masters in Manipulation with a minor in Rumor-Sowing

 

Bachelor in International Relations (If you can name someone in Randland who holds this degree, you win a cookie. Gray Ajah fails, hard.)

 

Masters in Aiel Humor

 

@JonPaul: I love "so-called" sixth order rationality. How do you feel about it?

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So if you could get a degree in Randland, what would it be?

 

Doctorate in Applied Badger Easing.

 

I might be a bit too old for this, but why does "ease the badger" sound like every male masturbation metaphor ever? And there's always been an inn named that? Randland house of ill repute? I think so.

 

Also, Rand's academy doesn't seem like its really tries to educate people, its more for people who want to mess around with new things. Like the steamhorse. Doesn't really seem for kids to learn grammar, math, and social studies.

 

Bachelor's in Utterly Ridiculous Units of Measurement

 

Daes Dae'mar 101 (Assassinations aren't til 203, FYI)

 

Masters in Fine Tuning Daily Dress

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Also, Rand's academy doesn't seem like its really tries to educate people, its more for people who want to mess around with new things. Like the steamhorse. Doesn't really seem for kids to learn grammar, math, and social studies.

 

Yeah: he's essentially fostering scientific research. These places also gather numerous scholars together in convenient locations, and collaboration will inevitably result given time. Students will also come to learn from the people there. Many already have, basically having become research assistants. I.e., he's started up universities. Higher education. And historically, universities were more common than widespread public education for children.

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Also, Rand's academy doesn't seem like its really tries to educate people, its more for people who want to mess around with new things. Like the steamhorse. Doesn't really seem for kids to learn grammar, math, and social studies.

 

Yeah: he's essentially fostering scientific research. These places also gather numerous scholars together in convenient locations, and collaboration will inevitably result given time. Students will also come to learn from the people there. Many already have, basically having become research assistants. I.e., he's started up universities. Higher education. And historically, universities were more common than widespread public education for children.

 

I suppose you're right. But this means Rand is going to have to stop a breaking this time otherwise we'll lose everything. Look at how advanced the AoL was and we lost almost everything from then because of the breaking.

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Have you all forgotten that Rand started a school in Cairhien?

No, we were just unimpressed that it seemed to be focused on irrelevant stuff, like advancing the current state of technology, rather than important things, such as the better investigation of impressive bosoms, appropriate cussing techniques, and the fine tuning of daily dress.

Edited by ihasavowel
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Have you all forgotten that Rand started a school in Cairhien?

 

Yeah, and their football team plays Illian on Saturday. I'll take Illian and three points.

 

Actually, Rand's "school" is not a traditional school or college. It's more of a think tank/research lab. He's also made a point of gathering books and documents so they won't all be lost in the next breaking, but the Cairihen school isn't teaching the three R's to kids.

 

And my Randland degree would be in Anthrpology/Sociology -- I'd do a Margaret Mead number on the Aiel.

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