What Is Academy;10 Facts You Must Know

Academy is a specialized school, whose specific purpose has changed radically from century to century and culture to culture. It has three modern connotations in the United States: an exclusive secondary school to prepare for college; a military school or college; and a specialized institution that provides instruction, funding and public recognition of individual artists, writers, crafts practitioners and scientists.

What Is Academy;10 Facts You Must Know

History of Academy Origin;How Academy Has Been Need of PEOPLE

Akademia was originally the name of a park-like olive grove outside Athens, named for the Greek mythological hero Akademus. It was here that Plato began teaching philosophy in 387 B.C. The Academy, or Platonic school of philosophy and learning that he founded, lasted 900 years, until its suppression by Roman Christian emperors as a form of paganism.

The term academy remained synonymous with scholarship, however, and in 1563 the first of the specialized academies the Academia di Disegno, for artists  was founded in Florence, Italy, for artists. The concept quickly spread to other cities. The Academy of St. Luke opened in Rome in 1593, the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris in 1648 and the Royal Academy of Arts opened in London in 1768.

Today, specialized academies sponsor the work of a wide range of scientists as well as artists, writers and musicians. At the same time as the Italians were opening specialized academies, the French and German courts founded academies to teach the noble arts to the sons of the nobility and the landed gentry. Unlike schools for commoners, the courtly academies taught Latin, modern languages, mathematics and exercises to keep young men fit, train them in the use of arms and prepare them for lives at the highest levels of society.

Limited to secondary education, the concept of the courtly academy quickly spread to the Low Countries, Scotland, England and, eventually, America, where unlike church- sponsored schools, they became centers of dis- sent. They drew to their faculties many ministers who had either quit or been ejected from the established Church of England for questioning church authority. The break from the established church allowed these clerics to bring a spirit of intellectual and educational innovation to the academies they founded.

They used English, rather than Latin, for instruction and, instead of limiting the curriculum to church doctrine, added sciences, politics and philosophy. Most important, they introduced freedom of inquiry as a fundamental concept of academic education. The concept was a narrow one, however, and limited to scientific discovery and discussions of religious philosophy and relations between man and God.

Almost all American academies were either church sponsored or owned and were operated by individual clerics or devout laymen. By the late 1800s, Pre byterian clergymen alone operated more than 50 academies. Although they were dissenters from the Church of England, none questioned God’s existence or the fundamentals of church doctrines. In contrast to the classical academies, a handful of practical laymen  almost all of them in major cities — also founded academies in the early 18th century.


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