•Mesopotamia was located
between the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers. The country
of Iraq is there today
The Sumerians created the first known
formal education system (schools).
The ancient Sumerians believed in
They wanted their children to learn
how to read and write but ONLY boys
went to school.
The purpose of the schools is to teach
the upper class male students to write
using Cuneiform Alphabet.
Later subjects of
Mathematics, Law, Biology, Astronomy,
Divination, Poetry, Economics, Agricul
ture, and Language were added to the
Their Afternoons were focused on
Critiquing and Refining their Writing.
A Head Teacher and Teacher Assistants
worked together to help students
These schools taught the skills of a
scribe. A scribe was (and is) basically a
Teachers were very strict. Students had
to do a perfect job, or they were
punished (usually whipped.)
Few people in Mesopotamia could
read or write. Schooling was provided
at temples or academies or at the
homes of priests and bureaucrats.
Students studied languages,
arithmetic, accounting and Sumerian
literature. Textbooks were cuneiform
Development of a language and system
of writing: Cuneiform on clay tablets.
Scribes were people that could read and
write the language.
Teaching Methods in Mesopotamian
Schools involved Memorization, Oral
Repetition, Copying Models, and
It is believed that the exact copying of
scripts was strenuous and exacting and
proficiency was highly emphasized as a
goal of Mesopotamian education.
Many lessons consisted of teachers
writing on one side of a tablet and
students writing on the other side or
students copying books.
Many tablets are left half completed.
Other have mistakes that have been
rubbed out or have disapproving tick
marks added by teachers.
There are indications of unsteady
hand, lack of patience, and trouble
learning. Scribes that passed the
examinations at the scribe academy
were given the title "The one who
knows the tablets.“
Some tablets also featured aimless
doodling in what seems to be a
manifestation of daydreaming.
Learning to be a scribe was a possible
pathway to the most powerful
profession in ancient Mesopotamia - a
Scribes were some of the most powerful
people in Mesopotamia because they
controlled information and
calendar ,cobblestone streets ,cultivation
of grains ,day of 24 hours ,domestication
of livestock ,irrigation, canals, dams ,legal
system / laws, mathematics based on
base 60 ,measuring and surveying
instruments ,metal working ,plows
,pottery ,the sailboat, wheel / wheeled
carts, and writing (cuneiform)