Oct 18, 2021
Which country was the first ever to have universal, free, compulsory education?
Zero points if you said "Prussia". The correct answer is the Aztec empire, almost four centuries before the oft-cited German state.
I happened to find out this bizarre fact from an aside in a YouTube video, and decided to look into it. If this isn't an independent societal data point on the development of education, then I don't know what is!
In this episode, I discuss the article Developing Face and Heart in the Time of the Fifth Sun: An Examination of Aztec Education by Timothy Reagan. You will hear about Aztec society and values, and how the education system fit within the society in order to achieve its educational aims. You will also hear a lot of bloody stories of human sacrifice.
Enjoy the episode.