James Putman

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Motivation in education--History., Effective teaching--History., Education--History.


Apathy among learners in secondary education classrooms is a modern problem but it has an interesting past. This paper assumes that unmotivated learners have always been a difficulty and uses a historical analysis to investigate how educators in the pre-modern world effectively motivated and engaged students. Using primary sources from scholars and educators of the pre-modern era a comparison is made to what modern pedagogical experts consider to be effective engagement strategies. Historical context for this comparison is provided within a chronological education narrative of Western civilization beginning with Ancient Greece and concluding with the Early Modern Period. The evidence suggests that even though education cultures change over time the effectiveness of student engagement techniques remains largely unchanged.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.