Modes of Child Instruction: Between Church, State, and Family
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The chapter argues that child education played a decisive role in transforming the learning habits of the adult population in Geneva. The church and state exercised increasing control over all stages of education in the city, which reversed some of the traditional learning hierarchies in the family, as children were often better instructed in the new religion than their parents. Kvicalova shows how the reformed principles of listening, learning, and remembering were intensified in instructing young Genevans, who were to embody the Calvinist ideals of self-discipline, punctuality, and attentive listening. The main principles of the new religious epistemology, such as the notion of a proper use of language and a contrast between passive hearing and attentive listening, were reflected in the text of the Catechism.