How Did the Enlightenment Influence Society?

Table of contents


The plan includes an introduction, which will include an explanation of what European Enlightenment is and what transpired within this period, as well as the general objective of the brief, which is to evaluate the ways in which it influenced modern schooling. It will highlight the point that history and reason were the two significant characteristics of this period (e.g. Saenz 1999, p. 119; Lesaffer 2009, p. 446).

The European Enlightenment and its influence on modern schooling

The foregoing discussions involve the clarification of the concept of ‘modern schooling’ and an evaluation of how European Enlightenment influenced it. It will discuss the critical view of Enlightenment thinkers (e.g. Voltaire, Gibbon) on the irrationality of the past, alongside their often established incisive historical discontinuities for the sake of history and reason. False paradigms and privileges during the European Enlightenment violated the natural law and configured irrational social organisations (e.g. Saenz 1999). This is an important point in the evaluation.

The evaluation will demonstrate the link between the prevalent constructs during the European Enlightenment (history and reason) and the characteristics of modern schooling. It will specifically point out that the methods and techniques of modern science could be utilised to explore and understand all areas of life (e.g. Romano 2010).


The conclusion will include a summary of important points/discussions/arguments, such as the idea of scientific method and commitment to reason that embody modern schooling.


  1. Avrich, P. (2006) The Modern School Movement: Anarchism and Education in the United States. Oakland, CA: AK Press.
  2. Bartlett, R. C. (2001) The Idea of Enlightenment: A Postmodern Study. Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated.
  3. Beales, D. (2005) Enlightenment and Reform in Eighteenth –Century Europe. I. B. Taurus & Co. Ltd.
  4. Feiner, S. (2004) The Jewish Enlightenment. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  5. Grell, P. and Cunningham, A. (2007) Medicine and Religion in Enlightenment Europe. England: Ashgate Publishing Limited.
  6. Grell, P. and Porter, R. (2000) Toleration in Enlightenment Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  7. Hille, T. (2011) Modern Schools: A Century of Design for Education. NJ: Wiley & Sons.
  8. Lesaffer, R. (2009) European Legal History: A Cultural and Political Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  9. Lindemann, M. (2010) Medicine and Society in Early Modern Europe. NY: Cambridge University Press.
  10. Melton, J. V. H. (2001) The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  11. Pilbeam, P. (2012) Themes in Modern European History 1780-1830. New York: Routledge.
  12. Romano, M. J. (2010) AP European History. Second Edition. NJ: Wiley & Sons.
  13. Selwyn, N. (2011) Schools and Schooling in the Digital Age: A Critical Analysis. First Edition. Oxon: Routledge.
  14. Saenz. M. (1999) The Identity of Liberation in Latin American Thought. Maryland: Lexington Books.
  15. Zafirovski, M. (2011) The Enlightenment and its Effects on Modern Society. NY: Springer.

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