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Melanchton in front of his students
Melanchton in front of his students (Image: Wikipedia)

„Education for everyone” – that’s how you could summarise the quotation by Philipp Melanchthon, the ‘teacher of the Germans’. The Reformer was convinced that everyone should read the bible for themselves and deal with their own belief, to become an emancipated Christian. This conviction and especially its realisation challenged the former self-image of the clerics, who until then understood themselves as sole salvation-mediators. 

However, this foundation called for an educated person. Every child should – no matter what social status – be granted with an elementary education. This caused that the Reformation was involved in the founding of many schools and the restructuring of already existent schools according to humanistic-reformatory policies. The change of the written language from Latin to German eased the access to education. The literacy of the whole population – girls and boys! – became the new education ideal. The Reformation caused an enormous education boost.