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Vittorino da Feltre (1378 - 1446) was an Italian humanist and teacher, born in Feltremarker (province of Belluno). His real name was Vittorino Ramboldini.

He studied at Padua under Gasparino da Barzizza and later taught there, but after a few years he was invited by the marquis of Mantua to educate his children. At Mantuamarker, Vittorino set up a school at which he taught the marquis's children and the children of other prominent families, together with many poor children, treating them all on an equal footing. He not only taught the humanistic subjects, but placed special emphasis on religious and physical education.

He was one of the first modern educators to develop during the Renaissance. Many of his methods were novel, particularly in the close contacts between teacher and pupil as he had with Gasparino da Barzizza and in the adaptation of the teaching to the ability and needs of the child. He lived with students and befriended them in the first secular boarding school . Vittorino's school was well lit and built of better construction than other schools of the time. Vittorino also made school work more interesting, adding field trips to his curricula. He watched the health of his students very carefully, and generally elevated the status of teachers. Schools throughout Europe (especially England) copied Vittorino's model. Many of fifteenth century Italy's greatest scholars, including Guarino da Verona, Poggio Bracciolini, and Francesco Filelfo sent their sons to study under Vittorino da Feltre. Vittorino's other students included Federigo da Montefeltro and Theodorus Gaza.

Notes

  1. A History of Education: Socrates to Montessori, Luella Cole, 1962



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