Founders Era Classes
I'm attempting to write a short fic set just after Hogwarts was founded. I'm having one teacher per year of students instead of one teacher per subject, as there would most likely be fewer students attending Hogwarts in its early years.
Seeing as it was so long ago, I think the classes offered then would be significantly different from today. I've come up with these nine, but I'd like to get some other opinions.
Astrology = Astronomy + Divination + Arithmancy
Fortune Telling (to make a living off of the muggles) = Divination + Arithmancy + Dramatic Arts
Magical Creatures = Care of Magical Creatures + Defense Against the Dark Arts
Battle Magic = DADA + Charms + Potions + Transfiguration + Herbology + Dueling
Concealment = Muggle Studies + All Other Magic Classes
Everyday Magic (Temporary Title) = Charms + DADA + Herbology + Potions + Transfiguration
Herbs and Brews (Trying to think of a better name) = Herbology + Potions
I was also considering Alchemy, but I think that's probably too specialized. Would an early Hogwarts offer Ancient Runes and History of Magic? They seem less important and I think Hogwarts would have started out as a school for more practical magic.
Looking back at the poor education back in the 900s, do you think Hogwarts would also teach first years English and Math? And, do you think witches and wizards of that period would have written books in Latin, like early scholars around the world did? In that case, would Hogwarts teach Latin? I feel that since the wizarding populatin is so much smaller than the muggle one, even an early Hogwarts would have encouraged literacy; Rowena Ravenclaw would have seen to it.
Ooh interesting question!
I guess for inspiration you could draw on the Muggle world at the time, at least to a degree. The study of history, for example, wasn't really a concept until the late 18th/early 19th century.
It was also a darker, more mystical time; less global, more faith-based, etc. Granted, we're talking about a mystical school, but even the wizarding world might have superstitions at that time. A lot of the earliest Muggle universities, for example, were steeped in religious education, or focused on that entirely. A class focused on superstitions might be something to do with Muggles - not a Muggle Studies class (which in present day Hogwarts appears to be a fairly accurate account of Muggles), but a class teaching about Muggles as if they are some mysterious Other about which wizards know very little.
Your other class ideas are really good, I think. I think you're right that early Hogwarts would have been primarily practical. As for teaching math and literacy, yeah I could see this, but also again as part of the times, magic back then may have been more illiterate-friendly, if that makes sense. Like, the Muggle world was much more visually-based. Hogwarts might have books with fewer words and more diagrams, mastering spells might be more about pronunciation than spelling them out, potions might require the brewer to fairly well memorise how certain ingredients react to each other, etc etc.
Hope that helps!
Considering the time period.
Do you think the classes would have been easier or harder? Like for the classes as the students got older, there were more homework assignments that were longer and more difficult.
Do you think the founders would have focused more on the practical magic and less on the written assignments?
Oh definitely there would have been more practical magic than reading assignments! The literacy rates in Britain at this time were abysmal compared to today's standards. No way would everyone have been able to read, let alone read and write well enough to deal with abstract magical theory.
One thought I have on the arrangement of classes (so, Sirinya, I guess this is mostly for you): I always got the impression that each of the Founders selected students and taught those students themselves. So, rather than splitting the students up into years, or even houses, students were split up into Hufflepuff's students, Ravenclaw's students, etc. I see the structure being a lot less regimented. I'm not sure that there would have been enough differentiation in magical theory to completely separate out the different subjects of study, so I think the way you combine modern subjects into older ones is pretty smart. I wouldn't fuss too much about it, though, nor would I focus on years. That, however, is just my two cents. I'm very interested in reading what you've come up with. I have a special fondness for the Founders' era.
Now that I think of it, greennotebook, your way makes more sense. I think it would have had a one room schoolhouse feel for a while. It would probably be similar to the DA, where everyone practices the same spell and people who have it down would either help others or move on to another spell.
I imagine potions would be quite a bit harder as they would have to memorize all of the directions and probably would have shared cauldrons. I imagine most of the potions they would learn before literacy became widespread would be healing potions and ones that were either not complex or got results that spells didn't.
I would see them learning a lot more about what kinds of herbs were what and what they could be used for - hence herblore.
The classes might have evolved from a one room school house type thing into teachers for different levels of ability, once Hogwarts had been established for years and had accquired more staff. At this point, they would probably have sections of the day blocked off for certain types of magic, but not classes per se.
I definitely believe that everyone, except Ravenclaw perhaps, would go rather light on theory, focusing more on what the spells did than how they worked.
Do you think things such as learning about muggles, which doesn't have anthing to do with casting spells, might be taught in big schoolwide seminars?
greennotebook - I haven't started on my Founders Fic yet. I was writing a story about how the Giant Squid came to be in the Lake when I got rather in depth in my research. A Founder Fic is definitely next on the list because I've been wanting to write one for a while, but I'm not sure how I'm going to go about writing it (ie: if I'll take the one shot approach or a short fic or a novel length...). It's coming, I just need to decide on the scope.
The thing with learning about Muggles is that the different Founders very clearly had different views on Muggles. Would Hufflepuff and Slytherin want to teach their students the same things in regards to Muggles? I personally doubt it. If they couldn't agree on a perspective, I doubt they could agree on a curriculum for a school-wide seminar.
Also, why would they need to? This is centuries before the International Statute of Secrecy was instituted. My assumption is that wizardkind dealt with Muggles more often in the middle ages. The modern Muggles Studies courses seem to focus on knowledge of Muggles in order to form diplomatic or business relationships. I'm honestly not seeing that being pertinent during the Founders' era. I think you previously mentioned fortune-telling as a way of making money off of the Muggles, and maybe you're on to something, but that seems like a fake, imposter-y kind of magic to me. I feel as though real witches and wizards, and certainly such intellectual champions as the Founders, would avoid such paltry tricks.