How Did Martin Luther King Jr.'s School Education Shape Him?

How Did Martin Luther King Jr.'s School Education Shape Him?

How Did Martin Luther King Jr.'s School Education Shape Him?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. completed his primary education in Atlanta Georgia at Yonge Street Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High. King attended college at Morehouse College, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.

Family Values: The Importance of Education
Martin Luther King Jr. was born into a family that valued knowledge. His mother, Alberta Williams King, was a school teacher who taught young Martin how to read before he entered the national schooling system. Martin Luther King Jr.'s father was a minister who instilled upon him the values of equal rights and discouraged class superiority. His father also hoped his son would one day become a minister and dedicate his life to the church. King was often uncomfortable with overtly religious displays, but his education helped him reconcile this struggle, according to Biography. These educational and social values served as the basis for King's life mission, notes Biography.

Elementary Education
Martin Luther King Jr. attended elementary school at Yonge Street Elementary School in Atlanta at the age of five. The official starting age was six years old, so he also returned the following year, thus attending kindergarten for two consecutive years. From the time of his entry to the school, he was an exceptional student and excelled in all subjects, according to Biography.

High School Education
King enrolled in Booker T. Washington High to complete his primary education. An intelligent student, he skipped the ninth and eleventh grades and graduated at age 15. King was a popular student and well liked by his classmates, according to Biography.

University Education
King attended several post-secondary education institutions in pursuit of his values and degrees. Starting at Morehouse College, King would further develop his views on equality, though he found his passion for learning while attending the Crozer Theological Seminary.

King received a sociology degree from Morehouse College. There, he also met his mentors, including Morehouse College President Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, who would help him form his life's work. Mays was an advocate for racial equality and worked hard for social change. As a sociology major, King was introduced to the struggles of marginalized populations, and it was through this education that he chose to abandon his original goals of studying law and decided instead to enter the ministry, according to Morehouse College.

Located in Chester, Pa., this higher education institution is where King thrived, according to Biography. He was elected student body president and in 1951, he became valedictorian of his class. King was a graduate study fellow and completed his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951. At this university, he studied the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and other spiritual leaders across the globe.

King was accepted into several universities, including Yale, although he decided to pursue his graduate education at Boston University. He completed his Ph.D. in systemic theology at the age of 25. It was at this university that he met his wife, Coretta Scott. During the completion of his dissertation, he became a pastor at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.