What Were the Weaknesses of Spartan Education?

Spartan education was highly praised in ancient Greece, but it also had its weaknesses. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of those weaknesses and how they might have been addressed.

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Overview of Spartan Education

Spartan education was created with the intention of instilling loyalty, bravery, and obedience in Spartan citizens. However, there were several weaknesses in the system. One of the main weaknesses was that it was not very effective in teaching young people how to think for themselves.

Purpose of Spartan Education

Spartan education had a twofold purpose: to train the mind and to toughen the body. The Spartans believed that mental and physical strength went hand in hand. To that end, their educational system was designed to produce not only brave but also intelligent soldiers.

Methods of Spartan Education

The methods of Spartan education were designed to produce soldiers who were physically and mentally strong, as well as obedient to authority. To that end, Spartan boys began their training at age seven, when they entered the agoge, or educational system. The agoge was a harsh and brutal regime, in which boys were taken from their families and put into a barracks-like setting. They were trained in the art of warfare and expected to endure pain and hardship without complaint. They also received a basic education in reading, writing, and mathematics.

However, Spartan education was not without its weaknesses. One major criticism is that it did not allow for any creativity or independent thought. Spartans were expected to conform to the strict rules of their society and obey orders without question. This lack of creativity may have been one of the factors that led to Sparta’s decline in power after its peak in the 5th century BC.

Weaknesses of Spartan Education

Spartans believed that their education system was the best in all of Greece. However, there were some weaknesses to the Spartan education system. One weakness was that Spartan education did not allow for creativity.

Lack of Individualization

The main weakness of Spartan education was its lack of individualization. Spartan children were not treated as individuals, but rather as members of a group. They were expected to conform to the same standards and perform at the same level. This lack of individualization made it difficult for children with different strengths and weaknesses to thrive.

Another weakness of Spartan education was its focus on military training. While this training was beneficial for Sparta as a whole, it did not provide students with the skills they need to succeed in other areas of life. In particular, Spartans lacked expertise in the arts and sciences.

Lack of creativity

Some argue that the Spartan education system lacked creativity, as it focused mainly on training young boys to become strong military soldiers. This lack of creativity may have stunted the intellectual development of Spartan citizens, leading to a less innovative and entrepreneurial society.


One of the most notable and controversial aspects of Spartan education was its unforgiving harshness. Boys were removed from their homes at the age of 7 and sent to live in barracks, where they would be subject to a strict regime of physical training and discipline. Although this regimen did produce strong and capable soldiers, it also instilled a deep sense of fear and insecurity in Spartan boys, who were constantly under the watchful eye of their elders and peers. As a result, many Spartans grew up to be extremely cautious and suspicious of others, which hampered their ability to form trusting relationships.

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