Uploaded by Emily Wozniak

Reading Analysis 1

The common school reform movement of the 19th century was led by Horace Mann,
who is labelled as the father of American education. It was created to target the many issues of
schooling that Mann discovered when travelling and visiting schools across the country. By
reforming the common schools, Mann planned for public schools to grant every individual
regardless of class and equal chance to succeed. He called education the “great equalizer”
because “it would do more than all things else to obliterate factitious distinctions in society”
(Mann, pg. 183). By this, Mann is talking about the issue of poverty and claims that good
education for everyone would lead to the removal of poverty as each individual would have
knowledge and capability to provide for themselves. Education is the way to boost intelligence,
and intelligence is what paves the way to success, therefore Mann argues that education
removes the class barriers.
The article on Finland’s school reform and the success that followed correlates to the
common school reform discussed earlier due to the fact that Finland focused on equal
schooling for all. Removing private schools and focusing on equity is what makes Finland’s
education system so fruitful. The policy is that “every child should have exactly the same
opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income, or geographic location”
(Partanen, 2011). This is similar to what Mann supported, because he also wanted there to be
education for each individual regardless of class or economic status. The article also discusses
having a safe and healthy environment for the schools, which Mann talked about while he
visited schools that were not ideal for learning, such as a small room for a large group of
children that wasn’t well ventilated as well as having hard seats to sit on all day.