EDUCATION IN COLONIAL AMERICA 1620 - 1750 Early colonial education • Followed the English system of two tiers • If students from lower classes had any education at all, it was essentialist (just the basics + religion) • Students from the upper classes went to Latin Grammar Schools (perennialist – college prepLatin, Greek in addition to reading, writing, computation, religion PURPOSE OF EDUCATION? • The curricula of various schools all stressed the importance of religion. • One needed to be able to read in order to read the Bible and religious lessons, thereby receiving salvation. NEW ENGLAND COLONIES Massachusetts Bay Colony New Hampshire Connecticut Rhode Island These colonies created schools so that people could learn the scriptures. Puritans believed that people were basically born sinful and that idleness was an opportunity for the devil to influence a child. New England (con’t.) • Teachers were expected to punish harshly in order to curb the natural (evil) instincts found in children. THE MIDDLE COLONIES • Can you name them? THE MIDDLE COLONIES • • • • New York New Jersey Pennsylvania Delaware These colonies were more diverse (Irish, Scots, Swedes, Danes, Dutch, Germans). They established parochial schools based on their own beliefs. The Southern Colonies • • • • • Maryland Virginia North Carolina South Carolina Georgia Wealthy Southerners • Believed the purpose of education was to prepare their sons for a European university. • Small farmers were largely uneducated. • The children of African slaves received only the training they needed to serve their masters. TYPES OF SCHOOLS IN COLONIAL AMERICA • DAME SCHOOLS – run by widows or housewives in their homes; modest fees for the children. This was the only type of education for those girls who were educated. Boys who were being prepared for further education started at a Dame School. • LATIN GRAMMAR SCHOOLS prepared boys for university study – in England or Harvard. • PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS were common in the middle colonies, reflecting the diversity of nationality and religion of that areas. They taught religion as well as reading, writing, computation, and history. Often, classes were conducted in the language of the colonists (German, Dutch, Swedish…) THE ORIGINS OF MANDATED EDUCATION • MASSACHUSETTS ACT OF 1642: Education was to be no longer optional. The colonists of Massachusetts believed that organized schools would serve to strengthen and preserve Puritan religious beliefs. • Each town was required to determine if the children could read and write. Parents could be fined and, possibly, lose custody of their children if their children could not read/write. THE OLD DELUDER SATAN ACT • Massachusetts Act of 1647 – mandated the establishment and support of schools. • Town of fifty or more households were required to appoint a teacher. Teachers were to be paid by the parents or masters of the children, or by the inhabitants in general.