The History of American Education

The History of American Education
17th Century
Colonial Education took place
in the home
• Tutors-hired to teach in the home
• Dame Schools-primary schools in colonial and other
early periods which students (females) were taught
by untrained women in the women’s own homes.
• Apprenticeships (in loco parentis)
Usually males
• Latin Grammar Schools-A classical
secondary school with a Latin and
Greek curriculum preparing students
for college.
• Local Schools-Old Deluder Satan
• Harvard College (1st college in US)
17th Century
Old Deluder Satan Law (1647)Massachusetts colony law
requiring teachers in towns of
50 families or mores and that
schools be built in towns of 100
families or more. Communities
must teach children to read so
that they can read the Bible and
thwart Satan.
Educational Materials
• Bible
• Hornbook-a single sheet of parchment containing the
Lord’s Prayer and letters of the alphabet. It was
protected by a thin sheath from the flattened horn of a
cow and fastened to a wooden board.
• New England Primer 1687-1890-One of the first
textbooks in colonial America, teaching reading and
moral messages
• McGuffey Readers 1836-1920 -for almost 100 years,
this reading series promoted moral and patriotic
message and se the practice of reading levels leading
toward graded elementary school
18th Century
Development of a national interest,
state responsibility for education,
growth in secondary education
• South Carolina denies education to
• Opening of the Franklin Academyaccepted females as students and
promoted a less classical, more
practical curriculum
• Noah Webster’s American Spelling
• Land Ordinance Act 1785,NW Ordinance
1787-Provided for the sale of federal lands in
the Northwest territory to support public
schools; required townships in the newly
settled territories bounded by the Ohio and
Mississippi Rivers and the Great Lakes to
reserve a section of land for educational
19th Century
Increasing role of public secondary schools
Increased but segregated education for women
and minorities
Attention to the field of education and teacher
Academies-The private or semipublic secondary
schools in the United States from 1830-1870
that stressed practical subjects.
Common schools-A public, tax-supported school.
First established in MA, the schools’ purpose
was to create a common basis of knowledge for
children. It usually refers to a public elementary
19th century continued
• 1821 Troy Female Seminary; first endowed
secondary school for girls
• 1821-first public high school opens in Boston
• 1823-first (private) normal school
Normal School-a 2yr teacher education institution
popular in the 19th century, many of which were
expanded to become today’s state colleges and
• 1827-Massachusetts requires public hs
• 1839-first public normal school
• 1855-first kindergarten in US
• 1862-Morrill Land Grant College Actestablished 69 institutions of higher education
• 1874-Kalamazoo case-legalizes taxes for hs
• 1896-Plessy v. Ferguson –supported racially
separate but equal schools
20th century
• 1909-first Jr. High in Columbus, OH
• 1917Smith-Hughes Act-funds for teacher
training and establishment of high school
vocational programs
• 1919-progressive education programs
 Progressive education-an educational
philosophy emphasizing democracy, student
needs, practical activities, and schoolcommunity relationships
• 1932-New Deal education programs
• 1944-GI Bill of Rights-paid veterans’ tuition and
living expenses for a specific number of months
depending on the length of their military service
• 1950-first Middle School
20th Century
• 1954-Brown v BOE of Topeka
• 1957-Sputnik leads to increased federal
education funds
• 1958-National Defense Education Act
funds science, math, and foreign
language programs
• 1964-1965-Job Corps and Head Start
are funded
• 1965- Elementary and Secondary
Education Action-financial assistance to
school districts with low-income families,
to improve libraries
20th century
• 1972-Title IX prohibits sex discrimination
in schools
• 1975-Public Law 94-142-Education for all
Handicapped Children Act
• 1979-Cabinet level Department of
Education is established
• 1991-Renamed PL 94-142 to IDEA and
expanded it.
• 1990’s to present-increased public school
diversity and competition through
 charter schools,
 for profit companies (Edison Schools)
 open enrollment
 And technological options
• Promotion of educational goals, standards
and testing.
2001- Passage of No Child Left Behind