Powerpoints/Historical Roots of Education in the US

Historical Roots of
Education in the United
ED 1010
The Colonial Period (1607-1775)
• Historical, geographical, and demographic
differences in the 13 original colonies led to
different approaches to education.
• Religion played a major role in colonial life
and also strongly influenced schooling.
• European educational thinkers emphasized
more humane and child-centered
educational practices.
European Beliefs
• U.S. practices evolved from European ideas
that were developed over the centuries.
• Greeks – idea that knowledge could be divided
into individual subject areas.
• Athenians – Wanted education for its adult
citizens who could then more fully participate in
democratic decision making.
• Reformation – Church leaders felt the bible held
all wisdom, thus all should be taught to read so all
Christians could have access to these truths.
The New England Colonies
Saw the Church of England as the religious arm of the
Puritans - Religion/Bible dominated
Local Control of education, but no separation of church and
• 1642 – General Court of Massachusetts Law
• Required that children attend school. First attempt to make
education compulsory
• 1647 Old Deluder Satan Act
• Required every town of 50 families to hire a teacher of reading or
writing. Established public responsibility for education.
• Schools controlled by religious leaders
• Dame schools (primary) – often in homes – teach reading before
age 8
• Blab Schools – no books, just lecture and recitation
Middle Colonies
• Made of more diverse group of emigrants. Came
from different parts of England than the Puritans.
• Parochial schools started to address the needs and
wants to the various populations
• Quaker Schools taught to a diverse group of
learners (Native Americans, African Americans
and others)
• Franklin Academy offered students a choice in
their course of study free of all religious ties
(traditional subjects including navigation, math,
surveying, bookkeeping). “Real world” classes
• Secondary level education had a place
The Southern Colonies
• Difficult for many of the children to attend school
because of few towns and great distances between
• Education was left to the wealthy landowners
• Traveling tutors or tutors on plantations
• Many sent sons to England to be educated in
English schools or boarding schools in the larger
• Education for slaves was nonexistent – educating a
slave could be a felony before the civil war.
First Amendment
• Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof; or abridging the
freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the
people peaceably to assemble, and to
petition the Government for a redress of
Establishment Clause
Current Religious Controversies
from the Colonial Period
• Should prayer be allowed in schools?
• Should federal money be used to provide
instruction in religious schools?
• What role should religion play in
character and sex education?
Other discussion questions
1. How did the diversity of the original colonies shape the
educational system in the United States?
2. What role did religion play in colonial schools? What are the
implications of this role for contemporary schools? 8
Early National Period (1775-1820)
• Established a major educational role for
states (Tenth Amendment to
• Also established the idea that the federal
government should use education to
improve people’s lives and help the
nation grow
Tenth Amendment
• The powers not delegated to the United
States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by
it to the States, are reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people.
Land Ordinance –
1785 –Northwest
Ordinance: Thirty-six
sections in a township –
Section (block) no. 16
was the center of the
township and
designated as a site for
a school.
Few educational
interventions were
introduced. Unskilled
workers were needed
for growing industries
including farming.
Common School Movement (1820-1865)
Horace Mann, Massachusetts lawyer and legislator,
believed in having taxpayers help finance public
education. Wanted a public school for all including
education for women, felt women were better suited
to teach the young. In 1839, first Normal School set
up to prepare people for careers as teachers.
Established the trend of education available to all,
NOT just the rich
• Taxes used to support public schools
• State education departments created to coordinate
statewide efforts
• Curriculum standardized and schools organized by
grade levels (versus one-room schools)
• Teacher preparation improved
List of Rules for a Teacher in 1872
1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.
2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the
day’s session.
3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste
of the pupils.
4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes,
or two evenings a week if they go to church.
5. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time
reading the Bible or other good books.
6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be
7. Every good teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of
his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will
not be a burden on society.
8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or
public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to
suspect his worth, intention, integrity, and honesty.
9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five
years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his
pay, providing the Board of Education approves.
Minnesota Rules from Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
• Unparalleled industrial growth
• Technological innovations – need skilled workers
– interest in vocational education.
• Huge numbers of immigrants enter – Schools
eager to “Americanize” new students.
• Kalamazoo Case – ruled the state legislature had
the right to levy taxes to support both elementary
& secondary schools.
• Organizational activity among teachers increased.
1900 to World War II
• John Dewey: A philosopher – founded the
laboratory school at the University of Chicago.
• Believed that for democracy to work, citizens
had to be educated to understand and share in
the duties and responsibilities of society.
• Believed learners needed to master the
Scientific Problem Solving method
• Recognized individual differences among
The first junior high school established in
Berkeley, Cal. In 1909. Developed a format of
List of rules for a teacher in 1915
1. You will not marry during the term of your contract. You are not to keep
company with men.
2. You must be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless
attending a school function.
3. You may not loiter downtown in any ice cream stores.
4. You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have permission of the
chairmen of the board.
5. You may not smoke cigarettes.
6. You may not under any circumstances dye your hair.
7. You may not dress in bright colors.
8. You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he be
your father or brother.
9. You must wear at least two petticoats.
10. Your dresses must not be any shorter than 2 inches above the ankles.
Apps, J. (1996). One-Room Country Schools: History and Recollections from Wisconsin. U.S.: Palmer Publications
The Evolution of
the American High School
• The comprehensive high school attempts to meet
the needs of all students.
• Latin grammar school (1635) was designed to help
boys prepare for the ministry or law.
• Academy (1751) focused on practical subjects
such as math, navigation, and bookkeeping; open
to boys and girls.
• English classical school (1821) was a free
secondary school for students not planning to
attend college.
Junior High and Middle School
• Junior high schools, popular in the early and
mid-1900s, were miniature versions of high
schools with emphasis on individual academic
• Middle schools, popular from the 1970s,
attempted to address adolescents’ developmental
• Currently, some districts, dissatisfied with both
junior highs and middle schools, are
experimenting with K–8 schools.
The Education of Native
• Mission schools in the 1700s and 1800s, run by
religious groups, were the first educational attempt
to assimilate Native Americans.
• Federally funded and run boarding schools
attempted to “Americanize” Native American
• Currently, most (91%) of Native American
students attend public schools, but problems
• Underachievement
• High dropout rates
• Low rates of college attendance
Education of African Americans
• Before the Civil War, educational participation
and literacy rates were abysmally low.
• Literacy rates increased dramatically after the
Civil War, but education efforts were plagued by
substandard funding and resources.
• Booker T. Washington, who endorsed separate but
equal, clashed with W.E.B. Dubois, who
advocated integration and social activism.
• A “separate but equal” policy (Plessy v. Ferguson,
1896) was supported by federal courts until 1954
(Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka).
Education of Hispanic Americans
• Education of Hispanic Americans began in
the Southwest with Catholic mission
• Early emphasis on Hispanic American
education was on assimilation.
• Language has been a major controversial
issue in the education of Hispanic
Education of Asian Americans
• Asian Americans experienced
discrimination, both in schools and society
at large.
• Asian Americans are a diverse group of
students from many different countries and
• In general, Asian American students do well
in school, excelling in achievement.
• New Society Game
Video: The Reunion
The Modern Era: Schools as Instruments
for National Purpose and Social Change
• The Cold War with the Soviet Union during the
1950s and 1960s focused federal educational
efforts on math and science.
• President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty
attempted to use schools to eliminate the
pervasive poverty in the U.S.
• Compensatory education programs like Title I
and Head Start attempted to provide enriched
experiences to the children of poverty.
The Federal Government’s Role
in Pursuing Equality
• The Civil Rights movement, culminating in the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, attempted to eliminate
discrimination based on race, color, or national
• Title IX, passed in 1972, attempted to eliminate
gender bias in schools.
• Segregation, especially in large urban districts,
continues to be a persistent problem.
• Magnet schools are designed to attract and
integrate students from diverse social and
cultural backgrounds.
Federal Government Reform
• Federal attempts to reform schools:
• Setting standards
• Creating testing programs
• Offering (or withholding) financial incentives
• Major issues with federal reform efforts:
• Federal versus state and local control of educational
• State versus federal control of testing programs
• Incentive programs that increase the influence of the
federal government on education