History behind Education
Before the early 1800's there was no consistent or structured system of education. Bountiful numbers of children were taught at home by their mothers. In 1840, the first coordinated school systems began because reformers such as Horace Mann began to advocate education reform. They reasoned that it would establish a stable or civil society and also create a common bond among the people. During this time, many children attended schools with unwell conditions, Some did not go to school at all, choosing to work at home or stealing food for survival. Horace Mann believed that education would not only benefit children, but the American society as a whole. The push toward education reform became known as the Common School Movement. These "common schools" provided an equal standard for all children, allowing the lower class to be able to compete with the superior class.
These schools were funded by taxes. Public schools were intended to be there for all social classes. Public schools are also known as common schools. How long a school year would be mostly depended on a student's life away from school (working in the farms),however a typical school year was at least six months. There wasn't any type of tuition that was owed. One room schools were prominent in the United States. In the early 19th century, many children went to school from ages 6 to 14. Children obtained knowledge in five subjects: reading, writing, arithmetic,history and geography.
- Public secondary schools developed across the US nation during the 1820's.
- Some state-supported colleges were established in the 1820's.
- Coeducational colleges caused women to acquire an entrance to public education.
- The Perkins School for Blind was created in 1832, and this was an imperative establishment because children who couldn't see were ultimately given the opportunity to obtain special education.
- In 1837, Horace Mann becomes Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education.
- Around 80 students came to Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1837, the first college for women in the U.S. Mary Lyon is its founder/president.
- The first school for African Americans was created and was known as the African Institute in 1837.
- In 1839, a school that is directed for teacher education is established and is state funded.
- The first textbook was created by Rev. William Holmes McGuffey in 1841. The book had an ethical tone and included several literary works, along with 55 lessons.
- In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell is the first woman to graduate from medical school.
- In 1852, the first mandatory attendance law is created in Massachusetts.
- In 1857, the National Teachers Association is established.
By the 1860's, the formation of public schools were prevalent in all northern states, however many southerners, mostly the planter class, were opposed to this idea. They were afraid that education would be available to lower class people, such as poor whites and slaves.
One room school Houses
Because many towns in America were rural, the children had to attend one room schoolhouses. The teacher was usually a single women in her late teens and lived near the school. While more children were receiving an education, there were still faults to the system. The teacher wages were low and the level of education varied between teacher. Some were dedicated, while others simply taught the bare minimum. Also, there were many children of different ages stuck in the same classroom.
The primary goal of the education reform movement was to enhance the knowledge of all American people. Reformers believed it would create a level playing field for all social classes. Education reform mended the issues of crime and poverty. Children who lacked education could now make a decent living with their skills. Schools gave children and teachers many opportunities. Overall, the United States benefits from the education reform movement of the early 19th century.