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The History of Education
Transcript of The History of Education
by Sarah Azevedo
Colonial Period: 1642 - 1776
Town Schools were locally controlled schools in the New England Colonies. Students ranging in ages of 5 to 14 studied assignments in a one-room locally controlled public elementary school until the teacher called on them to recite.
Located in the middle colonies, Parochial Schools were elementary schools established by "Missionary societies and various religious and ethnic groups" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
Created by the same groups and for the same reasons as Parochial Schools, Private Schools were for upper-class children.
Latin Grammar Schools
Latin Grammar Schools were originally created in 1635 in Boston as a way for upper-class boys to prepare for college. Boys who entered the secondary-level school planned on entering a profession of medicine, law, teaching, ministry, or to become a business owner or merchant. Studies were unexciting and exhausting for the boys who entered around the age of eight and stayed for eight years.
Based on Benjamin Franklin's ideas for students not going to college, Academies were established in 1751. The curriculum was diverse and students were able to "choose a foreign language based on their vocational needs" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
Colleges are "based on the Puritan view that ministers needed to be soundly educated in the classics and scriptures" as well as be able to "demonstrate competency in Latin, Greek, and the classics" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
National Period: 1776 - 1850
Dr. Benjamin Rush
Dr. Rush believed that "education should advance democracy and the exploration and development of natural resources" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009) and felt that the Latin and Greek curriculum should no longer dominate. His educational plan consisted of "free elementary schools in every township,...a free academy at the county level, and free colleges and universities at the state level" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). Dr. Rush wanted to use tax dollars to pay for this education that would eventually benefit society because there would be a more educated workforce as a result of these schools being available. At the elementary level his curriculum included "reading, writing, and arithmetic"; at the secondary and college levels "English, German, the arts,...and the sciences" were included; and at all levels "good manners and moral principals" were taught (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
Thomas Jefferson believed that it was the state's responsibility to educate it's citizens ensuring a more democratic society. In his plan, Jefferson also felt that taxes should pay for this education and he divided the counties of Virginia into wards. In each ward there would be a free elementary school to teach "reading, writing, arithmetic, and history" and "20 secondary-level grammar schools" for "poor but gifted students" to receive scholarships (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). The scholarships would then allow for 10 students to attend William and Mary College to continue their education.
Once the Constitution became United States law, Webster believed that the U.S. "should have its own system of language as well as government" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009), so he planned to separate U.S. English from Great Britain's English.
William Holmes McGuffey
William Holmes McGuffey created the most popular textbooks for his era in the United States (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). McGuffey's Readers taught several American generations and used literature written by great Americans like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. He created the first graded Reader and set the path for a graded system.
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was a Swiss educator who very heavily influenced by early U.S. education. His belief was that children learned through the senses and their education should be based on the "child's natural development" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
Old Textbooks & Old Readers
Westminster Catechism: Until the American Revolution, this was considered a textbook, along with the hornbook, primer, Old Testiment, and Bible.
Bible: The Bible was considered a textbook during the Colonial Period and children would memorize Bible verses.
New England Primer: Replacing the English primer and published in the 1690's, this was the first basal reader in America and "would remain the most widely used textbook in the colonies" for over 100 years (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). Puritan religion and morals were prevalent throughout this text that students learned their ABCs and memorized sermons from.
New Guide to the English Tongue: This text was published in 1740 by Thomas Dilworth and combined "grammar, spelling, and religious instruction" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
Universal Education: 1820-1920
Monitorial Schools were a "European invention based on Joseph Lancaster's model of education" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). The attraction to these schools was its economy and efficiency since this was most popular in U.S. urban centers due to immigrants and the frontier. The learning and drilling of the "Three Rs" and good citizenship were the main focus in the Monitorial Schools.
In 1826, Massachusetts created a law that required all towns to create a school board responsible for all local schools in that area. With the creation of this law, Common Schools were created. These schools were "devoted to elementary education" and emphasized the "Three Rs" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). The basis of this movement in education was founded in the progressive philosophy of education. Horace Mann lead this movement and believed it would be the great equalizer among all communities and would be crucial in creating "equal opportunity and a national identity" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). Common Schools were the most successful in the frontier because the education was free and it was located in a one-room schoolhouse, which lead to the iconic image of the "Little Red Schoolhouse".
Over the years, Elementary School curriculum had changed significantly. There was no consensus as to how it should change, but adding courses to the essential subjects being taught was the popular thing to do. By 1825, religious content was replaced by things like manners and moral instruction and by 1875 the morality lessons were replaced by conduct lessons. As time progressed, more subjects were added to the curriculum, such as geometry and history by 1850; science, the visual arts, and physical education by 1875; and by 1900, nature study, home making, music, and manual training had been added (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
Secondary Schools are public schools that are supported by taxes and have students who range in ages of 14 to 17. Secondary School enrollment did not exceed 50% until 1930, and not until 1975 did 94% of children attend a secondary school.
Latin Grammar Schools began to get replaced by Academies in the early 1800s and by 1850, Academies were the dominant school of the two (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). Academies were said to teach useful things that would help students do well in life and not only in college (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). With that being said, the core group of students who attended these academies were those planning on attending college, so the curriculum offered was one geared more towards preparing students for college. Except for some private military and a few elite academic academies that are still in existence today, academies became finishing schools for girls in 1870 when high schools replaced academies.
High Schools did not become a major educational institution in the U.S. until 1874. This occurred when a court case, the "Kalamazoo Case", was held in the Michigan Supreme Court and it was ruled that the "public could establish and support high schools with tax funds" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). Ornstein & Hunkins (2009) state that "high stressed the college preparatory program, but also completed the formal education" of those students who were not planning on attending college and around 1900 the curriculum at the high school level offered vocational and clerical courses to better aid those students.
Transitional Period: 1893 - 1918
The Committee of Fifteen
One of the three organized committees created by the National Education Association (NEA) to determine schools curricula. The Committee of Fifteen was influenced strongly by Harvard president Charles Elliot who believed in school reform and by the U.S. Commissioner of Education William Harris "who believed in strict teacher authority and discipline" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). The committee changed "elementary grades from ten to eight and stressed the "Three Rs," English grammar, literature, geography, and history" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). The committee also decided to make content such as drawing and culture available for one hour a week and content such as sewing and algebra introduced in grades seven and eight. There were several things the committee did not agree with and rejected, like kindergarten, the idea of newer subjects, and the idea that interests and needs of the children should be considered when planning the curriculum (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
The Committee of Ten
Out of the three committees created by the NEA, this committee was the most influential. The Committee of Ten chose nine central academic subjects for the high school curriculum: Latin, Greek, English, other modern languages, mathematics, physical sciences, natural history or biological sciences, social sciences, and geography, geology, and meteorology (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). They also gave a recommendation for four different tracks students could follow: classical, Latin scientific, modern languages, and English. Subjects that the committee felt offered little to mental discipline were ignored, such as art, music, and physical education. Even though very few students went on to college at this time, their "college preparatory program established a curriculum hierarchy, from elementary school to college, that promoted academics and ignored most students" who were not planning on attending college (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
The Committee on College Entrance Requirements
This committee met in 1895 to reaffirm "the dominance of college preparatory curriculum in high schools, emphasizing college admission requirements and classical subjects" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). This committee was made up of mainly college and university presidents.
Harris and Eliot
William Harris and Charles Eliot were the dominant conservative educational reformers during the Transitional Period. Harris was an advocate for a traditional curriculum mixing essentialism and perennialism (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). Harris saw schools as an extension of society and believed in the teaching of the classics, however this belief caused working-class students to be discouraged from attending high school. Ornstein & Hunkins (2009) state that "Eliot played a prominent role in the shaping of higher education" and argued that there was a "discrepancy in purpose and quality between elementary schools and colleges". Eliot also believed that teachers at the elementary level should place their students on a track based on their abilities and strongly pushed that vocational and trade schools be separate from high schools (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
The Smith-Hughes Act in 1917 provided funding for vocational education that was related to agriculture, home economics, and trades (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). Students were placed into one of those three tracks and enrollment in these schools had progressively grown throughout the years, however in 2000 enrollment dropped by 20% showing the growing criticism in tracking students.
Flexner "proposed a modern curriculum" that consisted of four basic areas: science, industry, civics, and aesthetics (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). He felt that if there could not be a utilitarian argument made, then the curriculum should not be included.
Dewey believed that education and democracy went hand-in-hand and that democracy could be enhanced through school (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). He felt that any subject could improve a child's development and no subject was better than another.
Judd was a colleague of Dewey's, and together they created a process Judd called "scientism in education", while others referred to it as pragmatism (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). Judd used statistical research to determine the value of curriculum content, meaning how well a student could solve problems to help the ever changing world and future problems they could encounter as adults.
Commission on Reorganization of Secondary Education
This Commission that the NEA created published the Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education. This publication "stressed the whole child, education for youth, diversified areas of study, and common culture, ideas, and ideals for a democratic society" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
Franklin Bobbitt and Werrett Charters
Both Bobbitt and Charters had a "profound impact on curriculum" and guided their curricula through the basis of the progressive philosophy on education (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). They both believed that the curriculum should be based on student needs and interests. Bobbitt's guidelines for the selection of objectives is still used today and Charters believed that curriculum was a set of goals the student must reach.
Kilpatrick believed in educating the generalist and not just a specialist. He saw school as a social and community experience for students and that the curriculum be child-centered and identified as purposeful activities (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). The purpose of his curriculum was focused on child development and growth.
The Twenty-Sixth Yearbook
Written in two volumes, the twenty-sixth yearbook was published by the National Society for the Study of Education. It was written by 12 members of the society which consisted of Rugg, Bagley, Bobbitt, and Charters...just to name a few. The first volume was a harsh criticism of the traditional education and the second volume outline the "state of the art in curriculum" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). This yearbook was a major influence in many school districts of various sizes.
Harold Rugg and Hollis Caswell
Rugg was a strong believer in the teacher playing a key role "in the implementing of curriculum and the need for preplanning" as well as a "cooperation among the educational professionals" from various fields (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). Caswell believed that the emphasis in curriculum should be on improving the instruction and not the courses that were to be studied. He felt that the courses of study should be a guide for the teacher and not a plan they were to follow in detail (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
Eight Year Study
Launched by the Progressive Education Association, the Eight Year Study was designed to show how a new curriculum that was designed to meet the needs and interests of students was just as effective as that designed around traditional tests and the college admission requirements (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). The study confirmed the needs for comprehensize evaluations and that evaluations were needed to determine whether the curriculum's objectives had been acheived.
Tyler was strongly influenced by the progressive social theories as well as the behaviorists approach on curriculum. Tyler wrote the book Principles of Curriculum and Instruction which asks four basic questions to be answered by someone who is planning or writing curriculum for a subject or grade level. He does not specifically point out the role of the teacher, supervisor, or principal in this planning, but he does explain how goals can be created as a resource to help shape the curriculum and instruction towards a desired outcome (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
Goodlad felt that "schools should help individuals fulfill their potential but should also promtoe society's goals" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). He felt that the teacher should play a role in developing the curriculum and modifying the educational goals. His emphasis on curricula was on active and critical thinking by the students and that they students should be involved in the planning of the curriculum's content and activities.
Froebel was a German educator who developed kindergarten which was focused on 3-4 year olds. He felt that their educations needed to be "organized around play and individual and group interests and activities" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). Kindergarten was brought to the U.S. by German immigrants and was first established in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1855.
Johann Freidrich Herbart
Herbart was a German philosopher who believed that "education should be primarily moral and that the traditional curriculum was too rigid and limited" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009). Herbart was the first to introduce that subjects should be correlated. His principles "still serve as guidelines for teachers who use the developmental lesson approach" (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009).
Ornstein, A. C. & Hunkins, F. P. (2009). Curriculum: Foundations, Principles, and Issues. (5th edition). Boston: Pearson.