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Ben Franklin & Colonial Education

For Professor Cornell's "Major American Authors" Class
by

Smack Johnson

on 25 January 2013

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Transcript of Ben Franklin & Colonial Education

Foundations ZOTERO: Uses The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND COLONIAL EDUCATION By: Dan Carter, Kathleen Emerson, Robert Hannan, and Mara Lieberman Practical Education: Apprenticeships

A large portion of Franklin's education
Vocational education
Gave young boys skills to pursue an occupation in trade
In a contract for about 7 years
Master - in charge of advancing & supporting the apprentice as a son
In the colonies, skilled labor was scarcer --> easier to get work without completing apprenticeship The Original Text Branch 2:
Our Founder: Benjamin Franklin
& Education Branch 1:
The Founding Fathers & Education Branch 3: The Future of American Education: The University System Roots: Colonial Philosophy of Education Compiling Sources
Making an Annotated Bibliography
Sharing Libraries with Classmates/Colleagues How to Use Zotero: A Demonstration Adding Sources to form an Archive!!!
Annotating these Sources
Standalone App & Browser Tools
Creating and Managing Groups

Next, A Brief Demonstration of
Zotero... Benjamin Franklin's Core Curriculum Required an advanced reading of Enlightenment sources and understanding those works
The students were required to learn important ideas and information but only information that was relevant to their lives.
Franklin's proposal shows an educational ideal that displays a balance of both ornamental and useful studies.
Puts much emphasis on community interaction and participation. Franklin's Educational Ideal Men should seek happiness not as Hedonists, but rationally.
Franklin advocated moral good that was to be found in acts of kindness, friendship, generosity, and benevolence.
He believes that there is virtue without self-denial.
People free from all temptation have the most perfect virtue. Franklin's Plan for Education His plan showed that he had little knowledge of how formal education was supposed to be.
It ignored customs of the educated people in Europe and the colonies --> new system.
His concept of what an educational institution should do was shaped by his unique perspective and the education that he had given himself.
He was able to create the most original education idea of that era. A Difference in Education All of the Founding Fathers (signers of the Dec. of Ind.) received some form of education-- formal or otherwise
Rare free education in those days --> implies wealth; Founding Fathers clearly of the upper class
Most of the signers = members of "learned professions"
Almost half were educated in American or European universities
Most of the others were self-educated or had some experience with formal education --> Franklin Varying Founding-Era
Views on Education The American Educational Experiment One of the main challenges leaders of the Founding generation faced was establishing a legacy of education capably of preparing citizens to balance individual freedom and responsible self-rule within a truly democratic society
Many Founders, however, had been educated in these systems
There was no true precedent for this within prior colonial educational programs abroad or in Europe --> something entirely new was needed
Some Founders turned back to republics of antiquity (Greece & Rome) and classic republic theory for guidelines
John Locke was influential, but the Founders' insistence on public schooling in the post-revolutionary period marked a clear departure from Locke's advocacy for a well-educated elite, often at the expense of others
Thomas Jefferson is very influential in these efforts; Franklin lays much of the curriculum, while Jefferson attempts to establish a system American colonial leaders knew they wanted an educational system distinctly different from European models
Many Founding era leaders disagreed on the most important aspects though
Different Approaches
Benjamin Rush: Places a heavy emphasis on the role of religion; centralized system with one university in the capital & four colleges in cities
Samuel Knox: Does not want strong religious influence dominating education; advocates a truly liberal arts experience Franklin: The Ideal American Believed in an American national identity based on the virtues and values of the middle class
Said to be the most democratic of the Founding Fathers
Prototype of the self-made man
Exemplar of personal character and civic virtue
Supported self-improvement and furthering the common good http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/infolib/wp-content/uploads/cite-zotero_logo.gif http://www.braintrack.com/images/college-and-work-news/cal-state-now-officially-charging-tuition-10110902.jpg Apprenticeship with his brother James
Largely self-educated as well; great love for reading
Studies The Spectator to increase his writing abilities
Writes under a pen name, "Silence Dogood"
Emphasizes the importance of virtue
This will influence Franklin's later views on important aspects of education
Discusses key issues in philosophy, politics, morality, etc. in his Junto
Comes up with an early proposal for the first public library-- the "Subscription Library" Benjamin Franklin was involved in the founding of the colonial university system right from its inception, especially in Pennsylvania.
He was an early colonial proponent of a rounded education that taught skills thought to be useful for any career, instead of teaching skills for a specific job.
Franklin suggests reading, writing, arithmetic, drawing, geometry, astronomy, and other subjects http://g.christianbook.com/g/ebooks/covers/w185/2/290737_w185.png Franklin and Thomas Jefferson both served as heads of the American Philosophical Society. This organization offered a prize to the person who could submit the best proposal for the founding of the new university system in the colonies.
Franklin sought a new system that was not necessarily based in the traditions of Western Europe.
These and other examples indicate the emphasis that the founders placed on ensuring a good education for citizens, seen as central to the success of any democracy. Franklin's
University Philosophy American Philosophical Society College of Philadelphia In 1751, the Philadelphia Academy was founded. Franklin invited a schoolmaster from New York to convince the Academy to become a college.
In 1755, the College of Philadelphia was chartered. It later became known as the University of Pennsylvania.
This College was known for progressive teaching methods: it featured both the classics as well as philosophy, oratory and natural sciences. It was the first institution in the colonies to appoint a professor of chemistry. Education,
The American Revolution, & The Constitution Colonial Mindset on Education: Education not necessarily to help with future careers or specific tasks, but rather to broaden & deepen their intellectual lives
James J. Walsh asserts their education had a direct influence on their revolutionary thought
Intense Latin education
Ethics classes most important; political/moral philosophy also emphasized
Many of the ideas found within the Dec. of Ind. and Constitution are very similar to the Founders' writing in their theses THE END!
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