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DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE
During the second quarter of the nineteenth century a third period in the educational history of America, marked by further democratization and a great expansion of public education, appeared.
It began with an awakening generally known as 'the revival of common schools,' which was most noticeable in New England. Here, owing to the attacks made upon him by reactionaries, Horace Mann was the most conspicuous reformer; while Henry Barnard, through his American Journal of Education, enabled educators to look beyond the educational experience of America. But the influence of this awakening was also felt in section of the United States.
It was followed by a steady growth in universal education, state support and control, local supervision, and the organization of normal schools in New England and the Middle states.
In the Northwest, common school advocates overcame the opposition of settlers from states not committed to public education, and in the further expansion of the United States progress in common school sentiment has kept pace with the settlement of the country.
The South made considerable progress during the early years of the awakening, and while the Civil War crushed its educational facilities, the struggle for public education has since been won.
The Third Period in American Education.-Interest in the improved methods of Pestalozzi and other re
tension of state
formers that was manifesting itself everywhere in the United States during the second quarter of the nineteenth century seems to have been but one phase of a much larger movement. It was about this time that a third period in American education, which was marked by the development of democratic ideals and the exten- Development sion of state systems of public schools, may be said to ideals and exhave begun. During the period of 'transition,' we found (chap. XXI), half a dozen of the states had started an organization of common schools, and in a dozen others permanent school funds had been established, an influential minority of leading citizens were constantly advocating universal education, and public interest in the matter was evidently increasing. But the consummation of a regular system was still much hindered by sectarian jealousies, by the conception of public schools as institutions for paupers and the consequent custom of allowing private schools to share in public funds, by the unwillingness of the wealthy to be taxed locally for the benefit of other people's children, and, in New England, by the division of the system into autonomous districts and the interference of petty politics. Hence, while much progress had been made since the early days of transplantation' of European ideals and institutions, there was still much need of the expansion and further democratization that now began to appear. Of the rapid development that took place during this final period of Americanization, much was accomplished before the middle of the nineteenth century, but educational progress continued through the final decade.
Early Leaders in the Common School Revival.-The educational awakening with which the beginning of this
Storm center of 'revival' in
third period seems to be marked, has been generally known as 'the common school revival.' It first became Massachusetts evident during the latter part of the decade between 1830 and 1840, and had its storm center in Massachusetts and Connecticut. While it greatly furthered the cause of public education everywhere, because of the decadence into which New England had fallen, the demand for an educational awakening was strongest there. In this revival the most conspicuous figure was probably Horace Mann, but there were several leaders in the field before him, many were contemporaneous, and the work was expanded and deepened by others of distinction long after he withdrew from the scene. For a score of years before Mann appeared, definite preparation for the movement had been in progress, and the labors of the individuals and associations engaged in these endeavors tablish a train- should be briefly noted. Many of the reformers seem to have recommended an improvement in methods through the creation of an institution for training teachers, thus anticipating one of the greatest achievements of Mann. Actual attempts at a private normal school were even made by the Reverend Samuel R. Hall at Concord, Vermont (1823), Andover, Massachusetts (1830), and Plymouth, New Hampshire (1837).
Efforts to es
A number of educational journals, moreover, published articles on schoolbooks, the methods of Lancaster, Pestalozzi, Neef, and Fellenberg, the infant and Sunday schools, physical education, European school systems, and a variety of other timely topics and reforms. Among these progressive publications were the American Journal of Education, edited by William Russell from 1826– 1830, and then continued from 1831 to 1839, as the
Articles in educational journals.
American Annals of Education under the editorship of William C. Woodbridge, and the Quarterly Register, published 1828-1843 by the 'American Educational Society.' The latest European ideas were also reported from first-hand observation by a number who had gone abroad to investigate. The most influential of these reports was A Year in Europe, written in 1819 by Pro- Reports on fessor John Griscom (see p. 292), who was a lecturer education. before several New York associations, including the Public School Society. Almost as widely read were the reports of William C. Woodbridge in 1824, and of Professor Calvin E. Stowe of Lane Theological Seminary, Cincinnati, in 1836.
Work of James G. Carter.-All these movements indicate the educational ferment that was going on. But the predecessor of Mann, who accomplished most for the common schools, and influenced that reformer most directly, was James G. Carter (1795-1849). Carter (Fig. 37) was a practical teacher and wrote continually on the need of a training institution to improve instruction in the public schools. These appeals proved very successful, and earned him the title of 'father of the normal schools.' After being elected to the legislature, he accomplished much by his zeal and skill in parliamentary tactics. In 1826 he secured an act by which each town and secured as a whole was required to choose a regular committee, committees, instead of the ministers and selectmen, to supervise the schools, choose text-books, and examine, certify, and employ the teachers. But the effect of this enactment was largely lost the following year by allowing the districts, as a compromise, to choose a committeeman, who should appoint the teachers. In 1826 he placed
support of high secondary education, then largely conducted by academies, more under public control through a law requiring each town of five hundred families to support a free English high school (Fig. 41), and every one of four thousand inhabitants to maintain a classical high school. Next, in 1834, Carter succeeded in getting a state school fund established from the proceeds of the sale of lands in the province of Maine and the state's claims against the federal government for military services. But his most fruitful victory was won in 1837, when he procured the and the State passage of the bill for a State Board of Education, after it had been once defeated, by inducing the house to discuss it in 'committee of the whole.'
Horace Mann as Secretary of the Massachusetts Board. By reason of his merits as an educator, his persistent efforts in behalf of educational reform, and his advocacy of the bill, it was assumed by most people that Carter would be chosen secretary of the new board. To their surprise, a lawyer named Horace Mann (17961859), at that time president of the senate, was selected for the post, but the choice is now known to have been most fortunate. By both heredity and training Mann heredity and (Fig. 38) was suffused with an interest in humanity and
Peculiarly fitted by
all phases of philanthropy and education. He possessed a happy combination of lofty ideals, intelligence, courage, enthusiasm, and legislative experience, which equipped him admirably for leadership in educational reform. The law proposed for the new Board of Education numerous duties in the way of collecting and spreading information concerning the common schools and of making sugges tions for the improvement and extension of public education, but it provided no real powers, and the permanence