“Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.” Horace Mann
Horace Mann, an education reformer and elected official was called, “Father of the Common School Movement”. “Arguing that universal public education was the best way to turn the nation’s unruly children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens, Mann won widespread approval from modernizers, especially in his Whig Party, for building public schools.
The common school era is viewed by many education scholars to have ended around 1900. In the early twentieth century, schools generally became more regional (as opposed to local), and control of schools moved away from elected school boards, and towards professional control.”
Mann understood that education was the key to solving mankind’s social ills. His six principles were: (1) the public should no longer remain ignorant; (2) that such education should be paid for, controlled, and sustained by an interested public; (3) that this education will be best provided in schools that embrace children from a variety of backgrounds; (4) that this education must be non-sectarian; (5) that this education must be taught by the spirit, methods, and discipline of a free society; and (6) that education should be provided by well-trained, professional teachers.”
Though these principles were written in 1868, Horace Mann’s ideals are still relevant today. As we grapple with issues over gun control, a faltering economy and immigration, realizing that our current system of education is failing to provide our nation’s children with and excellent education, it is not totally illogical to consider that our failure, as a nation, is connected to our failure, as a nation, to properly educate our children.
Horace Mann left a blueprint for success in educating our nation’s children. Adding today’s technology to Mann’s principles would surely put us back on the right track.
Horace Mann believed that every child deserved an excellent education so that they could fully engage themselves in their role as a citizen in a free society.
We should want nothing less for our children today.
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