Discussion question

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100 words or more reply with reference

After watching Dr. Sam Smith’s video presentation in Blackboard Module 3, describe the historical context that enabled Horace Mann to promote the Common School Movement. Also discuss other individuals and movements that added to the growth of the Common School.

Horace Mann was born in 1796, several centuries after Martin Luther proposed a free education based on “the priesthood of all believers” and over one hundred years after The Old Deluder Satan Act of 1647. This act required towns of 50 families to hire a teacher; towns of 100 families were to start a school. During Mann’s life he watched the nation struggle to find its identity as the First and Second Great Awakenings were underway. The Constitution did not make educational provisions, but the early northwestern states stressed an importance of educations through ordinances. There were other educational movements that influenced and enabled Mann to promote a system of education known as the common school. Sunday Schools and Monitorial Schools both spread from England promoting literacy and moral education for students. Mann felt that education is “the great equalizer of men” believing that schools would increase social morality as well as reduce crime, eliminating the need for prisons. Mann had to convince the greater public to pay for the education of other people’s children. He was able to this by appealing “to the common desire to reduce crime and poverty and also to assimilate immigrants, Native-Americans and freed African Americans into a common national identity.”

Mann was not along in his quest for establishing the Common School. A college professor and Presbyterian minister, William McGuffey also lobbied for common schools. Catherine Beecher advocated for teaching positions to be filled by women. Beecher felt that women were moral compasses for society and promoted normal schools for teacher education.

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