Horace Mann's Common School Movement

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Horace Mann was the leading voice in the common school movement. The purpose of the common school was to create a school, open to everyone, that was not “influenced by private or religious societies.” Mann’s vision of the common school is outlined in his annual reports to the Massachusetts Board of Education. In his tenth and twelfth report he pushed for universal, public education, revolving around similar curriculum. He emphasizes the importance of school as the place where children cultivate their moral character and are instilled with ethical values. He states that “moral education is a primal necessity of social existence.” His method of addressing teaching values within an institute was to separate the common school from a specific religious …show more content…

Dewey’s philosophy of education rooted itself in the idea of learning by doing, this was in contrast to typical, traditional common schools, the curriculum did not focus on students listening to a teacher lecture while they sat attentively in the classroom. Dewey’s method was hands on and child-centered. Creativity, self-development and a push back against standardization characterized Dewey’s model of education. The progressive movement was primarily an effort to change the philosophy of teaching concerning the development of students and curriculum …show more content…

Traditionally, morality and values in schools have been taught using Christian guidelines, such as the King James Bible for Horace Mann’s common school and the early colonial schools who relied heavily on religious doctrine in their teaching. In 1962, the supreme court cases Engel v. Vitale and Abington School District v. Schempp banned school sponsored prayers and Bible reading. These rulings affirm Jefferson’s philosophy of separation of church and state and a secular public school system, they also challenge traditional aspects of American education. The debate surrounding values education warrants an acknowledgement of religion’s role in public

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