How Did Horace Mann Improve Society

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Horace Mann, a Brown University-educated lawyer, believed that the common school was a method to improve society. The best government, he felt, was a society in which people governed themselves through representatives that they had elected. In order to elect the proper officials, voters had to make informed and educated decisions. The only way that this was possible, according to Mann, was if voters were “literate, diligent, productive, and responsible citizens” (Gutek, 106). While Mann himself associated with the Whig ideology, he wanted the common school to be unbiased. The common school was to produce well educated individuals who could contribute to political situations while being free of political party association. Mann also emphasized the importance that a partnership between local districts and states played in the success of a public institution. He gave the state the majority of the control of the school.…show more content…
While other countries exclusively educated upper-class males, Mann wanted to educated students in a diverse setting. Students of different social, economic, religious, and ethnic backgrounds were all integrated together. These students were taught a curriculum that Mann designed to “prepare people for practical life and citizenship, including reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, history, geography, health, music, and art” (Gutek, 107). Today, many of Mann’s educational principles are still in place. The modern public school is a melting pot consisting of students from different socio-economic statuses, ethnic backgrounds, and religious communities; just like he had imagined. These students follow a curriculum that models Mann’s ideal curriculum. With the exception of music and art, all of the subjects that Mann considered important are deemed mandatory. While geography and spelling are no longer subjects that stand alone, they have been combined with other
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