Mid-term Perspectives American


Colonial Education

Approx. 1600 - Approx. 1760

Colonies take various approaches to education in the absence of direct British intervention, creating several different administrative and curricular systems to educate students (93).

John Locke

Approx. 1632 - Approx. 1704

John Locke expounds his philosophical ideas, sewing the seeds for the American Revolution as well as American Education. His concept of Tabula Rosa is one of the major influences on American Education today (118).

Old Deluder Satan Act


General Court of Massachusetts courts pass the Old Deluder Satan Act, requiring towns to establish and fund schools (104).

First Property Tax to fund schools


Dedham, Massachusetts, requires a property tax to help fund the local school, making it the first town in the nation's history to call for public funding of schools (104).

American Revolution


Schooling grinds to a halt as the American colonies vie for independence from Great Britain.

Ordinance of 1785


The post-revolutionary government of the newly formed United States declines establishing a national education system. They do, however, choose to set aside space in the as-of-yet unsettled Northwest Territory for school houses (125).

Age of Common School Revival

Approx. 1812 - Approx. 1865

The New England idea of a common education opportunity for all becomes the common idea of the nation, leading to the establishment of public-funded schools across the nation (146).

Women Teachers

Approx. 1821 - Approx. 1855

The value of women as educators begins to be recognized by society, but women are still underpaid compared to their male peers. Institutions for training women as teachers begin to appear throughout the United States (161-162).

Anti-discrimination law


Massachusetts passes a law that prevents discrimination against minorities in public schools (162).

Hectograph becomes used by teachers


The hectograph allows for the production of printed material for teachers to use in the classroom (173).

NEA decides on curriculum for elementary schools


The NEA decides on a common curriculum for elementary schools which influences us even today (210-211).

WWI era

Approx. 1900 - Approx. 1930

America starts to emphasize vocational and industrial training in its high schools. This movement might have been in response to an increased involvement in international affairs following WWI (222-223).

Electric Typewriter invented


The electric typewriter is the first step towards changing the way students created and submitted their work. Keyboarding, a skill required now in all disciplines, began with the popularization of the electric typewriter following 1935 (173).

WWII era

Approx. 1935 - Approx. 1970

This era of American education saw the encouragement of engineering and science programs in an attempt to compete with international rivals in Europe and the Soviet Union.

Sputnik is launched


Sputnik is launched, prompting education to focus on excellence and encouraging science and math education and leading to the National Defense of Education Act (236).

The Civil Rights Movement

Approx. 1960 - Approx. 1980

The Civil Rights movement causes mass reorganization of busing and schools to allow for better integration of ethnic minorities (236).

Contant's study of teacher education is published


James B. Conant publishes his study of teacher education, asserting that colleges are responsible for deciding which courses teachers take (246).

Elementary and Secondary Education Act


Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 provides funding for books and other materials for classrooms (243).

Higher Education Act


Higher Education Act provides funding for books and other materials for classrooms in colleges and creates the National Teacher Corps (243).

Education for All Handicapped Children


President Ford signs Education for All Handicapped Children, providing all children with free and appropriate education (251).

the 1980s

Approx. 1980 - Approx. 1990

There is great distrust of public schooling, and teachers are often accused of teaching values clarification to students, placing fear in parents that their children are being brainwashed (237).

A Nation at Risk is published


A Nation at Risk brings to light many of the issues within the American education system. Though its methods are controversial, the issues it raises spurns much of the following changes within American education (262).

Common knowledge standards among teachers established


American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education attempt to form a common knowledge base which should be shared among all teachers (240).



Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is put into effect, helping to enhance the education of those with disabilities through the creation of IEPs (251-252).

Personal Connections

How I believe these events influenced my educational career

Colonial/Pre-revolution Era

Approx. 1600 - 1776

The significance of this era for me comes in the way in which this time period set the stage for our modern system. Public funding of education, requiring schools in towns, and that children are blank slates to be drawn on by society are all fundamental beliefs for me and the modern world. All of these events impacted my education and will impact my job as an educator.

"Formative years" of American Education

1776 - 1900

I dub these years the "formative years" of American education because it was during this time that the system which we know today first began to take shape. Here we see the shift away from academies towards publicly funded schools as well as the shift towards women becoming an integral part of the teaching workforce. The personal significance for this era for me is the establishment of the system I have come to love today. People in a local community mutually agree that education is important for everyone and pay to provide such an education with tax revenue.

The Establishment of the American Dream of Education

1900 - 1960

During this era, my great-grandparents and grandparents were born. Many of my instructors were also born during this time. This era in American education saw the formation of an ideal which was taught to me throughout my education: that by pursuing an education, I could ensure myself a better future than my elders. My grandparents in particular instilled in me the idea that my education was not just for me but for the betterment of my future.

My Parent's Era

1960 - 2000

This era was when my parents received their education. The large number of reforms and innovations which occurred during this time helped to set my parents up for the success in education, vicariously benefiting me and my education.