History of American Education

Genearl USA History

Colon discovered America


African Immigration


Spanish Immigration


French Immigration


The English build a settlement in Jamestown, Virginia.


English Immigration


Dutch Immigration


Swedes Immigration



1650 - 1780

Delink Church and State

American Revolution

1775 - 1783

The 13 colonies sign the Declaration of Independence.

July 1776

The U.S. Constitution is written.


Americal Civil War

April 1861 - 1865

World War 1

1914 - 1918

World War II

1939 - 1945

Civil Rights Act


Protection of civil rights; court ordered desegregation plans

General Educational Trends

Informal family education, apprenticeships, dame schools and tutors

1600 - 1700

Development of national interest, state responsibility and growth of secondary education

1700 - 1800

Increasing role of public secondary schools, increased but segregated education for women and minorities, attention to teacher preparation

1800 - 1900

Increasing federal support for educational rights of underachieving students; increased federal funding of categorical education programs

1900 - 2000

American Education

Local Schools (1600s - 1800s)

1600 - 1800

First Started in towns and lated expanded to include larger districts, these schools were open to those who could afford to pay. Found generally in New England, these schools taught basic skills and religion.

Latin Grammar Schools (1600s - 1700s)

1600 - 1700

These Schools prepared wealthy men for college and emphasized a classical curriculum, Including Latin and some Greek. From European roots, the curriculum in these schools reflected the belief that the pinnacle of civilization was reached in the Roman Empire.

  1. From ages 7 to 11 - 1st to 5th
  2. Math, incorporated
  3. Expected to go on to college to become leaders (especially ministers)

Dame Schools (1600s)

1600 - 1700

These private schools taught by women in their homes offered child care for working parents willing to pay a fee. The dames who taught here received poor wages, and the quality of instruction varied greatly.
Women conducted schools in their homes.
Offered minimal instruction
Informal, co-ed, limited resources, early behavioral management.

Itinerant Schools (1700s) and Tutors (1600 - 1900)

1600 - 1900

Rural America could not support schools and full-time teachers. As a result, in sparsely populated New England, itinerant teachers carried schooling from village to village; they lived in people’s homes and provided instruction. In the South, private tutors taught the rich. Traveling teachers and tutors, usually working for a fee and room and board, took varying levels of education to small towns and wealthy populations.
Itinerant: Traveling from place to place.

Boston Latin Grammar School

  1. For rich boys - Wealth was critical
  2. Poor could go with Pauper’s Oath.
  3. Similar to the classical schools of Europe. (ages 7 to 14)

Harvard College founded to prepare ministers


Foudned to prepare ministers

New England Primer Published

1687 - 1890

The New England Primer was the first reading primer designed for the American Colonies. It became the most successful educational textbook published in 18th century America and it became the foundation of most schooling before the 1790s.

Private Schools (1700s - 1800s)

1700 - 1800

Private schools, often located in the middle colonies, offered a variety of special studies. These schools constituted a true free market, as parentis paid for the kind of private school they desired. As you might imagine, both curricula and the quality of these schools varied greatly.

English Grammar Schools (1700s)

1700 - 1800

These private schools moved away from the classical Latin tradition to more practical studies. These schools were viewed not as preparation for college, but as preparation for business careers and as a means of instilling social graces. Some of these schools set a precedent by admitting white girls.

Academies (1700s - 1800s)

1700 - 1800

The academies where a combination of Latin and English grammar schools. These schools taught English, not Latin. Practical course were taught, but history and the classics were also included. Some academies emphasized college preparation, while others emphasized vocational studies.

Franklin Academy in Philadelphia


Now UPenn.
Example of how secondary schools evolved.

The American Spelling Book


Systematic instructional materials
Noah Webster

African Free School (NY)


High schools (1800s- present)

1800 - Present

These secondary schools differed from their predecessors in that they were free; the were governed by the public, not by private boards. The high school can be viewed as an extension of the common school movement to the secondary level. High schools we open to all social classes and provided both precollege and career education.

First black primary school (Boston)


Emma Willard's Troy Female Seminary opens


In 1821, Emma Hart Willard opened the Troy Female Seminary in Troy, New York to provide young women with the same higher education as their male peers. Prior to the school's founding, young women had been unable to pursue the advanced curricular offerings in mathematics, classical languages, and the sciences that were taught to their male counterparts.

English Classical School (Boston)


First free secondary School

First (private) normal school opens in Vermont


Common Schools (1830 - present)

1830 - Present

Common Schools (1830 - present)
The common school movement was a radical departure from earlier ones in several ways:
Free and open to all social classes. Horace Mann’s idea was to bring democracy to the classroom. Now called elementary schools.

McGuffey Readers

1836 - 1920

Systematic Instruction Materials
McGuffey Readers were a series of graded primers, including grade levels 1-6, widely used as textbooks in American schools from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, and are still used today in some private schools and in homeschooling.

Horace Mann - Superintendent of Mass. Board of Education


Creating of Massachusetts State Board of Education (Horace Mann)

Froebel founded first kindergarden


First public normal school in Massachusetts


Education as a gendered career towards men

1850 - 1860

Public School Movement Accomplishements


185 academies
263, 096 enrollment

  1. Regularize and systematize schooling
  2. Establish separation of church/state

Tuskegee University


Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university located in Tuskegee, Alabama, USA; established by Booker T. Washington.

University of Chicago - Dewey


Women constituted 90% of teachers

  1. Prefered women who were unmarried and unlikely to marry. Not suffer from the dual loyalties inherent in serving both husband and employer.
  2. Teacher = solterona
  3. Teacherages — apartments to accommodate new working class.

Junior High schools (1909- present)

1909 - Present

Junior High schools (1909- present)
Junior high schools (7 - 9 grade) were designed to meet the unique needs of preadolescents and to prepare them for the high school experience.

First Junior High school in Columbus Ohio


Campaign to hire married women

1920 - 1930

to get rid of negative feelings towards teachers.

Middle Schools (1950s - present)

1950 - Present

Middle schools (grades 5 - 8) were designed to meet the unique needs of preadolescents and to prepare them for the high school experience.

First Middle school in Bay City, Michigan



Old Deluder Satan Law


The Massachusetts School Laws were three legislative acts of 1642, 1647 and 1648 enacted in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The most famous by far is the law of 1647, also known as the Old Deluder Satan Law (after the law's first sentence) and The General School Law of 1642. They are regarded as historical first step toward compulsory government-directed public education in the United States of America.

Mandatory School Laws Spread


such laws were spread throughout most New England.

South Carolina denies education to blacks


Land Ordinance Act


Reserve land for education purposes

Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress did not have the power to raise revenue by direct taxation of the inhabitants of the United States. Therefore, the immediate goal of the ordinance was to raise money through the sale of land in the largely unmapped territory west of the original states acquired after the end of the Revolutionary War in the 1783 Treaty of Paris.

Northwest Ordinance


Reserve land for education purposes

Teach slaves reading unlawful (South)


Kalamazoo Michigan case


taxes can be used to sponsor secondary education.
In 1875 a lawsuit was filed in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to collect public funds for the support of a village high school. The town had used taxes to support the school for thirteen years without complaints from the citizens. The defendants in the case, the school officials, felt that a select few out of thousands need not dispute their obligation to pay taxes for the purpose of supporting a high school.

Plessy v. Ferguson


Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in public facilities under the doctrine of "separate but equal.

Brown vs Board of Education:


Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.

National Defense Education Act (NDEA)

  1. Develop young minds for national defense. 2.Education not in the constitution. Each state developed its educational practices.
  2. Influence through targeted funding or categorical grants.

Funds science, math, and foreign language programs

Project Headstart

  1. Periodic medical exams and immunizations
  2. Pre-school education
  3. Meals and snacks
  4. Parent involvement and education

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

  1. Low income family support
  2. Improve libraries and materials
  3. School lunch and breakfast programs
  4. Bilingual education programs
  5. Drug education programs

Bilingual Education Act


1.Educational services to English Language Learners
2. Funding decreasing

Serrano vs. Priest


Serrano vs. Priest (1971): The California Supreme Court struck down the state’s financing system as unconstitutional and the Clara education as a fundamental right. Rejecting the high reliance on local property tax system.

Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in schools


San Antonio vs. Rodrigues


San Antonio versus Rodriguez (1973): the Supreme Court ruled against Rodrigues (who claimed that the system violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee for equal protection under the law) deferring the long history of local communities funding neighborhood schools.

Public Law 93-142


Education for all handicapped Children Act

Edgewood vs. Kirby


Edgewood vs. Kirby (1989): The Texas Supreme Court issued an unanimous decision that such differences violated the Texas Constitution, in order Texas to devise their plan.

The No Child Left Behind Act


NCLB is a United States Act of Congress that is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which included Title I, the government's flagship aid program for disadvantaged students. NCLB supports standards-based education reform based on the premise that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education.

  1. State standards for grades 3-8
  2. Annual testing of reading and math
  3. Poorly performing schools face restrictions
  4. Improve teacher quality
  5. Parental choice


Benjamin Franklin

1706 - 1790
  1. Franklin Academy (1751), secondary school model
  2. Free of religious influence
  3. Variety of practical courses
  4. Boys & girls accepted

Thomas Jefferson

1743 - 1823
  1. Education widely available to all classes of children
  2. Provided at government expense
  3. Free of religious influence

Fredrich Froebel

1782 - 1852

For establishing kindergarten as an integral part of a child's education
Came from German ideas

Horace Mann

1796 - 1859
  1. Opportunity for all children to become literate
  2. Instill common belief system
  3. Embedded in community; local values dominate
  4. Compulsory school attendance
  5. Preparation for adult life
  6. Improved teacher training
  7. Founded Normal Schools
  8. Improved school conditions

Catherine Beecher

1800 - 1878

Beecher’s educational philosophy:
1. hands-on learning
2. not giving awards because learning is for the sake of learning.
3. opposed role memorization
4. taught ‘sophisticated’ classes
5. “the great uses of study are to enable her to regular her own mind and to be useful to others”, primarily as a teacher.

Beecher had to make the point that female teachers was the best option/ was good for society and not only for the women
Better teachers than the men that were currently presiding classrooms.
1. She helped ignite a moral panic about male teachers.
2. Cheaper — saving strategy for governments launching compulsory school for the first time.

Prudence Crandall

1803 - 1889

For her integrity and bravery in bringing education to African American girls

Born of Quaker parents

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

1815 - 1902

She was an American social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early women's rights movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the Seneca Falls Convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized women's rights and women's suffrage movements in the United States.

Myrtilla Miner

1815 - 1864

was an American educator and abolitionist whose school for African American girls, established against considerable opposition, grew to a successful and long-lived teachers institution.

She established a Normal School for AA teachers in Washington DC.

Susan B. Anthony

1820 - 1906

was an American social reformer and feminist who played a pivotal role in the women's suffrage movement. Born into a Quaker family committed to social equality, she collected anti-slavery petitions at the age of 17. In 1856, she became the New York state agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society.

Anna J Cooper

1858 - 1964

was an American author, educator, speaker and one of the most prominent African-American scholars in United States history. Upon receiving her PhD in history from the University of Paris-Sorbonne in 1924, Cooper became the fourth African-American woman to earn a doctoral degree. She was also a prominent member of Washington, D.C.'s African-American community.

John Dewey

1859 - 1952

Maria Montessori

1870 - 1952

For her work in identifying the educational potential of young children
She concluded that children have an inner need to work at tasks that interest them.
Practical and formal skills.
Individual instruction
carefully prepared environment.

Mary McLeod Bathune

1875 - 1955

For her contributions in moving a people from intellectual slavery to education.
Founded a school that eventually became Bethune-Cookman College. (black)

Jean Piagget

1896 - 1980

Profiled for his creation of a theory of cognitive development.

BF Skinner

1904 - 1990

Contributions in altering environments to promote learning.

Kenneth Clark

1914 - 2005

For his work in identifying the crippling effects of racism on all american children and in formulating community actions to overcome the educational, psychological and economic impacts of racism.

Psychologist who studies the effects of segregation.

Paulo Reglus Neves Freire

1921 - 1997

For his global effort to mobilize education in the cause of social justice.
Against teacher centered approaches.
Advocate that education should be a space for social change

Nel Noddings

1929 - Present

She is an American feminist, educationalist, and philosopher best known for her work in philosophy of education, educational theory, and ethics of care.
While consequentialist and deontological ethical theories emphasize universal standards and impartiality, ethics of care emphasize the importance of response. The shift in moral perspective is manifest by a change in the moral question from "what is just?" to "how to respond?"

Philosophies of Education

Booker Taliaferro Washington

1856 - 1915

He was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community.

William Edward Burghardt "W. E. B." Du Bois

1868 - 1963

was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author and editor. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Du Bois grew up in a relatively tolerant and integrated community. After graduating from Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate, he became a professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University. Du Bois was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.


1890 - Present

Charles Hamilton Houston

1895 - 1950

Charles Hamilton Houston (September 3, 1895 – April 22, 1950) was a prominent African-American lawyer, Dean of Howard University Law School, and NAACP Litigation Director who played a significant role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws

Progressive education Programs


Social Reconstructionism

1920 - Present


1930 - Present

William Bagley popularized the term essentialism and has been dominant since WWII.


1950 - 2000