In the early 1800’s education in America grew and developed rapidly, largely because of the works of three very important men: Noah Webster, William McGuffey, and Horace Mann. These three men were catalysts for the growth of education throughout the nineteenth century, and without them the large strides America took during this time would not have occurred. These great men all shared one goal: to educate the youth of America as well as possible. This was no small task, however, because the educational system in place was disorganized and had several large problems that had to be overcome.
The task of correcting the many problems that faced education in the early 1800’s required the genius of many men to correct. Perhaps the largest problem facing early American schools was the lack of training undergone by the teachers of the time. Teachers were often untrained and unprepared, acting more as babysitters and less as instructors. Schoolhouses also posed a problem; many were small and overcrowded, with no desks and little to no teaching materials (www.nd.edu). One very large problem noticed particularly by Noah Webster was the fact that all the textbooks originated from England. America was still feeling a need for separation from England at this time, and teaching the American youth with English materials was not helping in the strive for true independence (www.ctstateu.com). These problems with the educational system proved to be difficult to correct, and some of them are still faced by boards of education even today.
The man with the greatest influence on modern language and spelling is Noah Webster. Webster found fault in the use of English textbooks in American schools, so he wrote his own, fully American textbook. Grammatical Institute of the English Language was the first textbook written specifically for Americans, and it was very influential with students across the country. The book was such a success that it was used in.
Child Labor Laws In The 1800's
Child Labor, once known as the practice of employing young children in factories, now it's used as a term for the employment of minors in general, especially in work that would interfere with their education or endanger their health. Throughout history and in all cultures children would work in the fields with their parents, or in the marketplace and young girls in the home until they were old enough to perform simple tasks. The use of child labor was not a problem until the Factory System. The Factory System is a working arrangement where a number of people cooperate to produce articles of consumption. Some form of Factory system has existed even since ancient times.
In the later part of the 18th century in Britain, owners of cotton mills gathered up orphans and children of poor families all through the country, and had them work for the payment of housing and food.
Some children as young as five or six were forced to work from 13 to 16 hours a day.
Social reformers as early as 1802 tried to obtain legislative restrictions against the worst parts of the child-labor system, but little happened and little was done even to enforce existing laws which limited work hours and establishing a minimum age for employment. Children were permitted to work in dangerous jobs such as mining with the approval from political, social, and religious leaders. From this further impoverishment of poor families and a multitude of diseased and crippled children occurred.
Agitation for the reform steadily increased. The first significant British Legislation was enacted in 1878, when the minimum age of employees was raised to 10 years and employers were required to restrict employment of children between the ages of 10 and 14 to alternate days.Citation styles:
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Education Reform Movements in the 1800s
Before the Movements
Before all of the reforms were started there were very little public schools and those few schools were probably 3rd rate because of the uneducated teachers. Most of the schools were private school that required tuition to attend. This limited education to rich males. Women were allowed to attend school but only up to grammar school. This is because women were considered to be unable to understand higher levels of education. African American children were not allowed to go to school at all.
How the movement changed over time
With limited education women began to protest. Their protests would make a change but first there were some other alterations. Around 1810 public schools began to spread a little more. These schools were supported by taxes. Horace Mann was a very strong advocate for public schools. He lived to better the quality of public schools along with allowing more women to attend them. Mainly because of Mann, by the mid-1800s most schools abided by 3 principles. These were that school should be funded by taxes and be free to the public, teachers should be well educated before teaching, and that school should be required for children.
Even though these changes were made women still didn't have full rights to education. Most high schools and colleges didn't allow women to attend their schools but in 1837 Oberlin College in Ohio became the first college that women could attend. This was one big step that led to more schools opening their doors for females. By 1877 Helen Magill became the first woman to earn her Ph.D. By the end of the 1800s there were a lot more public schools. Most of them were better quality than the beginning of the reforms and most of them did permit women to attend. Even though this time period was a huge step for women's education, there were still schools that didn't allow females and jobs outside of school that only hired males.
How well did the education reforms change women's education?
I did learn what I set out to find. I basically wanted to see how much of a struggle women had to get a decent education and it was surely a big one.
Women's Education Today
There aren't many problems today with equality of education in America the main problem is outside of school. A recent study by Yale showed that most people will hire males over females even if they have the same qualifications. It also showed that if the woman does get the job she would have a lower set salary than a man. Could this be the next step in equality of genders?
My opinion of the reform movements
At first glance of the packet that I read in class I would have graded the movement a B. After my research my opinion was swayed a little. Even though it is clear that white males benefited most by public schools women still had their share. I graded the movement a B because the packet said that most (not all) schools allowed women to attend and it left out a lot of information. Through my research I found a lot of details about women doing great things in academics and schools changing their policies just for the fact that women were protesting with a strong passion. Now I realize just how much effort women and men put into these reforms and the accomplishments they had. It definitely earned it's A.
1) Allowing women to get a better education that was equivalent to a male's education.
2) Better educating teachers and raising their salary.
3) Creating more and better quality public schools in America.
Around this time (mid 1800s) schools were also being opened for children with disabilities. As well as attempts for public schools for African American. Most failed but the ones that were successful had setbacks such as lower income.
Did I learn what I wanted to?
"Education - REFORM MOVEMENTS--1800s." REFORM MOVEMENTS--1800s. N.p. n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2014. <http://reformmovements1800s.weebly.com/education.html>.
"Educational Reform (1790 - 1860)." Educational Reform (1790 - 1860). N.p. n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. <http://www.slideshare.net/KristinaBowers/educational-reform-1790-1860>.
"Education in the 1800's." Education in the 1800's. N.p. n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2014. <http://www.mass.gov/portal/government-taxes/laws/interactive-state-house/key-events/education-in-the-1800s.html>.
"Equity In Elementary and Secondary Education: Race, Gender, and National Origin Issues: African American Timeline." Equity In Elementary and Secondary Education: Race, Gender, and National Origin Issues: African American Timeline. N.p. n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2014. <http://sitemaker.umich.edu/educationalequity/african_american_timeline>.
"NWHM Exhibit: The History of Women and Education." NWHM Exhibit: The History of Women and Education. N.p. n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2014. <http://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/education/Timeline.htm>.
Pollack, Eileen. "Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?" The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 Mar. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/magazine/why-are-there-still-so-few-women-in-science.html?_r=1&>.More presentations by Adysen Rothman
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In the 1800s, there were only few ways for people to communicate between each other. One of the most common ways to spread information was through the use of books. Mail was not very efficient during the early part of the 1800s and there was no guarantee that the message would arrive or get their quickly. During the 1840s, the invention of the telegraph by F.B Morse was able to send messages much more quickly.
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This week, most kids in the United States are returning to school after the summer break. and they’re probably not thrilled about going back. But taking a look at what American schools were like in the 1800s might convince them how much tougher it could be—and just how good they’ve got it.
1. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, one room schoolhouses were the norm in rural areas. A single teacher taught grades one through eight together. The youngest students—called Abecedarians, because they would learn their ABCs —sat in the front, while the oldest sat in the back. The room was heated by a single wood stove.
2. There was no transportation to get to school. Most schoolhouses were built to serve students living within 4 or 5 miles, which was considered close enough for them to walk.
3. At some schools, boys and girls entered through separate doors; they were also kept separate for lessons.
4. The school year was much shorter back then. When the Department of Education first began gathering data on the subject in the 1869-70 school year [PDF ], students attended school for about 132 days (the standard year these days is 180) depending on when they were needed to help their families harvest crops. Attendance was just 59 percent. School days typically started at 9am and wrapped up at 2pm or 4pm, depending on the area; there was one hour for recess and lunch, which was called “nooning."
5. Forget Trapper Keepers and gel pens —there were no fancy school supplies in the 19th and early-20th centuries. Students made do with just a slate and some chalk [PDF ].
6. Sometimes, students helped the teacher teach. In the monitorial or Lancasterian system. the older, stronger students learned lessons directly from the teacher, then taught the younger, weaker students.
7. Lessons were quite different than they are today. Teachers taught subjects including reading, writing, arithmetic, history, grammar, rhetoric, and geography (you can see some 19th century textbooks here and here ). Students would memorize their lessons, and the teacher would bring them to the front of the room as a class to recite what they’d learned—so the teacher could correct them on things like pronunciation on the spot—while the other students continued to work behind them.
8. Teachers sometimes lived with their students’ families. According to Michael Day at the Country School Association of America. this practice was called “boarding round,” and it often involved the teacher moving from one students’ house to the next as often as every week. One Wisconsin teacher wrote of boarding with families in 1851,
I found it very unpleasant, especially during the winter and spring terms, for one week I would board where I would have a comfortable room; the next week my room would be so open that the snow would blow in, and sometimes I would find it on my bed, and also in it. A part of the places where I boarded I had flannel sheets to sleep in; and the others cotton. But the most unpleasant part was being obliged to walk through the snow and water. I suffered much from colds and a cough.
9. Discipline was very strict. Sure, stepping out of line in the 1800s and early 1900s could result in detention, suspension, or expulsion, but it could also result in a lashing. According to a document [PDF ] outlining student and teacher rules created by the Board of Education in Franklin, Ohio, from 1883,
Pupils may be detained at any recess or not exceeding fifteen minutes after the hour for closing the afternoon session, when the teacher deems such detention necessary, for the commitment of lessons or for the enforcement of discipline. … Whenever it shall become necessary for teachers to resort to corporal punishment, the same shall not be inflicted upon head or hands of the pupil.
Not all places had such a rule, though; in other areas, teachers could use a ruler or pointer to lash a student’s knuckles or palms [PDF ]. Other punishments included holding a heavy book for more than an hour and writing “I will not…” do a certain activity on the blackboard 100 times.
10. No lunch was provided by the school, even if families had the money for it; kids brought their lunches to school in metal pails. Every student drank water from a bucket filled by the older boys using the same tin cup.
11. For many, education ended after just eighth grade; in order to graduate, students would have to pass a final exam. You can see a sample of a typical 8th grade exam in Nebraska circa 1895 in this PDF. It includes questions like “Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications,” “A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?,” and “What are elementary sounds? How classified?” Take the test yourself and let us know how you did in the comments!
Thursday, January 7, 2016 - 3:40pm