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A biography of horace mann the father of the american school system

Mann grew up in an environment ruled by poverty, hardship, and self-denial. He was taught briefly and erratically by comparatively poor teachers, but he managed to educate himself in the Franklin town library, and, with tutoring in Latin and Greek from Samuel Barrett later a leading Unitarian ministerhe gained admission at the age of 20 to the sophomore class at Brown University Providence, Rhode Island.

He did brilliant work at Brown, manifesting great interest in problems of politics, education, and social reform; his valedictory address, on the gradual advancement of the human race in dignity and happiness, was a model of humanitarian optimism, offering a way in which education, philanthropy, and republicanism could combine to allay the wants and shortcomings that beset mankind.

  • Most famously, he led the campaign to ensure that every child received basic schooling paid for by local taxes;
  • Mann also reinvigorated the 1827 law establishing high schools, and fifty high schools were created during his tenure;
  • He observed, "A republican form of government, without intelligence in the people, must be, on a vast scale, what a mad-house, without superintendent or keepers, would be on a small one;
  • In the year 1827 Mann won a seat in the state legislature and in 1833 ran for State Senate and won;
  • Mann knew that the quality of rural schools had to be raised, and that teaching was the key to that improvement;
  • Prepared by Pam Mason-King.

Upon graduation in 1819 Mann chose law as a career. He read law briefly with a Wrentham, Massachusetts, lawyer, taught for a year at Brown, and then studied at Litchfield Connecticut Law School, which led to his admission to the bar in 1823.

  1. He was not the first to propose state-sponsored teacher training institutes James Carter had recommended them in the 1820s , but, in 1838, he was crucial to the actual establishment of the first Normal Schools in Massachusetts.
  2. Horace Mann, A Biography, 1972.
  3. He went on to study law at Litchfield Law School and finally received admission to the bar in 1823 15, Filler.

He settled in DedhamMassachusetts, and there his legal acumen and oratorical skill soon won him a seat in the state House of Representatives, where he served from 1827 to 1833. There he led the movement that established a state hospital for the insane at Worcesterthe first of its kind in the United States.

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In 1833 he moved to Boston, and from 1835 to 1837 he served in the Massachusetts Senate, of which he was president in 1836. Of the many causes Mann espoused, none was dearer to him than popular education.

  • Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity;
  • He felt that through education crime would decline sharply as would a host of moral vices like violence and fraud;
  • He did brilliant work at Brown, manifesting great interest in problems of politics, education, and social reform; his valedictory address, on the gradual advancement of the human race in dignity and happiness, was a model of humanitarian optimism, offering a way in which education, philanthropy, and republicanism could combine to allay the wants and shortcomings that beset mankind.

Nineteenth-century Massachusetts could boast a public school system going back to 1647. The result was the establishment in 1837 of a state board of education, charged with collecting and publicizing school information throughout the state.

Much against the advice of friends, who thought he was tossing aside a promising political career, Mann accepted the first secretaryship of this board. Endowed with little direct power, the new office demanded moral leadership of the highest order and this Mann supplied for 11 years.

He started a biweekly Common School Journal in 1838 for teachers and lectured widely to interested groups of citizens.

Horace Mann

His 12 annual reports to the board ranged far and wide through the field of pedagogystating the case for the public school and discussing its problems. Essentially his message centred on six fundamental propositions: Mann encountered strong resistance to these ideas—from clergymen who deplored nonsectarian schools, from educators who condemned his pedagogy as subversive of classroom authority, and from politicians who opposed the board as an improper infringement of local educational authority—but his views prevailed.

  • April 20, 1837, Mann left his law practice and accepted the post of the newly founded Secretary of Education" 6, Cremin;
  • In 1823, Mann was admitted to the bar;
  • He played an important role in enacting laws that forbade the sale of alcohol and lottery tickets;
  • There he led the movement that established a state hospital for the insane at Worcester , the first of its kind in the United States;
  • Endowed with little direct power, the new office demanded moral leadership of the highest order and this Mann supplied for 11 years.

Mann resigned the secretaryship in 1848 to take the seat of former Pres. John Quincy Adams in the U.

  1. Two months before that he had given his own valedictory in a final address to the graduating class; " I beseech you to treasure up in your hearts these my parting words. During his years as Secretary of Education Mann published twelve annual reports on aspects of his work and programs, and the integral relationship between education, freedom, and Republican government.
  2. He became a representative in the Massachusetts state legislature from 1827 to 1833.
  3. He also recognized that the corps of teachers for the new Common Schools were most likely to be women, and he argued forcefully if, by contemporary standards, sometimes insultingly for the recruitment of women into the ranks of teachers, often through the Normal Schools. He then went on to study at the Litchfield Law School.
  4. Mann's schooling consisted only of brief and erratic periods of eight to ten weeks a year. These developments were all part of Mann's driving determination to create a system of effective, secular, universal education in the United States.

There he proved himself to be a fierce enemy of slavery. In 1853, having run unsuccessfully for the Massachusetts governorship a year before, he accepted the presidency of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohioa new institution committed to coeducation, nonsectarianism, and equal opportunity for African Americans.

There, amidst the usual crises attendant upon an infant college, Mann finished out his years. Two months before he died, he had given his own valedictory to the graduating class: Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.