Victoria Ramriez: Education in America during the Colonial Era

By Tori712
  • Part 1: Harvard University

    “Harvard was founded in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and named for its first donor, the Reverend John Harvard, who left his personal library and half his estate to the new institution” (Harvard College). Today this is the oldest higher institution in the United States and is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. In the beginning this institution was very small with faculty but grew creating graduate programs in medical and law in
  • Part 2: Harvard University

    the 18th century. It also was established for ministry leadership but later transitioned into a true university in the mid-19th Century by providing a library, labs and a history museum.
  • Part 1: First American Academy for Girls

    In the early national period, women in the 18th century began to be given more opportunity to education than from the previous century. Other than basic education of reading, writing and mathematics, women from wealthy families could attend “academic” schools or institutions that gave more girls educational opportunities and progressions. “One of the most pivotal events in the history of women’s education was the opening of The Young Ladies Academy” (National Women’s History Museum, 2007). This
  • Part 2: First American Academy for Girls

    academy was first established in 1787 and is said to be the first all-female academy. Almost one hundred girls were enrolled in this academy a year after they opened.
  • Part 2: The Blackboard

    instructor to use the blackboard. Eventully, the blackboard was being used in more classrooms across the nation and became a beneficial teaching material. “By the mid-1800s blackboards were in nearly every classroom in the U.S., however not every school was able to afford one” (Team Clarus, 2012). Although some teachers could not afford blackboards, it was also was a financial saving for teachers because they no longer had to use slates and helped visual learners.
  • Part 1: The Blackboard

    In a world where teachers had no way of presenting letters, numbers, and sentences in a visual way, classes were taught from books and individual instruction. This is how lessons were taught in the early 19th century; that is until the blackboard was invented in 1801. “James Pillans, Headmaster of the Old High School in Edinburgh, Scotland has been credited with the invention” (Team Clarus, 2012). This was in Scotland but an instructor by the name of George Baron was the first American
  • Part 2: First American High School

    by the parents of the students” (The English High School). In 1820 the Boston School committee decided to create a secondary school for boy where the curriculum had strong emphasis on the English Language to educate boy who could not go to Harvard but received education in business, mechanics and engineering. “In 1821, English Classical School was opened with an enrollment of 101 boys” (The English High School). Today this school continues to be recognized as the first American High school.
  • Part 1: First American High School

    The English High School of Boston now known as The English High School is America’s first established high school. This school began in 1821 and is located in Boston Massachusetts where it was originally called The English School where in its early years had several locations of its institution. “This school, with an emphasis on the study of Greek and Latin, was primarily a preparatory school for Divinity students at Harvard. The Academy was so called because it was paid for, at least in part,
  • Part 1: Horace Mann Massachusetts State Board of Education

    In 1837 Horace Mann became secretary of the newly formed and history’s first state board of education, Massachusetts State Board of Education. “The Massachusetts education system, with a history going back to 1647, was suffering, and the quality of education was deteriorating” (Horace Mann). But with reforms and movements, the establishment of Massachusetts State Board of Education and Mann as its secretary will help in the area of education. Mann was born in poverty in Massachusetts in 1796
  • Part 2: Horace Mann Massachusetts State Board of Education

    where he was self-taught and by the age of 20 he was at Brown University where he studied in politics, education and social reform. “From 1835 to 1837, he served in the Massachusetts Senate, spending time as the majority leader and aiming his sight at infrastructure improvements via the construction of railroads and canals, among other projects” (Horace Mann).When Mann became Secretary of Massachusetts State Board of Education, there his ideas on education reform, teachers conventions, developin
  • Part 3: Horace Mann Massachusetts State Board of Education

    developing new school systems and influencing his Six Principles of Education shaped and made successful changes in the Massachusetts education system that influenced other states as well.
  • Part 2: Elizabeth Blackwell

    women barrier and not an easy road. “She studied independently with a doctor before getting accepted to the Geneva Medical College in upstate New York in 1847” (Elizabeth Blackwell). Now although she received massive criticism from classmates and even the public, but with a firm determination she gained respect and opened a few practices in New York, established a medical school for women and was the first women listed on the British Medical Register.
  • Part 1: Elizabeth Blackwell

    “Despite opposition from both fellow students and the public, she became the first woman to graduate from medical school in the United States” (Elizabeth Blackwell). Born in Bristol, England at the age of 11 Blackwell and her family moved to the states where she helped her mother and sister open a school and decided to pursue a career in medicine. Most women at this time only had little education in reading, writing and math but only a few such as Elizabeth took the opportunity to break the
  • Part 1: First Public Library

    The fist official Library to be open to the public in the United States was the Boston Public Library in Boston Massachusetts. “Although state legislation enabling the establishment of a public library in the City of Boston was passed in 1848, the Boston Public Library was not officially established until the city passed an ordinance in 1852”(Nix, 2011). Its structure was a former schoolhouse located on Mason Street and on March 20, 1854 it was open to the public. The library consisted of about
  • Part 2: First Public Library

    16,000 books and gained popularity in its community. “The Reading Room was opened to the pubic the same day with a collection of 138 periodicals and the circulation department opened on May 2, 1854 (Nix, 2011)
  • Part 1: The First Kindergarten

    Today in American schools it is sometimes taken for granted that elementary schools start with kindergarten. But a woman by the name of Susan Blow fought to bring kindergarten into school settings. “The first kindergarten in the U.S. was a German-language class in Watertown, Wis., in 1856. St. Louis was the first public school system to begin a kindergarten in 1873, and by World War I most major urban school systems had a kindergarten class available” (Krueger, 2011). The actual origin of the
  • Part 2: The First Kindergarten

    development of kindergarten can be traced back to a German educator, Friedrich Froebel in the early 19th century. “His theories stressed the importance of music, nature study, stories, and play. Froebel opened his first kindergarten in 1827 in Germany, but his unusual ideas spread to Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and of course, North America” (Krueger, 2011). This is where Susan Blow saw Froebel’s idea of kindergarten when touring Europe and with her high education background and
  • Part 3: The First Kindergarten

    and wealth she decided to bring back Froebel’s ideas to America and in St. Louis School where Blow had attended as a child is where the first Kindergarten was established.
  • Part 1: National Education Association

    On a summer afternoon in 1857, forty five educators gathered in Philadelphia, answering a national call to unite as one voice in the cause of public education” (Holcomb). This was the beginning of The National Teachers Association and is now the National Education Association and it is the largest labor union in the United States. The ability to read and write was a privilege for children but of children in low poverty and of skin color this was not the case. A few centuries later, today all
  • Part 3: National Education Association

    stay out of trouble. By the mid-1800s, however, widespread education reforms had led to an emerging public school system and professional training for teachers” (Holcomb). Fortunately today, teachers do not have to meet the expectations of 19th century teachers. 1857
  • Part 2: National Education Association

    children have the privilege to obtain an education. From 1857 to now The NEA has played a role in improving the role of the teacher and children having the opportunity to read, write and meet the expectations a child should learn and develop. Not only has the expectations and role of children’s education has changed but also the role of the teacher. “A hundred years before the birth of NEA, education was largely informal the main requirements for teaching were the ability to read, write, and
  • Part 2: The Morrill Land-Grant College Act

    and argued that colleges are not teaching subjects to benefit a growing nation. “Turner believed that teaching agriculture and mechanics would better serve America. Turner also believed that the government should help pay for these colleges” (McKinney). Turner meet with Vermot congressman Justin Morrill and introduced a bill on Turner’s idea.The bill passed Congress but been vetoed by President Buchanan in 1857 because he believed it was a violation of states’ rights. Later it was signed by Pres
  • Part 3: The Morrill Land-Grant ACt

    Later it was signed by President Lincoln and this law enabled the federal government to give acres of land to state government so that state agricultural colleges could be established. Many states were now able to obtain and afford acres of land to build colleges.
  • Part 1: The Morrill Land-Grant College Act

    By the middle of the 19th century, many college and universities had been established throughout the nation. But passage of the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1862 paved the way for a much more extensive system of public higher education (American Eras. Vol. 7). The idea of this bill started at the Putman county Farm Convention in 1851. A man by the name of Jonathan Baldwin Turner spoke on new colleges and argued that colleges are not teaching subjects to benefit a growing nation. “Turner believed
  • Part 1: Department of Education Established

    Before the end of the 19th century the Department of Education was established when President Andrew Jackson signed legislation creating the first Department of Education in America. Although the Department of Education only lasted no more than a year, they collected information, statistics and records on schools across the nation including Dame, private, academy, normal schools, universities etc. etc. The Department of Education hoped that gathering information about schools would help the
  • Part 2: Department of Education Established

    states develop more effective and achieving academic school system. Although many fond this new legislation beneficial to America’s schools, other were skeptical about it because the Department would have too much control and power over school and would be ineffective. Looking at the U.S Department of Education today, they still have the same objectives as when it was first established and additional responsibilities and changes are made every so often to lead improvements in American schools.