Horace Mann

Improve Education!

Horace Mann Background information

Horace Mann grew up in an environment ruled by poverty, hardship, and self-denial. He was teached by poor teachers. But managed to educate himself. When Mann grew up, he chose law as career. He was the founder of the common school, and was the first great American who believed that education should be free, universal, and nonsectarian

What was he trying to reform

Mann was trying to reform education. By 1837, public education in Massachusetts was no better than it was during Mann's childhood, so the state decided to do something. In 1837, the very first Massachusetts state board of education was formed and Mann was secretary of it, and this was when the Common School Movement started, in 1830s. The Common School Movement was a better-developed, tax-funded, secular public school system in order for students to learn not only the basic stuffs but even more.

In order to achieve his goals

Mann new very clearly that in order to achieve his goals, he had to fix the problems about the public school. He believed that such schools should be for children of all religious, social, and ethnic backgrounds; That such education should be permeated by a free society, which preclude harsh pedagogy in the classroom; He believed that such education can only be provided by well trained, professional teachers in order to make students more interested in learning. By doing that he wrote the Common School Journal for the teachers in 1838.

Primary Source

"There should be a free district school, sufficiently safe, and sufficiently good, for all children...where it's well instructed in basic of knowledge, formed to have good manors, and filled with the principles of duty...It is on this common platform, that a general friendship should be formed between the children of the same neighbourhood. It is here, that the qualities of a common nature should unite them together." It's a speech that Mann created to the Massachusetts Board of Education, to describe the purpose of the public school system.

Mann believed that all students should have the rights to receive free education, where they are well instructed of basic knowledge, and learn good behaviour. Also, neighbourhood children should attend school together to form a common bond. The document is important because it explains the main idea of the public school system, and what makes public school today.


Multiple Choice Question

1. What did Mann believe a Public School should not be or have.

A. should be free for every student

B. should be only permeated for wealthy students

C. it should be for children of all religious, social, and ethnic backgrounds

D. should have well trained, professional teachers