Horace Mann Education Reform Era

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Before the education reform movement of the 1830s, it was not common or thought necessary for all children to go to school, especially those of poor working families. Horace Mann, a Massachusetts state legislature and reformer, paved the way for the U.S.’s first statewide public school system (The Education Reform Movement). He dedicated his life to establishing mandatory and free schooling for American children. By 1837, he became the first secretary of Massachusetts’ newly organized board of education. He envisioned free public schools which provided trained teachers, quality education, bells and blackboards to be used, the division of children by ability and age, mid-morning recess for the younger children, and all of this to be funded by …show more content…
Factory owners also did not agree with his idea because it would cause them to lose their child workers, the ones they could to pay the least (The Education Reform Movement). But, Mann eventually convinced them that education was vital for the welfare of the children and the survival of democracy in the U.S. He then got the state legislature to grant a lot of money to start building a school system for the state. The Massachusetts legislature passed a law by the early 1850s requiring all children to attend school and that the school year be six months long. Mann also obtained funding from the legislature to establish the nation’s first teacher training college. He influenced many other states, who read his reports, on the school reform movement and he traveled to the Northeast area to lobby for an establishment of public schools. Because of him, school systems throughout the area were established and then later on throughout the entire nation (The Education Reform …show more content…
The school system was not the greatest at this point, and it wasn’t until several years later that discrimination in the school system was eliminated, but Horace Mann did create a great change in the U.S. for many children by turning his vision into a reality.
The prison reform movement was crucial to help prevent the deaths of more mentally ill people within prisons or asylums. Dorothea Dix, reformer, teacher, nurse, writer, and philanthropist, dedicated her time to help improve conditions in prisons and create appropriate places for the mentally ill to live in. She advocated for prisoners and the mentally ill because many people disregarded them and thought them to be incurable people who could not be helped (Colman). Dix’s crusade began when she was asked to teach a Sunday school class at a women’s prison in Massachusetts. While there, she witnessed the horrible conditions in the prison. She visited the lower level where the “dungeon cells” were located and where most of the mentally ill

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