Essay on Horace Mann and the Common School

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Horace Mann and the Common School

Horace Mann’s concept of the common school stressed many ideals, chief among them the need to create an institution capable of preparing students to contribute positively to the community and society as a whole. In order to achieve this lofty goal, Horace Mann advocated three main ideas. The first was a commitment to instilling Protestant virtues in the students. Secondly, Mann supported the idea that a community should be taxed to support the school in order to create a bond between the school and the community. Finally, Mann believed in training men and women who would be committed only to the profession of teaching America’s youth. Many of Mann’s ideas regarding education took hold in
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In fact, many catholic churches formed their own private schools in reaction to Mann’s private schools. Today, it is almost universally accepted that religion should not be part of school curriculum, and even the question of the constitutionality of student prayer has been question. Although Mann’s concept of Protestant school teaching in common schools is basically dead today, you can still evidence of the impact it had in the many private (especially catholic) schools that exist today. Another of Horace Mann’s principles, the idea of tax funded schools, took hold in his time, and still exists today. Many positive benefits have come about as a result of this. As Mann envisioned, education is wholly public, and available to those of any economic level. This enabled a great deal of social mobility then as well as now. Also, this brought about a great deal of community involvement in the school system in this country. Eventually schools became almost a focal point of many communities adding dances, trips, athletic events, and other activities that involve everyone. In many cases this remains true today although it is much more difficult in today’s society to see any direct involvement of tax money in the schools with the involvement of the state and federal governments in funding. Horace Mann made another profound and lasting contribution to education with his integration of Normal Schools

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