Horace Mann is considered as “The Father” of the common schools. He wanted to improve and make the educational life better by expanding the opportunities of a free public school concept for the students and teachers as well. To make this dream come true he had some beliefs before embracing his philosophy about the common schools. One of them was the ability to train male and female teachers to be fully dedicated to their job responsibilities and duties. The other one was about religion. He wanted religion to be part of the educational learning experiences. Most of Horace’s beliefs related to education were accepted by America and nowadays in the board of education of different countries his philosophies are still in use.
He became the first Secretary of the Board of Education of Massachusetts in 1837 and while he was holding himself in this position he became one of the best national spokesman. On the other hand, it was not easy for him to achieve what he though it was right to be granted. According to the facts, the school system of Massachusetts was in bad shape because the schools became old and the school districts were divided from each other. That means if a school district was about to fall down the other districts could not help because each one was obligated to help only its schools and support them with the necessity funds. (Downs, 1974, Ch. 4) The most destroyable act was where the private schools took all the funds that were for the public schools. This act was neglected from the general and state government. By the strong desire to bring standardization on the school districts Horace Mann brought the Prussian educational system in power. This system included established schools that were supported and supervised by the state, the attendance was mandatory for the teachers and students as well, parents were punished for keeping their children away from school and it was created a uniform for teacher and students and curricula for teachers. (Brouillette, 1999) Horace Man had to build new and normal schools and he believed that students (training teachers) needed a curriculum and books for different age level. Today exist the placement tests that are mandatory for the training teacher to prove that is able or has the right skills to be a teacher. There were some beliefs that public schools or free schools were only for poor children that could not afford paying for school regardless their ethnicity, religion, social class and religion. (Common school movement) However, in 1642 , The General Court law created a fee for the education until another law came in power that made education free again. Mann had another idea for the common school that was “religion in school”. He strongly believed that it was very convenient for children to give them moral and religious education. He thought that in this way people were going to be able to blossom their future and expand the democracy of the United States. (Buck, 2002, page 115) In nowadays we still have a battle with the society principles like parents that don’t want their children to participate in the pledge of allegiance, religious holidays that are considered as seasonal holidays, and praying is no longer allowed. Mann beliefs prove that the school system would have been very different if these children were taught for moral and religious education. He wanted religion to be taught for people’s moral and incorporation. At last Horace Mann’s campaign enhanced training, he had done quite recently that and enhanced educator pay rates, he had stretched the school year and built up new secondary schools.
I believe that Horace Mann’s beliefs still exist and are being treated in nowadays. School districts still are able to get all the support for their funds from the raised taxes like it used to be during Horace’s time but there is still a little bit of difference between the local districts. That means that the rural schools with taxes not very high as the taxes of other districts have more necessities to be fully equipped. While for the religion being part of the educational system in schools, Horace with a good purpose wanted to set this step but with the variety diversities available in the American states in nowadays, this step would not be considered as a wise step in the society. It would cause a lot of contradicts and problems in the school, even though he thought that religion would bring a huge improvement and development in society.
The last but not least, mentioning the competence for educational methods of insight, political and social divisions in the public eye, have caused the issue of what ought to be “common” about common education that is ceaselessly under audit. Regarding to all the facts “the American government funded school is a massive institutionalized bargain that a greater part of us have figured out how to live with” This is a trade off or goal that has long been a priority and it should keep on being, by being always renegotiated.
Downs, R. B. (1974). Horace Mann; champion of public schools.New York, NY: Twayne Publishers Inc. Gibbon, P. H. (2002, March 29). A hero of education.