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The History of Teaching Notes

Updated on May 18, 2015

American colonial Period


• Europeans came to the new land for religious freedom
• No overall education system
• Parents taught basic learning
• Others learns a trade as an apprenticeship
• Some worked without pay in exchange
• Puritans believed in the importance of religious learning & valued people who read the bible
• School was to teach people to read the bible
• Older children worked with families on farms
• Middle colonies-diverse
• Quakers- Everyone should be educated & tolerant of other beliefs
• Wealthy Sons-formal education
• Middle class & poor (girls)- few opportunities
• Slaves were taught skills useful to their owners
• Dame Schools- Student taught by a women in their own home, parents paid a fee, for boys & girls

Role of teachers

• Teachers ranked just below religious leaders
• Acted as an example for the community and morally behaved themselves
• Could not date, smoke, drink, marry
• Had to attend church every Sunday and participate in civic events
• Visited sick and preformed other charitable acts
• Expected to be honest
• Routinely cleaned the school
• School Curriculum
• Basic learning only
• Few formal schools past elementary
• Girls learned sewing/ home management in addition
• Men received best education among the population
• Books were rare and expensive
• Used homework books for instruction until 1800’s when book became less expensive

The American Early National Period 1776-1840

Laying the Scene

• Right after revolutionary war
• Thomas Jefferson elected on 1997
• Population of colonies- 5.3 million
• Washington D.C became the capital
• Racial tension
• Women didn’t go to school
• People were stereo-typed on religion and political views
• Only rich villages had schools
• Schools were run by religious figures
• Education changed in cities
• Cities grew diverse
• Spreading new ideas
• American ideas drifted from European influence
• Education promoted freedom and liberty
• Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were influence leaders

Benjamin Franklin

• Created first public library
• Taught process of good citizenship
• Offered secondary school in Philadelphia

Thomas Jefferson

• 3rd president
• Believed common person should be educated
• Established University of Virginia
• Divided Virginia into counties
• School-no cost


• Student expected to respect authority
• Church participated in community issues


• Used slate and chalk
• Learned a lot about history
• Most wealthy were able to get a good education
• Men went to universities
• Women had tutors

The American Common School Period 1840-1880

• 1840’s
o The Oregon Trail Gave people new hopes and dreams of finding their fortune and starting a new life.
• 1850’s
o People worked to end slavery
o Minimal schooling for kids at the beginning
• 1860’s
o The civil war claimed many lives in the north and south, in the end slaves were freed.
• Horace mann
o 1st secretary of state board
o Impact on education nationally
o Believed in common schools “giving the same education to people from different levels of society” (girls and Boys)
o He established teacher-training schools called normal schools
o Worked towards making schools equal to each other
o Advocated establishment of free libraries
o Increased state funding for public schools
• African American education
o Whites did not want African Americans to be educated, they feared it would lead to rebellion
o After the civil war efforts were made to improve education opportunities
o African American schools were set up, colleges too
o Most schools stayed segregated
• Role of teachers
o Low salary
o Took tests to be able to teach
o Horace Mann helped them to be better prepared
• School Curriculum
o Kindergarten was established
o Text books were used more, especially McGuffey readers
• Morril act
o Known as the land grant college act
o Gave land to provided colleges in every state
o Provided education for agriculture workers

The American Progressive Period- 1880-1921

Segregated Education

• Schools were highly segregated
• African American schools received less funding
• African American teachers could only teach in African American schools
• African American teachers received less pay

The Role of Teachers

• Teachers were considered professionals
• More emphasis was placed on educational theories
• A lot of woman became teachers
• By the end of the period, woman got the right to vote
• The first teachers labor union was formed
• They weren’t happy with standardization and they wanted more freedom in the classroom
• They wanted better pay, status, and working conditions

School Curriculum

• Schools should focus more on students as individuals
• They thought this would help citizens improve working and living conditions
• Thousands of public high schools were opened
• A high school diploma became more important in finding a job

John Dewey

• Educational philosopher, psychologist, and writer
• A leading voice for progressive education
• Believed that classrooms were to rigid, inflexible, and did not adapt to individual students
• Believed social interaction aided learning
• You can see evidence of his theories in today's education system

Maria Montessori

• Italy’s first female doctor who tried to find ways to help children with learning difficulties
• Montessori Method- considers all of a child’s needs, not just intellectual ones
• Children direct their own learning with teachers as their partners
Career and Technical Education
• Smith-Hughes Act of 1917- established federal funds to support vocational education
• Career and Technical Education- prepares students for career opportunities in specific trades and occupations, where skilled workers are needed

The Education Depression

• Words to Know
o Disposable Income: Money to Spend on things they Wanted, not Needed
o Quotas: Government Limits
o The Great Depression: A Series of Unfortunate Events
• History about History
o Economic Prosperity in 1920s
o Rate of Immigration was a Concern
o Economic Prosperity ended when Stock Market Crashed
o Public Schools Faced Shortages
 Citizens couldn’t Pay Taxes
• Effects of Depression BOTSS
o S-Shortage of Cash
o S-Shortened School Year
o T-Teacher Pay Decreased
o O-Operation Decreased
o B-Basic Subjects
• Federal Government
o Hired Teachers
o Purchased Supplies
o Gave Free Lunches to the Kids
o Better Schools were Built
• Dick & Jane Books
o Basic Reading Strategies
o Family Example
o 85 Million Students Used them

Contemporary Period 1940’s till Present

• 940’s-1950’s
• WWII ended in 1945
• Women and African Americans-Jobs
• 1958-National Defense Education Act (passed)
• Scientific equipment improved-public and private
• Math, science and foreign language-strengthen
• Early 50’s-segregated but equal
• Skinner’s Theory-1950’s controlling classroom, create behaved students
• 1960’s
• 1963-200,000+ people of all races marched-Civil Rights
• A time of educational innovation
• 1964-Civil Rights Act outlawed segregation
• Elementary and secondary Education Act-1965
• Project Head Start-1965 help preschool students in low income families
• 1970’s
• Unemployment rate went up
• Bilingual education- classes would be taught in both English and Spanish
• Education for All handicapped children act- free public education for disabled kids
• 1980’s
• Consumerism was at an all time high
• 1983-A Nation at Risk. Showed America’s competitive edge was at risk
• Many Americans were illiterate
• Back to Basics Movement-Schools needed to re-emphasize reading, writing, and math
• 1990’s
• Internet changed the way people communicated
• Unemployment hit all time low
• The Computer Revolution
• In the mid 1990’s most classrooms had computers
• Computer skills became necessary for a career
• Convenient to students because all the information is on the internet
• Educational Standards and Accountability
• Educational standards were set
• National Council on Education Standards and Testing (NCEST)-set national standards
• Competency based education
• Accountability for high quality education
• Standardized tests were designed to measure performance
• Goals 2000
• George H.W. Bush created 6 educational goals called the Goals of 2000 act
• No Child Left Behind Act
• Improved performance of schools
• All students got an education
• Charter school-offers freedoms from regulations of public schools
• Not all states provided charter schools

Schools Change

• Standards increase
• Segregation
• Brown vs. Board= illegal
• Plessy v Ferguson
• Male/female
• Horace man
• Women could be educated
• Female/male educated equally
• Schools started
• For religion


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