1. Colonial School vs. Modern Era
The impact of schools has been ever changing. From their New England traditions, to civilizing of western settlers, and finally the requirement of educated individuals what schools and education have to do in society is constantly being molded and remolded. New models, ideas, ideals, and requirements for schools are constantly being established and have come a long way from the colonial period to the modern era.
During colonial times school and education was used to “maintain the authority of the government and religion” (Spring 13) as well as to maintain social distinction and uphold morals. Unlike today, many schools in the New England colonies relied heavily upon religious and racist teachings. And many people agreed that it was important to include religion in schools just as it was included in many other practices at the time. This however created a major problem for the growing country as schools not only excluded all religions besides Protestant Christianity but also as a result were racist against peoples of other beliefs. Many new immigrants to the United States were shocked and upset that a nation boasting freedom of religion was forcing one specific religion through the use of schools and even discriminating against the people of different religious backgrounds. As pointed out in the film School: The Story of American Public Education, Part 1 early Irish settlers, who were mostly devout Catholics, came to find that the primers used in schools forced children to not only learn and recall Christian beliefs and proverbs but also painted Irishmen in an undoubtedly negative light going even so far as to call them “foul” and even the “lowest of people”. As a result of this discrimination Catholic groups in the nineteenth century rebelled and reform of schools began to take place. Schools were also means to teach children to obey the laws of society and the government. Much of colonial society was based upon class and...
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