History of Education in 1800's

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Mount Holyoke College is a liberal arts women's college in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Originally founded by Mary Lyon as Mount Holyoke Female Seminary on 8 November 1837, it is the "first of the Seven Sisters" and is the oldest continuing institution of higher education for women in the United States. In addition, according to the United States Department of Education, "Mount Holyoke’s significance is that it became a model for a multitude of other women’s colleges throughout the country." (contributors, 2008) 1834 was a turning point for Mary Lyon. She decided to leave Ipswich Female Seminary, where she was assistant principal, and focus all of her time and efforts on founding an institution of higher education for women. For the next three years, she crusaded tirelessly for funds and support. It was not the best time to ask people for donations, the U.S. was in a severe economic depression. But Mary Lyon persisted. She wrote circulars and ads announcing the plan for the school, raised money, persuaded prominent men to back her enterprise, developed a curriculum, visited schools and talked to educators as far away as Detroit, chose the school's location, supervised the design and construction of a building, brought equipment, hired teachers, and selected students. She endured ridicule from those who felt her ambitious undertaking would be "wasted" on women. Her constant travels often left her in a state of exhaustion. Yet, Mary Lyon never doubted her belief that women deserved to have the same opportunities for higher education as their brothers. Mary Lyon's innovative goals for Mount Holyoke set the Seminary apart from other female seminaries of the period. They were as followed: A curriculum equivalent to those at men's colleges, a minimum entrance age of 17, low tuition to make education affordable to students from modest backgrounds. Mount Holyoke's was $60 a year and had rigorous entrance examinations to make sure students were adequately prepared. A lack of funds forced many 19th-century female seminaries to close after a few years. A good number were proprietary, or owned by an individual, eager to make a profit. Some schools were so dependent upon the founder's popularity, that the institution collapsed after his or her death. Mary Lyon sought no affiliations with a religious denomination or wealthy sponsor. Instead, she formed a Board of Trustees, a group of dedicated male supporters who donated their time to help Mount Holyoke thrive and succeed. (College, 1997) 5th-The New York State Asylum for Idiots was authorized by the New York State Legislature in 1851, acting upon a recommendation contained in the 1846 annual report of the New York State Asylum for Lunatics. Hervey B. Wilbur, M.D., was appointed the first superintendent and remained in that position until his death in 1883. First located on rented landed in Albany, it admitted its first "pupils" in 1851. The cornerstone was laid in 1854 for a new building in Syracuse, and the institution removed to Syracuse in 1855. After 1855 it was generally known as either the New York Asylum for Idiots or just the State Idiot Asylum, but in 1891 it was officially renamed the Syracuse State Institution for Feeble-Minded Children. At some point, the name was changed to The Syracuse State School for Mental Defectives, and later became just the Syracuse State School. Wilbur collaborated with Edward Seguin, M.D., the originator of the physiological method of training. Maria Montessori was also Seguin's student and much of the "Montessori Method" is based on foundations laid by Wilbur and Seguin in Syracuse. In its 85th annual report (1935), the Syracuse State School rightly noted that it was "the pioneer institution in the United States for the care and training of mentally deficient children." Surgery was done in the old building, and at least one child was born there. The School also operated a farm and a number of satellite cottages. In the 1970s, the...
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