Horace Mann's 12th Report

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Horace Mann’s Twelfth Report

In his Twelfth Report, Horace Mann discusses reasons that public education is imperative in the success of a peaceful, prominent society. Mann maintains that education is a way to produce successful and resourceful citizens. Without education, people can only do so much and can only go so far; they are raw materials that need to be developed into something more. Mann lists all of the important and necessary institutions in society that require educated people in order to flourish. Society, in turn, depends on those institutions to succeed. His main effort was to give all members of society the same tools for success, thus giving society a chance to thrive.

According to Mann, public education fosters civilization by creating inventors, discoverers, and artisans, among other disciplines. An important point he makes, which is also true in our society today, is that only public education can counter the domination of poverty created by the multitude working in factories and other low-paying, labor intensive jobs. Ignorance breeds poverty and education is the only hope of combating that. Not only is education beneficial to individuals, but also to the society as a whole. In a competitive world, each nation must strive to be strong and self-sufficient. Education aids in reaching this goal. “For the creation of wealth, then-- for the existence of a wealthy people and a wealthy nation,-- intelligence is the grand condition,” Mann says. He clarifies in his report that he uses intelligence and education interchangeably. Mann furthers his point by discussing in depth the objective of Intellectual Education.

“Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men,” says Mann. Intellectual Education is one objective of Mann’s that is still very relevant today. The basic premise of Intellectual Education is that the state has an obligation to provide citizens with an education so those citizens then can apply their education to bettering society. In Europe at the time there was extreme class struggle and much poverty. In Massachusetts, citizens were born equal; therefore, they should be provided with the tools to succeed once they are in the workforce. Without that education, they would end up just like those in Europe. Without education citizens would remain ignorant and would be unable to really thrive. If there were no public education, the wealthy would be the only ones educated. This would then create extreme gaps between classes and an unequal society. Intellectual Education aims to remove ignorance and consequently poverty. It seeks to separate us from class struggle.

Mann also emphasized Intellectual Education because he thought it was important that people provide for themselves rather than receiving charity. this can only be achieved if they are given the means to educate themselves. Through education, people are given equal chances for earning. Intellectual Education also creates a well-being of the people in general.

The objective of Intellectual Education is very relevant in our society today. In so many countries around the world the uneducated are suppressed and living in poverty. In those countries, the educated ruling-class goes to great lengths to ensure that those people do not have access to education. It makes a real difference. In parts of Africa and parts of the Middle East children dream of becoming nurses and teachers. Those dreams are so far-fetched for the majority because they will never have the power of education on their side.

In the United States, every citizen is afforded the right to public education. This is essential to achieving their goals and succeeding in competitive capitalist society. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, college education is not always a practicality for Americans. However, the fact that every American has twelve years of free education...
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