Horace Mann believed that in a democratic society education should be universally free and would thus create a system that would promote an equal educational playing field for the masses led by well-educated teaching professionals. Mann stated in one of his 12 impassioned and detailed educational reports that “Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men,—the balance-wheel of the social machinery (“Horace Mann”, n.d.) .” He felt that by educating the proletariat they would be able compete on more equal footing with the educated and financially successful members of society. Once the masses were educated, he believed that poverty and crime would diminish, promoting widespread “social harmony” in the country (“Only a teacher,” n.d.).
Horace Mann felt strongly about the need for professional training for teachers and while he served as Secretary to the Massachusetts Board of Education he presided over the establishment of the first teacher training college, now known as Framingham State University, in the United States in Lexington, Massachusetts in 1839 (“Our history,” n.d.). Prospective teachers were given lessons in content knowledge and instructional methods in addition to receiving the equivalent of student teaching in a model school associated with the university. The establishment of teacher training schools lead to the advancement of... [continues]
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