Movers & Shakers

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Movers and Shakers in Education

The Common School Movement (1830 – 1865)

The common school movement advocated for a greater role by the government in children’s education. To this end, Horace Mann was a staunch advocate for the common schools (Kaestle 2). Horace Mann believed that the social coexistence and political stability was dependent on achieving universal education. Consequently, he lobbied the state to embrace ‘nonsectarian’ common schools for the admittance of all children. To this effect, Mann argued that it was civic and religious duty for the government to support common schools. Moreover, Mann believed that teachers were in need of a formal education system beyond High School. Consequently, Mann was joined by other lobbyist for common schools such as Catherine Beecher. However, it is critical to mention that resistance to the common schools was evident from Roman Catholic adherents. To this effect, the opponent believed that nonsectarian common schools were against the precincts of Catholicism. However, the first common school was established in Massachusetts in 1839 following compromise and political consensus. By the latter period of the 19th century, other states adopted common schools policies that evolved to what the contemporary public schools system.

John Dewey (1916)

John Dewey was epitomized as a prominent American philosopher and educational revolutionary whose ideologies contributed to reform in the social and education sector. In reference to education, Dewey is best known for his philosophies in education. To this end, John Dewey theorized education as the process of developing an individual’s capacities to which the person gains control over his/her environment and consequently fulfil his/her potential (Novak). Consequently, John Dewey formulated four aims of education. Foremost, he believed that education is life whereby life itself was epitomized by education. Moreover, education is life was...
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