A History of Curriculum Changes in Public Schools

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A History of Curriculum Changes in Public Schools

The curriculum of the public school system in America has transformed greatly over time. Its original roots that branch from early Puritan schools where the Bible was taught to where education was offered only to the privileged. Most schools had an educational system based on religious teaching methods. The government became involved, and developed an unconstitutional clause known as the separation of church and state. Schools were no longer simply based on training future theologians. A more structural foundation for the American educational curriculum incorporated reading arithmetic and writing. The main focus of schools was from teaching moral values. The American public school curriculum especially changed after the Civil Rights movement. Integration had an impact on how certain concepts were taught in the classroom as well.

American public education differs from that of many other nations in that it is primarily responsibility of the states and individual school districts. Thomas Jefferson was the first American leader to suggest creating a public school system. He believed that education should be under control of the government, free from religious biases and available to all people regardless of their status in society. Others who were in support were Benjamin Rush, Noah Webster, Robert Coram, and George Washington.

It was not until after the 1840s was public education available for people other than the rich. The first public supported high school was founded in 1635. The attendance in schools was poor because the curriculum was hard. The attendance issues began to improve in the 20th century. It was also during this period participation in public schools increased as well. Elementary and secondary schools used to be centered around subjects such as reading, math, history, geography, language, and science. While a small portion of those subjects are still taught, the focus has been...
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