Education Reform

Mid-19th Century | Elise & Sarah

The Education Reform of the mid-19th century was known as the Common School movement. Education reformers, such as Horace Mann and Henry Barnard, helped create statewide common-school systems. It was argued that education reform could preserve social stability and prevent crime and poverty. Reformers sought to increase opportunities for all children, thus creating a common bond amongst the diverse population. The reform helped establish free schooling (Public Schools) financed by Public funds. Also attendance laws were established for elementary-age children. This movement encouraged and enforced the education of future generations, thus creating a more sophisticated country. Without the education reform in the mid-19th century the U.S.  would not be were it is today.  

The picture above is of a Common School built in 1893. This school was a one room building. As you can see the children which were taught came from all social classes based on their clothing. This classroom is most likely financed by the town for it to be a 'Free School'.

The picture above is of a young child's reading book. This represents the common curriculum that was most likely used in public schools across the nation in the mid-19th century. This represents a common bond throughout the nation in education.

This excerpt from The Common School Journal, written by Harace Mann, discusses the importance of reforming and improving the educational systems and laws. It also discusses that it was the duty of teachers, parents, and children to improve educational oppurtunities for future generations.


-Education Reform was started to help create a common bond between all children in the U. S. Also the education reform helped create social stability by increasing the knowledge of future generations.

- One famous Eduation Reformer was Harace Mann. He believed in the common school system- same curriculum, free / public schooling.

-The long range significance of this movement is that the education and future of the U. S. was improved and it helped further our nation to be where it is today. Also poorer classes were given the same opportunity to learn as the rich. Women were also given higher educational oppurtunities such as secondary education.

-A similar historical event was when the Puritans enforced reading in their Pennysylvania colony so that everyone could read the bible.  


"The Common School Journal : Horace Mann : Free Download & Streaming :            Internet Archive." Internet Archive. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014.

"The History of Education in America." The History of Education in America. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2014.

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