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Education in America

The seventeenth century has been called, as an age of faith, and for the colonists a preoccupation with religion, as probably right. The religious rebel of the sixteenth century was severe and shaking as its impact was felt both on the continent as well as in America. However, intelligent Americans of the seventeenth century thought and realized that education could, and may be should, be a handmaiden to religion. Yet, humanism was there more than religion in the intellectual diet of the educated Americans 1.

The humanists preceded their work at a stable speed, which, affected education of northern, middle & southern colonies of America. However, many argued that without much attention given to education, and without even realizing that the books comprised illustrations of better life were taught into schools in order to affect the life and mind of students, how could the aspiration of humanism be realized at the same time? 1 In order to make this realization, humanistic educational writers started to philosophize about schooling, and they suggested their readers as to what should be taught to students, adding sufficient justification for supporting its value1.

The humanists have always been better at descriptive theory rather than enlightening practice since most of them were not themselves schoolteachers, while some, such as Petrarch, were against teachers. Therefore, they either steered free from advising on methods of teaching or suggested their readers to the great Quintilian

35-97 A.D.), whose education of an Orator was regarded to be definitive on all tips of pedagogic technique 1.

1 H.E. Butler. Institutes of Oratory. Harvard University Press, 1921

Education in Northern Colonies

Below is a concise summarization of education in northern colonies of America during the seventeenth century.

Different Entry Population

A. Educated

II. Natural Fear Arises

A. The first generation death

II. The Roxbury Latin Grammar School

A. Two years before Harvard was established in year 1635

B. Around five years after Boston was founded, while fifteen years after Plymouth

III. First Great Colonial Textbooks

A. New England Primer

B. Ezekial Cheever's Accidence

IV. Charlestown's advances

A. The first complimentary or free school

V. Financing

A. In terms of financial aspects, royal donations and decree was given B. Company donations were granted

C. Land grants, which includes:

1. Work/Rent the land

D. Direct taxation of schools in the year 1639

Dorchester's advances

A. The first public school supported by direct public tax 10

Schooling, Education, and Literacy in Colonial America. Education in Northern & Southern Colonies of America

VII. Colony Laws

A. In the year 1642, mandatory apprenticeship for children, if not public education.

1. State Inspections for enforcement

B. A teacher Requirement, appointed by the people to teach all that come to him.

C. For towns of fifty families, there was one elementary school.

D. For towns of hundred families there was one grammar school.

For all who oppose the law, mandatory 5 L. fine 10.

Education in Southern Colonies

I. In first ten years no sign of anything

A. Early origins are with the church

II. 1616

A. King ordered the Bishop of London to collect money for a college

B. Money Delivered to Governor Yardley in the year 1618

C. London sent hundred children, to be schooled, and 500 pounds for their upkeep 10

A. To be more of a place for fundamental skills and trade knowledge

IV. 1622 Slaughter

A. All educational plans ended for a college in Virginia

V. First school

A. Private. Benjamin Symms death left to hundred acres, along with eight cows for a free school in Elizabeth County

10. Schooling, Education, and Literacy in Colonial America. Education in Northern & Southern Colonies of America

B. Opened in 1636

VI. A New Trend

A. Followed by others in 1655, 1667, 1689, and 1675

B. Economic Stability of Virginia

VII. Questionable evidence?

A. There have been laws on the books as early as 1846 that called for apprentice education

B. Compulsory education as apprentices for approximately two children per county

VIII. Remains at this level

A. Slow growth until William and Mary's establishment in the year 1691, 10.

Seventeenth Century Education in relation to Religion (North & South Colonies)

Educational Developments

In the seventeenth century, the northern colonies of America saw some major developments in educational areas of science, both in terms of its empirical and theoretical dimensions. Along with it there emerge movements to develop schooling prospects for the children of the middle and lower socio-economic classes, increased interest in the schooling of girls was also evoked 4.

It was during the early decades of the seventeenth century, that northern American colony along with few other colonies, plus with the Atlantic coast of North America removed ideas of the Renaissance and did educational reformation. These views of reformation of education turned out to be most influential in northern colonies, while Renaissance

4. Lawrence A. Cremin. American Education: The Colonial Experience1607-1783

10. Schooling, Education, and Literacy in Colonial America. Education in Northern & Southern Colonies of America aristocratic ideas became much stronger among plantation owners in the South 4.

At the same time early settlements were made by Spain and France (south, southwest, and west) and maintained a community organization of schools for children. New American colonies founded towns that also comprised of schools. From the beginning, these new settlements in northern colonies were supposed to be long-term if not permanent, with households and families as principal units 4.

The town-living patterns meant proper education for children and also adjacent dwellings with farm fields surrounding the towns. However, protestant ideology favored schooling more, and so colonial government called for it and town demographics made it practical and proper schools were established 4.

On the other hand, in the earlier years there was no sign of any developments of schooling in southern colonies. They were slow in establishing schools due to a variety of reasons. Firstly and one of the most prominent was being the policy of land use in form of large plantation, which divided population in ways that was more favorable to tutorials for the children of the plantation owners against little or no provision at all of organized education for the children of the field hands 6.

The stratified preparations for education articulated both the demographic as well as ideological conditions in southern colonies of America. In other words, personalized instructions were given for children who assumed to be destined by family conditions and positions and have the leadership class 6.

4. Lawrence A. Cremin. American Education: The Colonial Experience1607-1783

6. Louis B. Wright. The Cultural Life of the American Colonies, 1607-1763

Thus, master/apprenticeship teaching was given for handworkers, while no schooling for field workers, which was the largest part of the population. While, the latter was assumed not to have formal education and, additionally, they were even incompetent of benefiting from it. This pessimistic conviction was further confirmed by racist assumptions when the Afro-American population grew in the course of the next centuries 6.

Reformation educational theorists and practitioners wanted to introduce Comenean ideas and practices into American schools. The Comenius proposal gave a range of school reforms, including broadening of curriculum accustomed to physical and social practicalities. This desire was shared among many reformers, whose views came along a range from rather conservative to radical 4.

The great poet, John Milton, also proposed an academy curriculum of considerable extensiveness, consonant with much of Reformation thought, but at the same time inflected with nationalism and the Renaissance interest in schooling a privileged class of leaders 6.

The North American colonies were established due to the turmoil of the Reformation that was carried ahead into the seventeenth century. Furthermore, academies became substitutions to Latin grammar schools in the North American setting as progress expanded and development was made in the seventeenth century. In addition, the tension between Renaissance concepts of education for leadership vs. Reformation emphases can be inferred from Cotton Mather's composition on the "Schoolmaster" in his famous book called Bonifacius, published in 1710. 4

4. Lawrence A. Cremin. American Education: The Colonial Experience1607-1783

6. Louis B. Wright. The Cultural Life of the American Colonies, 1607-1763

Religion, Family and Education

It was during the second half 17th century that a growing number of colonial historians were drawn to study childrearing practices and gender roles in different Protestant cultures. Despite the fact that their interpretations differ widely, yet all of these scholars emphasized the importance of religious belief in shaping early Americans' most intimate relationships, as between parents and children, husbands and wives 3.

Also, in the seventeenth century, many of the British North American colonies that finally formed the United States of America got settled by those families who refused in the face of European persecution to negotiate ardently held religious convictions and thus fled to North America 3. These new colonies, including, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland were considered as well as established " plantations of religion." Few of these early settlers who arrived in these colonies…[continue]

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