chapter  Chapter 1
21 Pages

Common Schooling in the New Nation

European Roots on American Soil
WithJohn G. Richardson

Save for frequent references to a southern difference, more unfounded than real, popular schooling was a uniform mark of early colonies, young territories and states. The former were forcefully and eloquently articulated by Horace Mann, whose reports and lectures as the first Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education in 1838 helped to shape the subsequent organization and character of many state systems of common schooling. The influence of Horace Mann on the definition and organization of American common schooling is well documented. A common schooling diffuses individuals, reducing the social and political violations of crime and rioting. The structure of this arrangement would seem to mirror, if not fulfill, what Howe imagined as the role of the temporary boarding schools for the feebleminded. To Mann, what was learned from educating the deaf and blind set forth the universal principles for a common schooling.