Historical Foundations of
Session 3
What is your Personal Philosophy
• Three areas
– New England
– Mid Atlantic
– Southern
Colonial Period
• New England- The first schools were linked to
the Puritan church
• Their goals were:
– For students to be able to read scripture to
propagate the religion
– For students to be able to read notices relate to
civil affairs, laws, doctrines,
• Had same goals as the early New England
• Passed a law called the Old Deluder Satan Act
– It required all towns of 50 or more families to a
reading and writing teacher
– All towns of 100 or more had to have a Latin teacher
as well
– Goal to prepare students to enter Harvard
– To make sure there was never an uneducated lower
class like there was in Europe
Middle Atlantic Colonies
• Education was more difficult here because
there were so many different languages
– German, English, Dutch
• As a result they ended up without one
common system of education
• They ended up with many parochial Schools
and independent schools related to the
different ethnic groups
• Still in effect today to some extent
Southern Schools
• Did not have an formal system
• Wealthy landowner’s children had private
• Later these same people were required to
provide a basic education for poor children,
orphans and illegitimate children
• But this system maintained the great inequity
in the classes and remained that way long
after the civil war
Basics of all Colonial Schools
• Taught mostly Reading and Writing with some
• Taught some religion
• Teachers were to be strict disciplinarians
• Believed that:
– Children were born in sin
– Play was bad it was idleness
– Children‘s talk was gibberish
Types of Colonial Schools
Town Schools
Parochial Schools
Private schools
Latin Grammar Schools
Town Schools
Locally controlled public elementary schools
One room, with a teacher pulpit
Both boys and girls attended school
Attendance was irregular depending if the
children were needed to support the family
Parochial and Private schools
• Established by different religious groups for
children of their own kind
• Focused on reading, writing and religion
• The south also had a version of these,
• In the south poorer children attended “charity
schools- less demanding and taught vocational
Latin Grammar Schools
• In the early 1600's Puritan families were
concerned with the thoughts that someday
their trained and learned leaders would be
no more.
• As a result they established the Latin
Grammar Schools.
• For boys only at first
• Major goal was to prepare them for entrance
into Harvard
Latin Grammar Schools
• In a further attempt to ease their fears of not
having an educated ministry the Puritans
founded Harvard College.
• In order to enter this college one has to pass
an entrance exam which demanded that they
knew how to read and speak Latin and Greek.
• The Latin Grammar school focused initially on
English then on Latin and Greek
• Initially most colleges were for the
preparation of ministers, Harvard, Yale,
Cornell Based on the puritan view that
ministers had to demonstrate a mastery in
Latin, Greek and the classics
• Other course included , logic, astronomy and
math, natural sciences and metaphysics
• Every religion had its own college
• PA has one of the most
• Based on Ben Franklin’s Idea,
• Intended to offer a practical education for this
not going to college
• Courses included- English, grammar, public
speaking, classics, writing, Practical math,
history as a study of ethics
• and many practical skills, including engraving,
printing, painting, cabinet making, farming
and bookkeeping
• Textbooks were first introduced around 1690
• One of the first was The Hornbook Primer,
included Westminster Catechism and old
• The book was made from flattened cattle
horns, hence the horn book
• Most books of this time taught alphabet
• Focused on rote and drill
Textbooks later written by Thomas Dillworth
he wrote a variety of books
Initially one book for all subjects
Then the books became specialized as they
are now
• With a new government came a new mission
for schools
• At this time we saw the first laws to mandate
the existences of schools in certain
• Did not mandate attendance
• Saw the beginning of removing religion from
the schools a big push for secular ism
Benjamin Rush
• Was one of the first to begin a push to remove
the classics from education.
• He equated learning the classics, two dead
languages, ( Greek and Latin) “To amusing
ourselves catching Butterflies”
• Wanted school to advance democracy and
explore our natural resources
Benjamin Rush
• Was one of the first to outline a plan for PA to
have a elementary school in every township of
100 or more families
• He wanted free academies at the county level
and free colleges at the university level
• He wanted Tax dollars to pay for it all
• His elementary curriculum emphasized reading,
math and writing, his secondary curriculum had
English, German, the arts, science
Thomas Jefferson
• Was a farmer at heart and had faith in the
agrarian society and distrusted the urban
• He proposed a plan for VA that would educate
the common man and the gentry at “the
expense of all”- public taxes
• Curriculum very similar to rush
• Felt schools were needed to support the
Thomas Jefferson
• Was a farmer at heart and had faith in the
agrarian society and distrusted the urban
• He proposed a plan for VA that would educate
the common man and the gentry at “the
expense of all”- public taxes
• Curriculum very similar to rush
• Felt schools were needed to support the
Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Rush
• Both of their plans were never passed
• Although both concepts helped to shape the
schools that would come
• Creating schools in the new country and
agreeing on a curriculum was more of a
problem because we had so many diverse
• Noah Webster felt we needed our own
language as well as our own government- we
needed our own cultural independence as
• He wrote several books in this effort
• Some of these books were grammar books
spelling books
• The only book that lasted was his dictionary
• The American Dictionary- helped create a
sense of a US language, identity and
McGuffey’ Readers
• McGuffey was also a patriot and felt that
although the young country owed a lot of its
culture to other parts of the world, That the
United States had also made some
contribution to humankind
• He developed a set of readers, the best selling
textbook for decades
• Extolled the patriotism heroism, hard work,
diligence and virtuous living
European Influences
• Although there was a push from people like
Webster and McGuffey to develop a
nationalistic American way, education was
highly influenced by people like
– Pestalozzi
– Froebel
– Herbart
– Spencer
• Was a Swiss Educator
• Is credited for laying the basics for today’s
elementary school
• Wanted children to learn through their senses
• He deplored rote learning
• Proposed a general and special method
– General method- educators provided emotional
security and affection for students
– Special method- dealt with dealing with senses like
auditory and visual
• Had a strong belief that early education was
• Designed the concept for kindergarten
• Believed that learning should be organized
around play and the student’s interests- use
• Provide a safe secure environment.
• Believed in a balance curriculum
– Traditional curriculum to rigid
– Believe that there was two bodies of knowledge
• Ethical knowledge
• Empirical data, facts and theories
• Needed to develop the morality
• Wanted history, English, science and math
integrated into all levels of education
• Believed learning was a psychological process
that teachers needed students needs and
interest through:
– Planning- considers students previous learning
– Presentation-introduce new lesson
– Association-tie new material to existing material
– Systemization- teach rules, principles or
– Application-the new ideas are tested and applied
to pertinent activities ( authentic assessment)
• Opposed religion- The beginning of many
• Believed that traditional schools were
impractical and a luxury of the upper class
• Advocated for a scientific, practical curriculum
that would support an industrial society
• believed that students should be taught how
to think, not what to think
• Was a believer in Darwin and felt that a school
curriculum should advanced a societies ability
to survive and progress
• Believed in a form of discovery learning and
was an influence on the followers of john
In your groups
• What forces do you think was the greatest
influence in changing the schools
Universal schools
• Schools for everyone began to be adopted in all
areas of the country
• The urban east, schools were always there for
the upper class, but now available for the lower
class as well and seen as an important
• Schools were also being established in the newly
settled west
• Schools had many different looks and approaches
Monitorial Schools
• Were run on the premise of keeping them
efficient ( sound familiar)
• The teacher taught the bright students and
then they taught the other students
• Taught the three Rs and religion
Common Schools
• Forged by Horace Mann
• Was the precursor to our public schools
• Mann was a salesman- Sold each faction of
society on how the common school would help
Told Puritans that it would promote a common culture
Told business it would prepare workers
Build a better society
Told rich it was their obligation
Elementary Schools
• Were in full gear by 1900
• Religion was dropped from the curriculum
• Added morals/ manners instead
Secondary Schools
• Although many children attended elementary
schools, the secondary schools were
established were not well attended till the
1930s to 1970 range
• Replaced the Latin Grammar school
• Designed to provide a practical curriculum
• Similar to a secondary school, but had a much
larger enrollment
• Prepared students for not just college ( but
mostly), but also for vocational careers as well
• They eventually became High schools, what
remained were mostly all girl schools
Secondary Schools
• In 1870 courts ruled that taxes could be used
to fund schools
• Then state after state mandated attendance
• Unlike the European models, it served all
classes of students under one roof
• Offered a full range curriculum
Secondary Schools
The curriculum offered
Higher Arithmetic
English Grammar
Us History
natural philosophy
Physical geography
General History
Some vocational
courses as well
School Continued to Change
• As school evolved there were many unsettled
questions- European philosophies versus new
• In 1983- The NEA formed Three committees
to develop a philosophy that would guide
– The Committee of Fifteen- Elementary School
– The committee of Ten- Secondary Schools
– Committee on College Entrance
• This committee actually took a step back
• It did away with Kindergarten
• Thought that students needed strict discipline
and strict teacher authority
• Made elementary schools k to 8
• Curriculum stayed the same, but they added
four tracks
• 1. Classical
College bound tracks
• 2. Latin Scientific
• 3. Modern Languages
Not college bound
• 4. English
• The Committee was somewhat political, eight
of the ten members were college
representatives and stated what they wanted
• Defined what they expected students to have
in High School
• They strengthen the program in High School
• The credits the students accumulated were
measured in Carnegie Units, still used today
Harris and Eliot
• Were two conservative educational reformers
• Harris: Had a major impact on the schools for
• Limited any vocational
• Focused on
• Focused on
– work versus any play
– Order versus any freedom
– Effort rather than interest
Harris and Eliot
• Harris focused so much on the classic, it
discouraged working class students from
attending school
Harris and Eliot
• Eliot
• Believed that elementary students could work
on much higher subjects
• Also supported tracking , even in elementary
• Wanted vocation al schools, but in a separate
• Later this became a common belief
The modern Curriculum
• Eventually educators could not ignore all of the
information from Educational Psychologist and
educators like Pestolozzi, Montessori, Froebel,
Piaget, Dewey and Gestalt psychologist
• The end of the classical curriculum- they argued
that there was no research that showed studying
the classics hade greater benefit for developing
mental capacity tan other curriculums.
The Modern Curriculum
• Around 1917
• Had four basic areas
– Science
– Civics
– Industry- Trades
– Aesthetics
• Pushed to have schools be a neutral
• Democracy was a social institution that could
be enhanced by schools
• Democracy in Education
• Was the first to used statistical research to
make decision about what was right to do in
• Looked at what was the best methods to use
to teach children to solve problems
• Had two tracks of students
– Slower students
– Brighter and Average students
Secondary schools change again
• NEA in 1918 recommended that High schools
serve everyone
– College prep
– Vocational tract
– Began to assume the modern curriculum patterns
we see today
1920 to 1950
• Saw the first book written on curriculum by
Charles and Bobbitt
– Many of the principles proposed are still used today
– First to propose evaluation of curriculum into process
• Written in the behaviorist approach we talked
about last session
• Concerned with
– Objectives
– Efficiency
• Evolved the curriculum further , a discipline of
• Try to merge the behaviorist approach with
the progressive approach the new approach
was the project approach or the purposeful
• He advocated giving children input into the
curriculum ( selecting the project)
Twenty-Sixth Year book
• Got together all of the power brokers in
schools of the time ( 1930) from Bobbitt to
Kilpatrick and they wrote two volumes on the
direction schools should take
• Proposed and Ideal curriculum
• Later developed into four guiding principles
Four Guiding principle
Harold Rugg
• A statement of objectives
• Sequence of experiences• The subject matter that is best means for
engaging the students
• Statement of outcomes
• Not bad for 1930
The Eight Year Study
• Was Another influential work
• It compared different types of curriculum and
measured how students did using these
different approaches
• Developed basic principles a best practices of
The Eight Year Study
• Also called for evaluation of the curriculum
• First to develop that a single topic could
achieve multiple objectives
• Had three categories of objectives
– Knowledge acquisition
– Intellectual Skills
– Attitudes and feelings
• Although much had been written and research a
study in 1969 found little had changed in schools,
things like
classrooms were teacher centered
Emphasis on control ( not fair)
No enthusiasm or excitement- teacher is flat
Little media, little guest speakers
Teachers had minimum expectations
Good looking students and athletes were most
popular kids in the schools

Historical Foundations of Curriculum