School History

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It is said that the best preparation for a child’s future begins in school. Throughout the United States there are many different types of schools, ranging from Preschools to Universities.

The first schools were established, in what is now the United States, in the early 1600’s by colonist who came from Europe. They set up private schools to teach reading, writing, and religion. In 1636, the Massachusetts Bay Colony founded Harvard College, the first institution of higher learning in the American Colonies. In 1647, Massachusetts passed the first law in the colonies requiring the establishment of public schools. The law required every town with at least fifty families to start an elementary school for all children. In addition, every town with one-hundred families or more had to set up a Latin grammar school. These secondary schools demand instructions in Latin and were taught to prepare boys for college (School).

In the 1700’s, private secondary schools, called academies, opened in many colonies. They taught bookkeeping, navigation, and other practical subjects such as English and Latin. Some academics admitted girls and some establishments admitted girls only. Colonial school buildings were simple log or wood-frame structures. Most buildings had one room with a stove located in the center and a few windows along the walls. They also had wooden desks with benches for the students. The first school districts were established in New England during the mid-1700’s. The district system did not become widespread until the 1800’s (Wagner).

The need for public education increased in the United States during the early 1800’s. American political leaders, like those in Europe, saw that a nation’s economic and social well-being depende...

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...en learn their responsibilities such as truth and justice. Schools also help people learn to enjoy the arts and to develop other interests. Schools increase peoples knowledge of the world, train them for a job or career, and help them adjust to the changes that take place in life.

Works Cited

"School." The World Book Encyclopedia. 17. U.S.A: Childcraft International, Inc., 1978. Print.

Wagner, Tom. How Schools Change. 2nd. Reed Business Information Inc., 1994. Print.

Johnson, J.A., Collins, H.W., Dupuis, V.L. and Johansen, J.H. Introduction to the Foundations of American Education, Sixth Edition. Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1985.

Butts, R.F. Public Education in the United States: From Revolution to Reform. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978.

Public Education in the United States. Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001. (
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