Horace Mann (May 4, 1796 - August 2, 1859) was an American education reformer, often considered to be "The Father of American Public Education." He was also a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (Republican) from 1848 to 1853. He enrolled at Brown University at the age of 20 and graduated after three years as valedictorian of his class in 1819. He then studied law for a short time, was a tutor of Latin and Greek (1820-1822) and a librarian (1821-1823) at Brown University, studied law (1821-1823 ) and was admitted to the bar in 1823.
In 1837 he was appointed Secretary of the newly created Board of Education of Massachusetts. In this position, he introduced numerous reforms. Mann's reforms included the establishment of a single school system throughout the state instead of separate local school districts. He urged separate classrooms for students at different levels of learning, and discouraged learning by rote and flogging as punishment. Most importantly, he worked effectively for more and better equipped school houses, longer school years (until 16 years old), higher pay for teachers, and a wider curriculum.
In 1852, he supported governor Edward Everett in the decision to adopt the Prussian Education System in Massachusetts. Shortly after Everett and Mann collaborated to adopt the Prussian system, the Governor of New York set up the same method in twelve different New York schools on a trial basis.
From 1853 until his death in 1859, he was president of the newly established Antioch College at Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he taught political economy, intellectual and moral philosophy, and natural theology.The above information was taken from the Horace Mann article on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, based on the GNU Free Documentation License.
Mann on education and national welfare
The Prussian Education System
School for a Post Industrial Society
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