Horace Mann's 12th Annual Report

1135 words - 5 pages

As a rationale for his support of public education, Horace Mann, as the Secretary of the Mass. State Board of Education, wrote his 12th Annual Report. This report was based upon his own theories and ideas of education. A few of the theories that Mann touched upon were: opportunity and what it had to offer to the often non-educated, the worth of learning how to use knowledge and how the values of society can affect education. In order to portray these theories to main stream society, Mann used the example of Common Schools. He believed that Common Schools not only allowed his theories to install the principles education had to offer to the masses, but that it also showed them how to go about putting those principles to use. He believed his theories to be true and extremely informant to those who were educationally left behind. He understood that society could improve as a result of public education and that, public-education, would set things straight for our nation for years to come.Horace Mann's primary goal for education was to provide a more equal opportunity to the mass of the uneducated. To Mann, opportunity meant being able to go out and get an education, something many had trouble simply getting started doing. Mann's other goal for education was to let people know of what opportunities education had for them. Education did not open any doors of opportunity, yet it created doors for the people to choose to open themselves. This led to people of the "uneducated" society having an opportunity, if needed, to get out of problems such as poverty. The term "uneducated" refers to those who couldn't afford to send their children to private schools. This could have been based on the amount of tuition and/or the possible income the family would lose from their child if he/she went to school. It was definitely a hard decision for most parents. By sending their child to school, parents were faced with one of two outcomes, that the child would succeed and get a great job or that he/she wouldn't succeed and that the family would have to deal with the loss in income the child could've brought to the "table" while not being in school. Mann stated; "But education creates or develops new treasures; --treasures not before possessed or dreamed of by any one…." (12th Annual Report, page 6).What Mann was getting across with this was that the "uneducated" finally had the doors in front of them and that it was up to them to open those doors or turn their backs and follow the set value of society that they were used to. Mann was hoping that by this, they would understand that education was "here to stay" and that it was the way out of poverty. Education then, beyond other human ordeals, such as politics, jobs, and the economy, became the greatest way of equalizing the social and economical standards of men. That is, if all went well. Mann saw the ability to learn how to use gained knowledge as a way of acquiring power. Mann saw an educated person as...

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