Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Father of the Public School

There are many historical figures that when you see there face you recognize them immediately.  Some of these figures include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein and Frida Kahlo just to name a few.  However the man pictured to the right is the founder to the place where we learn about all these people and hardly anyone knows about him.  His name is Horace Mann and is more commonly known as "the Father of Public School".

He was born in 1796 in Massachusetts and grew up surrounded by poverty and hardships. He was a self taught until he turned 20 and got accepted into Brown University. He was an excellent student and after graduation choose a career in law.  He was highly involved in Politics and was always helping to fight for the things he believed in.  Some of these included women's rights, the abolition of slavery and during the temperance movement he fought to limit the negative impact of alcohol. However his true passion was in providing educational access to all people.

In the 19th century immigrants, small farmers and urban laborers were fighting to be more involved in democracy.  Horace man joined the fight and became the nations leading advocate for starting a school that would be open to all.  He started his battle for the creation of a common school in his birth place Massachusetts, by creating the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 1837.  He wanted everyone to be able to receive an equal opportunity for a quality education. He started the movement for creating public schools.  Although people were skeptical at first due to the raises in taxes they were eventually persuaded.   In today's society every child is given a chance for a free public education and it is all possible because of Horace Mann. 

Horace Mann was an innovative thinker that same things in the world he wanted to change so he did something about it.  He got people to more outside there comfort zones and try something new that he thought would improve the country.  The work that Horace Mann put into creating these schools is the reason that public schools are so common today. I even found a school online called the Horace Mann school in honor of this amazing individual ( 

Fighting for what you believe in can be a scary thing to do especially if you don't have a lot of support from others but it is the only thing that will help us to continue to get better and grow.  Advocating for something you care about is something that you should be doing with out even having to think twice.  As Physical Educators we face a lot of opponents who think that PE is just a waste of time and money in schools.  It is our job to change there minds by showing them just how important it is and all the benefits that students can get from it.  We need to constantly be opening our minds to new ideas and can help us bring more respect to our profession. 

No comments:

Post a Comment