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1. Select what YOU believe to be the most significant events in the development of K-12 schooling from the 1600’s, 1700’s, 1800’s, and 1900’s. Describe and defend your choices in a paragraph pertaining to each century. Maximum length = 2pages.
2. Write a maximum on-page paper about the era of the one-room schoolhouse. Discuss and compare the educational environment with your own. Provide at least five examples of differences and similarities.
3. Identify three major persons who, in your opinion, have contributed to shaping American education. Examine the concept of educational leadership as exemplified by these individuals; what characteristics did they have or what ideas did they espouse that may have contributed to their widespread influence? [low are they similar to or different from contemporary educational leaders? Maximum length = three pages.
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The most significant event that I find for American education in the 1600s is the passing of Massachusetts Education Laws of 1642 and 1647. These had wide-reaching implications for society and laid the paradigm of education for future centuries. What is noteworthy of the context of the passing of these laws is that the education was not in the minds of the founding fathers as an end in itself but rather as a means to support their main goal in leaving Britain to make a life in America – escaping religious persecution (Barger, 2004). To the founding fathers, literacy was desirable from all members of society irrespective of class as it was needed to enable everyone to be familiar with the written codes – religious and secular, that the colonies were being governed under. Under the Education Law of 1642, all parents and masters were required to ensure that children and people under their care were able to read and write (Barger, 2004).
The Northwest Ordinance was enacted in 1785. It was the first national law in Education. The purpose of the Northwest Ordinance laws again was not to bring about changes in education but to lay down the framework for the governance of the colonies by laying down the law regarding territorial distribution and administration. But the law ended up creating a revolution in the field of Education as a side effect, by stipulating that every town that was created by this law should set aside a section of the town for a schoolhouse (Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2016). This law initiated the era of mass education that did not acknowledge class differences that had been present in earlier systems of education and was instrumental in creating an equal society.
In 1821 Emma Willard opened the first educational institution for women –the Troy female seminary in New York. For the first time that education for women assumed importance in the landscape of education in America and was a significant first step in raising the status of women. Willard believed that reason and religion acknowledged that women had primary existence and were not just satellites of men, a radical belief for her times. Her institution had some very progressive educational practices like teaching mathematics to women not seen elsewhere, although she took care not to imply that women's education should be the same as man at the same time (NWHM, 2016).