Education in the 19th Century

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 7 October 2016

Education in the 19th Century

I. General Theme:

* Nationalism in Europe grew stronger and with it was the belief in the power of education to shape the future of nation as well as individuals.
* Spread of democratic ideas and of the application industry to science.
* There were charity schools supported by the church and charitable organization.
* Establishment of agricultural, commercial, scientific and industrial schools

II. Specific Events and Facts

1. Increase in the number of Science Schools

“The Nineteenth Century,” says Lavasseur, “is the first which has systematized and generalized the education of the people for the value of education in itself.” The Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University was established in 1847, the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard in 1848, and the Chandler Scientific School of Dartmouth in 1852. The land grants of 1862 by Congress encouraged this system of education and scientific courses were added to the state universities, while Columbia organized its School of Mines, Washington University of St. Louis its School of Engineering, and in 1861 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology opened its doors. In 1871 the Stevens Institute of Technology was founded at Hoboken, and the Green School of Science was established as a branch of Princeton College.

2. Universities opened for women

Women were not admitted to university examinations in England until 1867, when the doors of the University of London were thrown open, and, in 1871, Miss Clough opened a house for women students in Cambridge, which in 1875 became Newnham College. Women were formally admitted to Cambridge in 1881, and somewhat similar privileges were given at Oxford in 1884. The two earliest women’s colleges in the United States are generally reported to be Mount Holyoke, which dates from 1836, and was organized by Mary Lyon; but it had for its curriculum merely an academic course, and this is true of the Georgia Female College, opened at Macon, Georgia, in 1839. The first institution in the world designed to give women a full collegiate course was founded at Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1861, by Matthew Vassar, and it was opened in 1865.

3. Co-educational schools

The first co-educational institutions were Antioch and Oberlin Colleges; but during the last generation co-education has met with growing favor, until now more than half the colleges of the United States admit women as well as men. Having gained a collegiate education the women sought admission to the professional schools, which they have gradually secured, until now women lawyers and physicians are quite common in the larger cities, and women legislators and mayors win public favor in Colorado and Iowa.”

4. Education Act of 1870 in England “Foster Act”

The 1870 Education Act stands as the very first piece of legislation to deal specifically with the provision of education in Britain. Most importantly, it demonstrated a commitment to provision on a national scale. The Act allowed voluntary schools to carry on unchanged, but established a system of ‘school boards’ to build and manage schools in areas where they were needed. The boards were locally elected bodies which drew their funding from the local rates. Unlike the voluntary schools, religious teaching in the board schools was to be ‘non-denominational’. A separate Act extended similar provisions to Scotland in 1872.

5. Education Act of 1891 in England

The 1891 Elementary Education Act (5 August 1891) was another significant step in the process which the 1870 Act had begun, as it decreed that elementary education was to be provided free. The Act provided for ten shillings (50p) a year to be paid as a ‘fee grant’ by Parliament for each child over three and under fifteen attending a public elementary school. The schools were forbidden to charge additional fees except in certain circumstances.

6. French Model of Education System

Moving into the 19th century, the objective of universities evolved from teaching the “regurgitation of knowledge” to “encourage productive thinking. Two new university models, the German and the post-Revolutionary French, arose and made an impact on established models such as the Russian and Britain – especially the newer foundations of University College London and King’s College London. Such free thinking and experimentation had notably already begun in Britain’s oldest universities beginning in the seventeenth century at Oxford with the fathers of British scientific methodology Robert Hooke and Robert Boyle, and at Cambridge where Isaac Newton was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics & Physics.

7. Prussian Education System

The educational system was divided into three groups. The elite of Prussian society were seen as comprising .5% of the society. Approximately 5.5% of the remaining children were sent to what was called realschulen, where they were partially taught to think. The remaining 94% went to volkschulen, where they were to learn “harmony, obedience, freedom from stressful thinking and how to follow orders.”

An important part of this new system was to break the link between reading and the young child, because a child who reads too well becomes knowledgeable and independent from the system of instruction and is capable of finding out anything. In order to have an efficient policy-making class and a sub-class beneath it, you’ve got to remove the power of most people to make anything out of available information. The Prussian education system was a system of mandatory education dating to the early 19th century. Parts of the Prussianeducation system have served as models for the education systems in a number of other countries, including Japan and the United States.

8. Early Education

Reading, writing, religion and arithmetic were only some of the subjects that were taught during the 19th century.

9. Fencing

Fencing has a long history with universities and schools. At least one style of fencing, Mensur in Germany is practiced only within universities. University students compete internationally at the World University Games. The United States holds two national level university tournaments including the NCAA championship and the USACFC National Championships tournaments in the USA and theBUCS fencing championships in the United Kingdom.

10. Johann Friedrich Herbart

* Created an international attention and attracted thousands of European and American visitors. * They saw physically active children – running, jumping and playing with letter blocks. * Goal: Natural Development of the Individual Child

* Learning begins with firsthand observation of an object and moves gradually toward the remote and abstract realm of words and ideas.



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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 7 October 2016

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