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Education in 1600

In: Historical Events

Submitted By checasey
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The first education laws were put in place in Massachusetts in 1642. This law ordered the selectmen of each town to ascertain whether parents and masters were providing for their children's education. The selectmen also decided what the children were being taught. If these men decided that the children were not being taught to the standard of the law they were assigned a new master who would fulfill the law. Five years later, in 1647, the law was changed to elaborate a little more. Every township of more than fifty households had to provide a teacher to teach reading and writing and townships with more than 100 households had to attend grammar school. These were the first education laws in America. Like most things at this time, education and government were aligned with a religious group. The Puritans believed that education was necessary for religious instruction and salvation as well as for economic self reliance. The Law of 1642 stated that there was a need to ensure the ability of children to "read and understand the principles of religion and the capital laws of the country". The opening of Harvard college in 1636 was also based on religion, to ensure that there would be an educated ministry for the colony. The first elementary schooling was called a dame school. These were established to educate the common children in elementary reading writing, and mathematics. These schools were run in the kitchen or living room of a neighborhood woman and she received a modest fee for her efforts. Girls and boys were both allowed to attend while girls didn't attend as long because it was believed that a little reading, spelling, and needlework was all the education girls needed then. Instruction in the schools was mainly religious and authoritarian. students learned from a hornbook (material was written on parchment, placed on a wooden board and covered with a thin...

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