The purpose of this chapter was to trace the origins of the evolution of a theory of education in the New World beginning with migration from Europe as a result of the conflict that existed there. This conflict was caused by religious practices and political systems of varying forms, and it was not quite possible to have agreement on what was good for both people as individuals and society as a whole. Religious practices and political systems undercut the freedom of worship and expression. As Europe went through the period of the Renaissance and Reformation, those who contributed to the evolution of a new theology and political thought did so from the desire to improve the systems so that they would respond to the needs of the people. But in initiating a change of thought process in both religion and politics, they created an environment that led to conflict forcing individuals to consider going elsewhere. The New World presented an opportunity to start a new life free from the interference of the conflict in Europe.
This chapter also discussed three types of settlements in the New World and the kind of life each led. This leads to a discussion of the need to initiate a new type of education designed to meet the needs of society. But cast in a new environment where there were no traditions on which to build new institutions, the colonists adopted systems of education that had existed in Europe since the Medieval period. These systems were based on ancient Greek philosophy. This is why a discussion of Plato's and Aristotle's theory of education was initiated. These ideas form the basis of the theory of education in the Western world, and Plato and Aristotle form the major thrust of the type of education that began to form in the New World as soon as it came into being.