Horace Mann

Horace Mann (măn), 1796–1859, American educator, b. Franklin, Mass. He received a sparse preliminary schooling, but succeeded in entering Brown in the sophomore class and graduated with honors in 1819. He studied law, was admitted (1823) to the Massachusetts bar, and practiced in Dedham, Mass., and in Boston. He entered the state legislature in 1827, became speaker of the senate (1835), and was made secretary of the newly created (1837) state board of education at a time when the public school system was in very bad condition. Within his 12-year period of service, public interest was aroused, a movement for better teaching and better-paid teachers was instigated, school problems and statistics were brought to light and discussed, training schools for teachers were established, and schoolhouses and equipment were immeasurably improved. In 1843, Mann studied educational conditions abroad, and in 1848 he was elected to Congress as an antislavery Whig. He ran unsuccessfully for governor of Massachusetts in 1852. In 1853 he became the first president of Antioch College, where he also taught philosophy and theology. He died there, having achieved considerable success in demonstrating the practicality of coeducation and in raising the academic standards of the college. His second wife was Mary T. Peabody, sister of Elizabeth Peabody.


See M. T. P. Mann et al., ed., The Life and Works of Horace Mann (5 vol., 1891); biographies by J. Messerli (1972) and R. B. Downs (1974); B. A. Hinsdale, Horace Mann and the Common School Revival in the United States (1937); Selective and Critical Bibliography of Horace Mann (comp. by the Federal Writers' Project of Massachusetts, 1937).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Horace Mann: Selected full-text books and articles

Lives in Education: A Narrative of People and Ideas By L. Glenn Smith; Joan K. Smith Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: "Horace Mann (1796-1859)" begins on p. 243
FREE! Great Educators of Three Centuries: Their Work and Its Influence on Modern Education By Frank Pierrepont Graves Macmillan, 1912
Librarian's tip: Chap. XIII "Horace Mann and the American Education Revival"
Giants of American Education: Horace Mann By Eakin, Sybil Technos: Quarterly for Education and Technology, Vol. 9, No. 2, Summer 2000
FREE! The American Spirit in Education: A Chronicle of Great Teachers By Edwin E. Slosson Yale University Press, 1921
Librarian's tip: Chap. IX "Horace Mann and the American School"
American Schools: A Critical Study of Our School System By Henry C. Morrison The University of Chicago Press, 1943
Librarian's tip: "The Period of the Common School Revival" begins on p. 75
Schooled to Order: A Social History of Public Schooling in the United States By David Nasaw Oxford University Press, 1981
Librarian's tip: Part I "The Common Schools: 1835-1855"
Readings in American Educational History By Edgar W. Knight; Clifton L. Hall Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1951
Librarian's tip: Includes discusson of Horace Mann in multiple chapters
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The School in the American Social Order By Newton Edwards; Herman G. Richey Houghton Mifflin, 1963 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: "Horace Mann" begins on p. 311
Bitter Milk: Women and Teaching By Madeleine R. Grumet University of Massachusetts Press, 1988
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "Pedagogy for Patriarchy: The Feminization of Teaching"
Horace Mann Centennial: 1837-1937 By Massachusetts Department of Education Walter A. Smith, 1937
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