Public Schools and Moral Education: The Influence of Horace Mann, William Torrey Harris, and John Dewey

By Neil Gerard McCluskey | Go to book overview

III. THE MANDATE FOR CHRISTIAN PIETY

The law establishing the office of secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education had defined the occupant's duties only in a general way. Mann began to familiarize himself with the state of the schools. He pored over the district school reports, read books on education, visited scores of schools, consulted people interested in improving them, and between August 28 and November 15 "met conventions of the friends of education in every county in the State except Suffolk."1 On January 1, 1838, Mann had his First Annual Report ready to present to the board.2

It was toward the close of this report that Mann turned to the topic of moral instruction in the common schools. The secretary expressed his concern over the want of such instruction, calling it a singular and alarming phenomenon. But there existed a dilemma, one which would plague him all through his career. We have a statute, he recalls, which makes special provision that no school books should be used in any

____________________
1
Life and Works, II, 385.
2
Several of the Mann reports are classic documents. The Fifth Annual Report was the first to arouse international interest. It was printed and distributed at public expense in Germany and England.

-32-

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Public Schools and Moral Education: The Influence of Horace Mann, William Torrey Harris, and John Dewey
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Part One - Introduction 1
  • I - The Problem 1
  • Part Two - Horace Mann 1796-1859 11
  • II - The Shaping of a Philosophy 11
  • III - The Mandate for Christian Piety 32
  • IV - Final Controversies 66
  • Part Three - William Torrey Harris 99
  • V - New England and St. Louis 99
  • VI - The Defense of Hegel's Institutional Morality 118
  • VII - The Separation of Religion from the School 145
  • Part Four - John Dewey 1859-1952 177
  • VIII - From Hegel and Darwin to John Dewey 177
  • IX - Faith and Morals for a Democracy 203
  • X - Faith and Morals for Democracy's Schools 233
  • Part Five - Conclusion 259
  • XI - Some Meanings for Today 259
  • A Selective Bibliography 277
  • Index 305
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