The Evolution of Educational Theory in the United States

By Dickson A. Mungazi | Go to book overview

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

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.


NOTES
1.
The record shows that Columbus sighted the island of San Salvador, now Watlings Islands, in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492.
2.
Barnes Historical Series, A Brief History of the United States ( New York: American Book Company, 1885), p. 10.
4.
A study of the political history of Britain shows that Sir Robert Walpole ( 1676-1745) was the first leader of the government to carry the title of prime minister in 1718.
5.
For details see Lynn Miller, The Global Order: Values and Power in International Politics ( Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994).
6.
History shows that the Mayflower, a double-deck ship, was built in 1609 and measured 90 feet long and weighed 180 tons. It dropped anchor off what is now Provincetown Harbor on November 21, 1620, and then set sail to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where it arrived on December 26, 1620.
7.
This event was the beginning of the now-famous Thanksgiving celebration in the United States. On November 26, 1789, President George Washington issued a

-34-

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The Evolution of Educational Theory in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Origins of the Theory of Western Education 15
  • Notes 34
  • 2 - Theory During the Colonial Period 37
  • Notes 57
  • 3 - Theory During the Revolutionary Period 61
  • Notes 80
  • 4 - Theory During the Common School Movement 83
  • 5 - The Theory of Secondary, Higher, and Teacher Education 103
  • Notes 121
  • 6 - The Courts and the Theory of Education for African Americans 125
  • 7 - Theory to Address National Problems: From Warren G. Harding to Bill Clinton 153
  • Notes 181
  • Conclusion 210
  • Notes 211
  • Selected Bibliography 215
  • Index 237
  • About the Author 251
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