The American Experience in Education

By John Barnard; David Burner | Go to book overview

1
EDUCATION IN THE HOUSEHOLDS AND SCHOOLS OF COLONIAL AMERICA

Lawrence A. Cremin

The history of education has usually been concerned with the schoolhouse and schoolroom activities. Historians have studied the legal, social, and economic organization of schools, the changes in courses of study and methods of instruction, the recruitment and training of teachers, and the several philosophies of education that have stimulated and justified different approaches to educational problems. While no one now denies the significance of the schoolroom, many historians are trying to come to terms with the clear fact that the outlooks and lives of the young take shape within a broad institutional and historical setting in which the school is only one of many elements. This has directed attention to the educational influences of the family, church, workshop, factory, and playground -- in fact, to all of society's institutions that deal with the young. In this excerpt from his masterful work American Education: The Colonial Experience, 1607-1783, Lawrence A. Cremin discusses the primacy of the household in the education of children in the American colonies. Cremin's study should be consulted for all aspects of education in the colonial period.

The place of children in English society and policy is the subject of Ivy Pinchbeck and Margaret Hewitt, Children in English Society, Volume One: From Tudor Times to the Eighteenth Century ( London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969). Studies of colonial American domestic and school

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