Schools of Education
Haroldo A. Fontaine
Schools of education in the United States are a modern sociocultural product following on the heels of colonial expansion and competition, American and European revolutions, and the rise of nationalism and industrialization. They grew rapidly from humble beginnings. This entry explores their historical precedents, current problems, and possible solutions. The history of American public education, including its growing staffing needs, begins with the advent of the common school (and continues with the comprehensive high school). Under the leadership of Horace Mann, it flourished for at least three reasons: the expanding republic's need for well-trained, professional teachers; the industry's need for educated workers; and families' widening visions of better lives for their children. In the South, education was largely a private affair, but elsewhere, there were three imbricate forms of professional education available to meet this demand: teachers' institutes, local academies, and state-supported normal schools. The first two could not compete ...