Primary Education Of Upper Class Children

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Primary education of upper-class children in colonial days included reading, writing, basic math, poems, and prayers. Education was provided for white students only and was privately taught: the purpose was to prepare children for their eventual roles in plantation life. During this time while males studied advanced academic subjects, the females learned to assume the role of the mistress of a plantation. It was not until the 1840s that an organized system existed. Education reformers like Thomas Jefferson with the common school, John Dewey with progressive education and E.D Hirsch with cultural literacy, who with their contributions helped shape the educational system we have today.
Thomas Jefferson, the “Man of the People,” is best known for drafting the Declaration of Independence, but he also wrote prolifically and prophetically about education. “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be,” he wrote in a letter to a friend. Common school advocates like Jefferson worked to establish a free elementary education accessible to everyone and financed by public funds. Jefferson understood that freedom depends on self-government and that education contributes to both the knowledge and virtues that form a self-governing citizen. Jefferson sought to teach “all children of the state reading, writing, and common arithmetic.” Jefferson viewed this basic education as instrumental in securing “life, liberty, and
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