In this book, an eminent educational historian examines some important aspects of American schooling over the past centuries, illuminating the relation between education and other broad changes in American society and providing a historical perspective for contemporary efforts at school reform.Maris Vinovskis critically reviews and integrates recent work in educational history and provides new research on neglected topics. He discusses such issues as: the gradual shift from the family to the public schools in the responsibility for educating the young; the rise and fall of infant schools between 1840 and 1860; the crisis in the teaching of morality in the public schools of the mid-nineteenth century; early efforts to provide schooling for impoverished children; and the evolution of the belief that education improves individual economic and social mobility. He also studies school attendance and discovers that a much higher percentage of children may have attended public high schools in the nineteenth century than has been assumed, investigates when the practice of placing children in grades according to their age became widespread, and assesses whether different age groups in previous eras varied in their support for schooling-as they seem to be doing now.
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