“All Things Considered”
In the lectures for this week we learn about Horace Mann and his thoughts on a universal education. I also enjoyed the provided reading by Horace Mann. Mann writes about class distinction and distribution of wealth in his age. He reaches the conclusion that the best way that the class distinction can be abolished is through education. The education will provide the means for the lower class to be able to rise up out of the lower class. “Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of the conditions of Men” (Horace Mann). I think that what Mann was saying back then is still very relevant today. Education is becoming more accessible to all. Unfortunately, area codes and education still share a troubling correlation.
Included in this week’s readings was a portion of Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Exposition Address’. I found this selection to be an interesting choice. Mann on the one hand is talking about getting rid of any sort of class system and Washington is talking about making the working class be seen as more of a respectable place to be in society. “Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labor and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life” (Washington). It is my understanding that during this time period W.E.B. Du Bois was also an influential figure of the time with a very different idea of education. Du Bois wanted to see black people educated to have occupations that went beyond the labor class and would be considered to be upper class occupations. I also believe that Mann, writing from Massachusetts, the North, would think that his idea of universal education would also apply to black people.
“On Achieving Social Equity” selections from Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Exposition Address (1895)
“On Education and National Welfare”1848 Twelfth Annual Report of Horace Mann as
Secretary of Massachusetts State Board of Education (1848)