The nation's many small colleges helped young men make the transition from rural farms to complex urban occupations. Conditions varied markedly among regions of the country. Few alumni became farmers, but they did play an increasingly important role in the larger food industry, especially after the federal extension system was set up in 1916 that put trained agronomists in every agricultural county. In the 1930s roughly one fourth of the US population still lived and worked on farms and few rural Southerners of either race went beyond the 8th grade until after 1945. ", The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, Volume 9, by. . The reforms opened the way for hiring more Irish Catholic and Jewish teachers, who proved adept at handling the civil service tests and gaining the necessary academic credentials. Wealthy families sent their sons North to college. , Webster's Speller was the pedagogical blueprint for American textbooks; it was so arranged that it could be easily taught to students, and it progressed by age. Most states and many cities undertook programs to teach the handicapped, though financially the going was difficult. Computers became increasingly important in education, not only as a field of study but also as reference and teaching aids.  Missionary schools in the American Southeast were first developed in 1817.  Most were women but among African Americans, male teachers slightly outnumbered female teachers. Both series emphasized civic duty and morality, and sold tens of millions of copies nationwide. When comparing college attendance rates between veterans and non-veterans during this period, veterans were found to be 10% more likely to go to college than non-veterans. A few young American students studied at the prestigious Inns of Court in London. The most economics-minded historians have sought to relate education to changes in the quality of labor, productivity and economic growth, and rates of return on investment in education. The Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) upheld the segregation of races in schools as long as each race enjoyed parity in quality of education (the "separate but equal" principle). The 1890 act required states that had segregation also to provide all-black land grant colleges, which were dedicated primarily to teacher training. In the early decades after the bill was passed, most campuses became largely male thanks to the GI Bill, since only 2% of wartime veterans were women. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 provided for the establishment of the Head Start program, a total program designed to prepare children for success in public schools. This was the first free school and first retreat center for young women. , The ideal of Republican motherhood pervaded the entire nation, greatly enhancing the status of women and supporting girls' need for education. Mann initially focused on elementary education and on training teachers. Districts introduced bilingual instruction and provided instruction in English as a second language. 1861 - The U.S. Civil War begins when South Carolina secedes from the union and along with 10 other states forms the Confederate States of American. Thenceforward, federal aid for the handicapped steadily increased.  At the same time, Washington used his network to provide important funding to support numerous legal challenges by the NAACP against the systems of disenfranchisement which southern legislatures had passed at the turn of the century, effectively excluding blacks from politics for decades into the 1960s. This was an important development, as children from all social classes could now receive a free, formal education.  Private academies also flourished in the towns across the country, but rural areas (where most people lived) had few schools before the 1880s. The emphasis was now on quality of school performance and the relation of schooling to career. , In the early days of the Reconstruction era, the Freedmen's Bureau opened 1000 schools across the South for black children. The wealthiest European nations, such as Germany and Britain, had far more exclusivity in their education system; few youth attended past age 14. , American post-elementary schooling was designed to be consistent with national needs. For most children, compulsory schooling starts at around the age of five to six, and runs for 12 consecutive years. , The Coleman Report, by University of Chicago sociology professor James Coleman proved especially controversial in 1966. Instead it was premised on the anti-elitist notion that a good teacher does not need paper credentials, that learning does not need a formal classroom and that the highest priority should go to the bottom tier of society. Graduates of these schools could read and write, though not always with great precision.  While some African Americans managed to achieve literacy, southern states largely prohibited schooling to blacks. Fostered by community spirit and financial donations, private female academies were established in towns across the South as well as the North. The "Gary plan" was implemented in the new industrial "steel" city of Gary, Indiana, by William Wirt, the superintendent who served from 1907–30. He planned the Speller accordingly, starting with the alphabet, then covering the different sounds of vowels and consonants, then syllables; simple words came next, followed by more complex words, then sentences. There is little evidence that they schooled any girls.  Most elite parents either home schooled their children using peripatetic tutors or sent them to small local private schools. By the 1780s, most had been replaced by private academies. Popular Services from U.S. Department of Education Wirt divided students into two platoons—one platoon used the academic classrooms, while the second platoon was divided among the shops, nature studies, auditorium, gymnasium, and outdoor facilities. The Irish and other Catholic ethnic groups intended parochial schools not only to protect their religion, but to enhance their culture and language. In opposition, the well-established National Education Association (NEA) saw NYA as a dangerous challenge to local control of education NYA expanded Work-study money to reach up to 500,000 students per month in high schools, colleges, and graduate schools. It is a reflection of the basic debates talking place in the broader society.  Harvard at first focused on training young men for the ministry, but many alumni went into law, medicine, government or business. It gave jobs to 50,000 teachers to keep rural schools open and to teach adult education classes in the cities. Men handled worldly affairs and needed to both read and write.  Many schools and school districts are adjusting learning environments, curricula, and learning spaces to include and support more active learning (such as experiential learning) to foster deeper learning and the development of 21st century skills.
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