Learning Power

What is Mann’s view of the powers of education?

In Horace Mann’s Twelfth Annual Report about public education in Massachusetts, the power of education is viewed as a means of earning wealth and eliminating poverty. Through education, one will have an equal chance to earn a living and to be more secured in life. Education is not only considered as the balance wheel of social machinery as it allows every individual to be in the same level regardless of social status and religion but also as a means of developing intelligence, preventing ignorance and putting an end to crime and corruption.

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What does he see as education’s role in society?

For Mann, the role of education is to prepare every child for adult life and to turn them into a responsible and moral citizen since the home was not successful in molding children to become better individuals. Although the state may need to invest its resources on education, in the end the country will reap its reward as its citizens become its best asset and resources in contributing towards the progress of the country. He also believed that given the proper education, children will not be burdens to society. For Mann, society will be benefited if children in the Common School learn about the concept of democracy, citizenship, politics, health issues and moral obligation.

To what extent would you agree that education successfully carries out these functions today?

Today, every school’s curriculum is geared to make students succeed and to prepare them in every facet of life; hence, the educational program is geared towards their mental, physical, and emotional development. Religion is not offered in public schools as the school system is open to diversity. I agree that education opens the opportunity for better jobs, higher income and better quality of life. However, providing education is not an assurance that we will have a perfect and stable society. Currently, the state provides free education from preschool to high school but the country is still not free of poverty, unemployment and criminal or unlawful activities. This only shows that people think independently and make their own choices. With the advancement in technology, mass media and communications, students are getting better education and teachers acquire skills and training within and outside the school premises.


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