Mann, Horace

Mann, Horace
born May 4, 1796, Franklin, Mass., U.S.
died Aug. 2, 1859, Yellow Springs, Ohio

U.S. educator, the first great American advocate of public education.

Raised in poverty, Mann educated himself at the Franklin, Mass., town library and gained admission to Brown University. He later studied law and was elected to the state legislature. As state secretary of education he vigorously espoused educational reform, arguing that in a democratic society education should be free and universal, nonsectarian, and reliant on well-trained, professional teachers. In his later years he served in the U.S. Congress (1848–53) and as first president of Antioch College, (1853–59) and he worked resolutely to end slavery.

Horace Mann

By courtesy of Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio

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▪ American educator
born , May 4, 1796, Franklin, Mass., U.S.
died Aug. 2, 1859, Yellow Springs, Ohio

      U.S. educator, the first great American advocate of public education, who believed that, in a democratic society, education should be free and universal, nonsectarian, democratic in method, and reliant on well-trained, professional teachers.

      Mann grew up in an environment ruled by poverty, hardship, and self-denial. He was taught briefly and erratically by comparatively poor teachers, but he managed to educate himself in the Franklin town library, and, with tutoring in Latin and Greek from Samuel Barrett (later a leading Unitarian minister), he gained admission at the age of 20 to the sophomore class at Brown University (Providence, R.I.). He did brilliant work at Brown, manifesting great interest in problems of politics, education, and social reform; his valedictory address, on the gradual advancement of the human race in dignity and happiness, was a model of humanitarian optimism, offering a way in which education, philanthropy, and republicanism could combine to allay the wants and shortcomings that beset mankind.

      Upon graduation in 1819 Mann chose law as a career. He read law briefly with a Wrentham, Mass., lawyer, taught for a year at Brown, and then studied at Litchfield (Conn.) Law School, which led to his admission to the bar in 1823. He settled in Dedham, Mass., and there his legal acumen and oratorical skill soon won him a seat in the state House of Representatives, where he served from 1827 to 1833. There he led the movement that established a state hospital for the insane at Worcester, the first of its kind in the United States. In 1833 he moved to Boston, and from 1835 to 1837 he served in the Massachusetts Senate, in 1836 as president of it.

      Of the many causes Mann espoused, none was dearer to him than popular education. Nineteenth-century Massachusetts could boast a public school system going back to 1647. Yet during Mann's own lifetime, the quality of education had deteriorated as school control had gradually slipped into the hands of economy-minded local districts. A vigorous reform movement arose, committed to halting this decline by reasserting the state's influence. The result was the establishment in 1837 of a state board of education, charged with collecting and publicizing school information throughout the state. Much against the advice of friends, who thought he was tossing aside a promising political career, Mann accepted the first secretaryship of this board.

      Endowed with little direct power, the new office demanded moral leadership of the highest order and this Mann supplied for 11 years. He started a biweekly Common School Journal in 1838 for teachers and lectured widely to interested groups of citizens. His 12 annual reports to the board ranged far and wide through the field of pedagogy, stating the case for the public school and discussing its problems. Essentially his message centred on six fundamental propositions: (1) that a republic cannot long remain ignorant and free, hence the necessity of universal popular education; (2) that such education must be paid for, controlled, and sustained by an interested public; (3) that such education is best provided in schools embracing children of all religious, social, and ethnic backgrounds; (4) that such education, while profoundly moral in character, must be free of sectarian religious influence; (5) that such education must be permeated throughout by the spirit, methods, and discipline of a free society, which preclude harsh pedagogy in the classroom; and (6) that such education can be provided only by well-trained, professional teachers. Mann encountered strong resistance to these ideas—from clergymen who deplored nonsectarian schools, from educators who condemned his pedagogy as subversive of classroom authority, and from politicians who opposed the board as an improper infringement of local educational authority—but his views prevailed.

      Mann resigned the secretaryship in 1848 to take the seat of former Pres. John Quincy Adams in the United States Congress. There he proved himself to be a fierce enemy of slavery. In 1853, having run unsuccessfully for the Massachusetts governorship a year before, he accepted the presidency of Antioch College (Antioch University) in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a new institution committed to coeducation, nonsectarianism, and equal opportunity for Negroes. There, amidst the usual crises attendant upon an infant college, Mann finished out his years. Two months before he died, he had given his own valedictory to the graduating class: “I beseech you to treasure up in your hearts these my parting words: Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”

Lawrence A. Cremin

Additional Reading
The most comprehensive bibliography is Clyde S. King, Horace Mann, 1796–1859: A Bibliography (1966). The definitive biography is Jonathan Messerli, Horace Mann (1972). Popular biographies are Louise Hall Tharp, Until Victory: Horace Mann and Mary Peabody (1953, reprinted 1977); and Robert B. Downs, Horace Mann, Champion of Public Schools (1974). Jonathan C. Messerli, “Horace Mann at Brown,” Harvard Educational Review, 33(3):285–311 (1963), throws light on Mann's early years. Robert L. Straker, The Unseen Harvest: Horace Mann and Antioch College (1955), deals authoritatively with the Antioch period. The standard contemporary work is Mary Tyler (Peabody) Mann (ed.), Life and Works of Horace Mann, rev. ed., 5 vol. (1891). Excerpts from the annual reports to the Massachusetts Board of Education are in L.A. Cremin (ed.), Republic and the School: Horace Mann on the Education of Free Men (1957, reissued 1962).

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Universalium. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • Mann, Horace — (spr. männ), amerikan. Staatsmann, geb. 4. Mai 1796 in Franklin (Massachussets), gest. 2. Aug. 1859 in Yellow Springs (Ohio), verschaffte sich aus eigner Kraft die für die höhern Studien notwendige Vorbildung und ließ sich nach Absolvierung… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mann,Horace — Mann (măn), Horace. 1796 1859. American educator who as the first secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education (1837 1848) introduced reforms and regulations that greatly influenced American public education. * * * …   Universalium

  • Mann, Horace — (4 may. 1796, Franklin, Mass., EE.UU.–2 ago. 1859, Yellow Springs, Ohio). Educador estadounidense y primer gran defensor de la educación pública. De origen humilde, Mann fue autodidacta en la biblioteca de su ciudad y consiguió ser admitido en la …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • MANN, HORACE —    American educationist, born in Massachusetts; was devoted to the cause of education as well as that of anti slavery (1790 1859) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Horace — bezeichnet: Horace (Corneille), Theaterstück von Pierre Corneille Horace (George Sand), Roman von George Sand (1842) Danny Horace (* 1983), US amerikanischer Basketballspieler Horace (Kansas), Ort in den Vereinigten Staaten Horace (North Dakota) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Horace Mann junior — (* 25. Februar 1844 in Boston; † 11. November 1868) war ein US amerikanischer Botaniker. Sein offizielles botanisches Autorenkürzel lautet „H.Mann“. Leben Horace Mann junior war der Sohn des Bildungsreformers Horace Mann (1796–1859). Während… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Horace Mann Jr. — Horace Mann Jr. (1844 1868) was an American botanist. BiographyHorace Mann Jr. was born in Boston on February 25, 1844. He was the son of education reformer Horace Mann. While attending the Lawrence Scientific School he took lessons in zoology… …   Wikipedia

  • Mann — Mann, Anthony Mann, Heinrich Mann, Thomas * * * (as used in expressions) Gell Mann, Murray Mann, Horace Mann, Thomas …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mann [3] — Mann (spr. Männ), Horace, geb. 4. Mai 1796 in Franklin im Staate Massachusetts, widmete sich den Rechtswissenschaften u. wnrde bald darauf Lehrer der Lateinischen u. Griechischen Sprache an der Universität in Providence in Rhode Island; 1821… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Horace Mann — This article is about an early leader in education. For the private school in New York City, see Horace Mann School. For other uses, see Horace Mann (disambiguation). Horace Mann Horace Mann …   Wikipedia

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