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Unformatted text preview: court reasoned that to educate the children of foreigners in their mother tongue was "to educate them so that they must always think in that language, and, as a consequence, naturally inculcate in them the ideas and sentiments foreign to the best interests of this country." SLHS Value File Jefferson wanted schools to train students for republican citizenship to ward off anarchy Molly O'Brien, Administrative Professor of Law and Director of Advocacy Skills Programs at Emory University School of Law, AKRON LAW REVIEW, 2000, p. 141-142
For Thomas Jefferson, who drafted a bill for free public schools in Virginia in 1779, the purpose of publicly supported schooling was to develop republican citizenship. Jefferson thought that citizens must be educated in order to vote, to protect liberty, and to be vigilant against government corruption. Jefferson believed that a republican government requires an educated citizenry, that education should fulfill a civic rather than religious purpose, and that the state therefore had a responsibility to provide that education. Other founding fathers agreed with Jefferson that developing republican citizenship formed the foundational purpose of public education, but emphasized schooling to create an American national identity and social order. Benjamin Rush, for example, favored founding a national university "where the youth of all the states may be melted (as it were) together into one mass of citizens." The metaphor of "melting" the students undoubtedly envisioned the school as an indoctrinating institution, requiring the conformity of students. Early school advocates feared that the fledgling republic might degenerate into anarchy. A large country with a diverse population might fall prey to factional struggle unless an integrated population of responsible citizenry could be developed. The purpose of public education therefore was to produce "virtuous, well-behaved citizens" with resulting political conformity, social order, and disciplined behavior. INTENT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
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