Some random quotes from books that I will at some point write about....and cite at that point.
(near the end of the 19th cent...) everywhere the goals were few and simple: children learned not only the basics of reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic but also the basics of good behavior. Principals and teachers considered character and intelligence to be of equal value and neither was possible without "disciplining the will" which required prompt, unquestioning obedience to the teacher and the school.
The McGuffey readers contained excerpts from...Shakespeare, Hawthorn, Dickens. (these readers were popular around the end of the 19th century in public elementary schools...think...do children in elementary schools today read such things? They hardly do even in high school.)
Charles W Eliot insisted that more and better schools and common standards were needed.
William Torrey Harris explained that the right kind of moral education could not be obtained from private tutors, because only in public schools did pupils learn the discplined behavior necessary for life in a civilized community......(he also thought that...) a system which proposes to let the individual work out his education entriely by himself is the greatest possible mistake.
They pressed the schools to cast aside outmoded assumptions, one of which was the idea that the academic curriculum was appropriate for all children. Progressive educators argued that the bookish curriculum blocked social progress and it was unfitted for the hordes of immigrant children.
Th goal of many reformers was not to to make the academic curriculum accessible to more students but to devise a practical curriculum for those who would soon be in the workforce, especially the students who were poor, foreign born, and non-white.
Immigrant children...lacked the intellect for academic studies...they were suited for manual labor and industrial occupations where they would serve society best.
(These quotes are all from Diane Ravitch's Left Back)