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Lecture 13

EDPS 210 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Endangerment, Puritans

Education Policy Studies
Course Code
EDPS 210

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Conflicting educational visions: the puritans and Thomas Jefferson
Education for the city on the hill
Puritans were not tolerant of perspectives different from their own
Came to America to establish true biblical commonwealth
Believe that the norms of society and the norms of the church were grounded
in the same biblical law
o So the concept of separation of church and state was alien to them
Human kind was innately depraved and could only be saved by god
Were not ignorant or anti-intellectual
Education was both a religious and civic necessity
Initial schools were private or individuals effort
o As settlement expanded, realized education was too important to
remain a private concern
Massachusetts bay colony general court enacted a law that required all
parents to provide their offspring with instruction in reading puritan text
and show laws of colony
o Law set a precedent that education is more than a family
Education as the safeguard to liberty
According to Jefferson, the puritan theory was tyranny and it denied the
fundamental human right to exercise freedom of religion
A governments only role is to protect inalienable rights in order to do this,
the men doing it must be properly educated and remain accountable
Only an educated people can create and maintain a government as a fortress
against liberty
Education is the ultimate safeguard of liberty
Government must assume responsibility for educating its children
They share the belief that education is so important to the common good that
it is more than a family responsibility
Jefferson believed that historical understanding, literacy and free press are
essential to democracy
Natural aristocracy
Jefferson embraced and secularized the puritan notion that education is
important for the commonwealth that is must be a societal responsibility
Education is the societal responsibility and safeguard of liberty
Section from notes on the state of Virginia
Doesn’t want to put the bible and testament into the hands of children
o At an age when their judgment is not matured to understand religion
Certain period of life from 15-16 years old
o When the mind, like the body, is not firm enough for laborious and
close operations
o Applied too soon will fall as an early victim of premature exertion
o Appear to be men but still young and tender subject
o Will be reduce to children if not completely matured yet
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