With today's public school system, every child can attend school without cost. So it is difficult, at best, to understand the importance of Horace Mann (1796-1859). So this unit of study about Mann is not strictly based on his remarkable life, but the advantages free public education provides students.
This unit aims to build a greater understanding of Horace Mann's contributions to society and students' ability to prosper from his progressive thinking. We provide all the elements for the lesson. But, you may wish to individualize it by adding state and local educational leaders and events.
- Have students read the brief history of American education and of Mann's life and accomplishments. (See reading passages below)
- Use these six activities to help students understand Horace Mann's significance: