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ERIC Number: EJ1005860
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-6239-6008-7
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
The Idea of Infancy and Nineteenth-Century American Education
Watras, Joseph
American Educational History Journal, v39 n1 p53-67 2012
Writing in 1962, Phillippe Aries argued that an initial step in the movement to establish schools for children in Europe took place during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when moralists and artists began portraying children as different from adults. According to Aries, the portrayal of childhood as a unique period enabled the family and the school to separate children from society. Whether Aries accurately described the process in Europe, American educators embraced the idea that childhood was a distinct stage under different circumstances and with different effects. An important difference is that American educators did not accord children special status and, subsequently, build schools. Before American educators decided that childhood differed from adulthood, they had built schools and enrolled children across the country. Another piece of evidence that American educators built schools and enrolled children across the country before they decided that childhood differed from adulthood is that the popular models of curriculum treated children as miniature adults and prepared them for the life as adults. In short, this paper suggests that Aries's assertion that the discovery of childhood led to the spread of formal schooling did not match the many different factors present in America during the nineteenth century. On a practical level, the rise of schooling followed an increase in the size and number of cities. On a theoretical level, evolutionary theory was important.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany; United States