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The Development of American Schools

The Development of American Schools

(Module 2.5 a)

Elementary Schools

Secondary Schools

Dame Schools (1600s)

  • Private schools (for a fee)
  • taught by women
  • dames received meager wages
  • quality of instruction varied greatly

Latin Grammar Schools (1600s-1700s)

  • Prepared wealthy men for college
  • emphasized a classical curriculum
  • emphasized Latin and Greek
  • From European roots

Local Schools (1600s-1800s)

  • Started in towns and later expanded to districts
  • opened to those who could afford to pay
  • taught basic skills and religion

English Grammar Schools (1700s)

  • private schools
  • practical studies
  • preparation for business careers
  • means of instilling social graces
  • some schools admitted girl

Itinerant Schools (1700s) and Tutors (1600s-1900s)

  • In New England, itinerant teachers carried schooling from village to village
  • they lived in people's homes and provided instruction
  • in the South, private tutors taught the rich
  • traveling teachers and tutors for small fee and room and board
  • vary in levels of education

Academies (1700s-1800s)

  • combination of Latin and English grammar schools.
  • taught English not Latin
  • practical courses were taught
  • history and classics included
  • some academies emphasized college preparation
  • some emphasized business and vocations.


Private Schools (1700s-1800s)

  • often located in the middle colonies
  • variety of special studies
  • parents pay for what they want
  • curriculum varied


High Schools (1800s-present)

  • free
  • governed by the public
  • opened to all social classes
  • provided both precollege and career education


Common Schools (1830-present)

  • free
  • all social classes
  • intended to bring democracy into the classroom (Horace Mann)
  • elementary schools of today


Junior high schools (1909-present) and Middle Schools (1950s-present)

  • junior high school (grades 7-9) and middle schools (grades 6-8)
  • designed to meet the needs of preadolescents



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