ERIC Number: ED315166
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug-11
Reference Count: N/A
Entrance Age to Public Education in the United States, 1642 to 1842.
Hewes, Dorothy W.
This paper traces the interface between preschool and elementary school as reflected by public funding during the first 200 years of American education. The paper also covers reasons for changes in entrance age and in funding and indicates the relevance of these changes for current issues in early childhood education. Sections address: (1) the colonial period: 1642-1776; (2) post-revolutionary common schooling from 1777-1840; (3) infant schools with public funding, and their decline by 1842; and (4) current public funding issues. It is asserted that public opinion about the education of young children has demonstrated a continuity since the early colonial days of America, its roots being in the Calvinistic beliefs of the Puritans. During the past 3.5 centuries, other philosophies and systems have fertilized and been entwined with those roots, but basic elements remain. Preschools remain primarily funded by parents of the children enrolled. Public schools are provided for through tax revenues. Entrance age dropped from 7 to 4 or 5 years. Since play is still suspect as a way of learning, expenditure of tax funds for child care centers or other programs is considered justified only for pre-academic compensatory education for children of families considered to be so deficient that their children will grow up to be a burden on society. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For related documents, see PS 018 563-565.