Doesn't this just send chills down your spine as a parent? It's what we are told about in 3rd world countries during revolutions, right? Certainly not here in our country right? Well apparently when schools were introduced and made compulsary, this is exactly what happened.
I'm currently reading Family Matters, Why Homeschooling Makes Sense by David Guterson. He discusses many aspects to homeschooling, including the history in this country of schooling. It may sound dry, but is very interesting.
Originally schools were introduced as little democracies. Everyone, including students were to be equal and have an equal say in the running of the school. The schools were supposed to be the final step in making sure that every person had an equal chance at the American Dream, based upon Thomas Jefferson's view of our great new country.
So this sounds fabulous... why the need for the armies? Well up until this point children were schooled by parents to task. Your dad owned the corner store, you learned all the math; accounting and business skills necessary to take over. If your dad was a farmer you had hands on learning to farm. Working families needed the cohesive learning to ensure their future success. Rich families already had private schools to for their needs. Religious families had parochial or religion backed schools to educate their children as they saw fit. In fact the new schools saw resistance on all sides. So what happened?
The industrial revolution began and turned everything on it's ear. Men were now leaving the family for long hours. No longer were they available to school the older children in their livelihood. Mothers found themselves with young and older children isolated as "housewives". But more importantly, wealthy industrialists threw their money behind the public education movement. These industrialists needed workers who were uniformly trained and socialized to follow instructions.
Families resisted schooling because it was another step towards what they saw as the breakdown of family. And slowly, as women had their hands full, they began to welcome the break of school. Armed escourts were no longer necessary to force our children to school.
Just somethings to ponder...