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Education: History of Education

This guide highlights resources related to education.

Equality in Education


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Caricature showing Uncle Sam lecturing four children labeled Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Cuba. A black boy is washing windows, a Native American sits separate from the class, and a Chinese boy is outside the door. The caption reads: School Begins. Uncle Sam (to his new class in Civilization)

Racism both in the United States and Europe deals with the dimension of power, especially when it is related to dominant and minority social groups. This dimension of power leads to a variety of attitudes and behaviors toward certain groups.



Equality vs Equity


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A political ideal promoting the equal treatment, standing or status of people in certain respects. Equality has a close, though complex, connection to justice. While equality is a central ideal within liberal democracies (see liberalism), often enshrined as a formal right, its precise meaning and scope remain controversial.   (From The Dictionary of Human Geography)




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This page has links to encyclopedia entries and topic page articles in the library's online reference collection, Credo Reference. If you can't find what you're looking for on this page, try a search in the database, Credo Reference.

Affirmative Action: Topic Page

In the United States, programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women.


Brown v Board of Education: Topic Page

Case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954. Linda Brown was denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka because she was black.



Busing refers to the assignment and transport of children to schools beyond their immediate neighborhoods in order to obtain racial balance.


Civil Rights: Topic Page

The rights guaranteed by the state to its citizens. It incorporates the belief that governments should not arbitrarily act to infringe these rights, and that individuals and groups, through political action, have a legitimate role in determining and influencing what constitutes them.


Desegregation: Topic Page

The process of ending separation or isolation of a group who were restricted by law or custom to separate living areas, public facilities, educational institutions, etc.


Racism: Topic Page

Racism can be described as an extreme form of ethnocentrism (i.e., seeing one’s language, customs, ways of thinking, and material culture as preferable).

Educators and Theorists

This page has links to encyclopedia entries and topic page articles in the library's online reference collection, Credo Reference

Frederick Barnard (1809–1889): Topic Page

An American educator and mathematician. During his long administration (1864–89), Columbia grew from a small undergraduate college of 150 students into one of the nation's great universities, with an enrollment of 1,500.


Catherine Beecher (1800-1878): Topic Page


An Educator and writer, born in East Hampton, New York. After her fiancé’s death (1823), she founded the Hartford Female Seminary, launching a life-long campaign as lecturer, writer, and advocate for women’s education.


John Dewey (1859-1952): Topic Page


Dewey’s belief that the method of enquiry, the scientific method, should be applied to practical problems lent philosophical support to the rise and the vogue of the social sciences.


Charles W. Eliot (1834–1926): Topic Page


An American educator and president of Harvard. Under Eliot's 40-year administration, Harvard developed from a small college with attached professional schools into a great modern university.


Paulo Freire (1921-1997)


A radical educationalist. His best known work Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated into English in 1972. Freire used learning to facilitate the development of consciousness amongst oppressed and marginalized groups.


Friedrich Froebel (1782–1852): Topic Page


German educator and founder of the kindergarten system. Froebel stressed the importance of pleasant surroundings, self-activity, and physical training in child development.


Ivan Illich (1926-2002)


From The Dictionary of Alternatives
A radical educationalist and social thinker. His first and most famous book, Deschooling Society (1971), argued for the replacement of prison-like institutions for education by lifelong learning webs.


Horace Mann (1796–1859): Topic Page


An American educator. Was made secretary of the newly created (1837) state board of education at a time when the public school system was in very bad condition.


Maria Montessori (1870-1952): Topic Page


Maria Montessori was a physician, an educational reformer, and an advocate for children and peace. She is best known for designing the educational system known as the Montessori Method, which flourishes today in more than 8,000 schools on five continents.


Jean Piaget (1896-1980): Topic Page


Although Piaget is internationally known for his work in child psychology, he regarded his work as a contribution to genetic epistemology, i.e. the theory of knowledge directed upon the development (genesis) of knowledge.


Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778): Topic Page


Swiss-French philosopher, author, political theorist, and composer. What was new and important about his educational philosophy, as outlined in Émile, was its rejection of the traditional ideal: education was not seen to be the imparting of all things to be known to the uncouth child; rather it was seen as the "drawing out" of what is already there, the fostering of what is native.


Booker T. Washington (1856–1915): Topic Page


Booker Taliafero Washington, a black educator, orator, and leader, was born a slave in Franklin County, Virginia, on April 5, 1856.


Emma Willard (1787-1870): Topic Page


In the history of women’s education in the United States, Emma Willard was one of the pioneer advocates for female education. Tutored by her father and educated at a local seminary, she began her teaching career in 1805.  She became Head of the Female Academy, Middlebury, Vermont. In 1809.