Horace Mann

The nation’s first and foremost education reformer, Horace Mann laid the groundwork for the modern public school system and established a series of schools to train teachers.

With only a modicum of schooling, the largely self-taught Mann enrolled at Brown University and graduated in three years. He studied law for a time, helped overhaul the Massachusetts system of schools, and served in the Massachusetts legislature and U.S. Congress. He spent his final years as president of Antioch College in Ohio.

As an education reformer, Mann advocated the importance of an educated citizenry, public control of schools, a secular curriculum, the enrollment of children of different backgrounds, and the employment of well-trained teachers.

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