The history of education in the United States has included many different changes and kinds of schools, especially in middle level education.
Before compulsory education in the U.S., most families homeschooled their children, which was the first (somewhat informal) form of education in the U.S. (Murphy). Parents taught their children how to read the Bible and moral values. As the need to formal, more specialized education increased, dame schools were introduced, which were modeled after English schools, in which a woman taught multiple children in her home. These students learned basic skills in reading, writing, and math (Carjuzaa).
HOMESCHOOLING & DAME SCHOOLS
LATIN GRAMMAR SCHOOLS
Franklin Academy, the first of its kind, opened in Philadelphia in 1751. Academies prepared students for a wider variety of fields, including subjects such as science math (Carjuzaa). There was a much stronger emphasis on practical subjects compared to the Latin Schools (Pemberton).
The first Latin Grammar school, Boston Latin Grammar School, opened in 1635. There was a very strong emphasis on learning Greek and Latin in these schools, and girls were excluded (Pempteron). Americans wanted children to be educated in order to become active members in society (Chicosky).
The English Classical School opened in Boston in 1821. These schools provided free public education for all students and offered a wide curriculum of different courses. While these schools were mostly for boys, girls schools were opened for 2 years (Carjuzaa).
ENGLISH CLASSICAL SCHOOLS
PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL
New legislation required larger communities to establish publicly funded high schools. These compulsory education laws increased school attendance and supported the importance of education in the U.S. (Rauscher). Once state governments were allowed to to use taxes to support high schools, the number of public high schools in America increased significantly (Carjuzaa).
The first intermediate schools (7-8th grade) were established in New York in 1905. These schools were an attempt to separate a few grades from the rest of the public school students to better educated 7th and 8th grade students.
By 1860, there were about 40 public high schools in America
Shortly after the first intermediate schools were created, the first Junior High School was established in California in 1909. Not all students' needs were being met in the secondary/elementary school model, so junior high school was another way to attempt to meet the needs of all students, especially the students in middle grades. These schools included grades 7, 8, and 9, and were established to help prepare students for high school (Carjuzaa).
JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL
MIDDLE SCHOOL MOVEMENT
The middle school movement began in the 1950s to better meet the unique needs of pre-adolescent students. These schools typically included grades 6-8, which is different from the previous intermediate and junior high schools. Middle schools include unique practices such as team teaching and interdisciplinary curriculum to cater to the students (Schaefer).
students in high schools
By the 1930s, there were
As of fall 2018, there are 50.7 million students in public school in the U.S.
Carjuzaa, J., & Kellough, R. D. (2016). Teaching in the middle and secondary schools (10th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Chicosky, C. L. (2015). Restructuring the Modern Education System in the United States: A Look at the Value of Compulsory Education Laws. Brigham Young University Education & Law Journal, 2015(1), 1-75.
Murphy, J. (2013). Riding History: The Organizational Development of Homeschooling in the U.S. American Educational History Journal, 40(2), 335-354.
Pemberton, S. M., & Office of Education (DHEW), W. D. (DHEW), Washington, DC. (1978). The Rise and Influence of the American Academy, 1750-l800.
Rauscher, E. (2015). Educational Expansion and Occupational Change: US Compulsory Schooling Laws and the Occupational Structure 1850-1930. Social Forces, 93(4), 1397-1422.
Schaefer, M. B., Malu, K. F., & Yoon, B. (2016). An Historical Overview of the Middle School Movement, 1963-2015. Research In Middle Level Education Online, 39(5), 1-27.