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Word Count: 618
The formation of our modern American School System has been heavily influenced by the religious views of our predecessors the colonial settlers of New England The general interest of settlers in their childrens ability to read their establishment of elementary and secondary grammar schools and the founding of colleges and universities were all religiously motivated advances in early American education While the twentieth century has brought about a separation between church and state in this case state referring to education the roots of education in religion are still readily apparent The moral theology of Puritanism the dominant religion in seventeenth century New England seems to have been a major catalyst in the evolution of American education The Puritans believed that the very young like the old were sinners who were damned from birth and doomed to lose their souls The only way to escape the one chief project of that old deluder Satan Massachusetts Education Law of 1647 and achieve salvation was to be taught the ground rules of the good society The Bible was the textbook in which a young Puritan was to look for and find these rules In order for this discovery to be possible however a child had to become literate While the task of teaching them first befell the parents the burden was often conferred upon the schoolTown dame and pauper schools were all educational establishments organized by the Puritans in order to fulfill their desire for literate and therefore moral citizens Younger New England children in attendance were expected to learn basic reading writing and mathematical skills Secondary grammar schools were then instituted but only as preparatory environments for male students who might continue on to college or a university These colonial teenagers were instructed in the language of Latin and great literature Following secondary grammar school one might be admitted to a college or university These institutions were established for the purpose of training youth for important Puritan
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