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Stuff That Was Totally Normal In Schools 70 Years Ago

Although the 1950s was very different to today's society, schooling as we know it today is by and large a product of that era. Large, consolidated public, mixed-gender schools became the norm then, partly due to the suburbanization of the country. Insofar as the curriculum is concerned, most of it would still be broadly recognizable today. But there were some stark differences, too, ranging from strict adherence to dress codes to segregation that separated students based on race. And since...

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Stuff That Was Totally Normal In Schools 70 Years Ago
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    Things That Were Normal In Schools 70 Years Ago

    Things That Were Normal In Schools 70 Years Ago

    Although the 1950s was very different to today's society, schooling as we know it today is by and large a product of that era. Large, consolidated public, mixed-gender schools became the norm then, partly due to the suburbanization of the country. Insofar as the curriculum is concerned, most of it would still be broadly recognizable today. But there were some stark differences, too, ranging from strict adherence to dress codes to segregation that separated students based on race. And since...

    Here's What Going To School Was Like In The U.S. In The 1800s

    Here's What Going To School Was Like In The U.S. In The 1800s

    After the American Revolution, there was a major push by Congress to establish a public education system. According to a 1787 Ordinance for the government of the Territory of the United States northwest of the River Ohio (via Yale Law School), the education system was to "forever be encouraged," as it was deemed an essential part of "good government and the happiness of mankind." While Thomas Jefferson also pushed for public education, it wasn't until the early 19th century that an official public education system was finally put in place and education became a much more organized affair, according to the Public School Review. Here's what school was like in the 1800s.

    What School Was Really Like During Colonial Times

    What School Was Really Like During Colonial Times

    School in the American colonies was a hodgepodge of teachers, buildings, and opportunities. Some students would have done most of their learning at home and more or less stopped there. Others, especially in places that required communities to provide for basic education, would have made it to a schoolroom, where instructors of varying quality taught them reading, math, and more. Those schoolmasters were also tasked with shaping their students into upstanding citizens — sometimes with the rather harsh application of a switch.

    American Kindergarten Is Older Than You Think

    American Kindergarten Is Older Than You Think

    It may surprise you that kindergarten is not compulsory in all 50 states. As of 2022, California still does not require children to enroll in school until they are 6 years of age (via EdSource). In 2021, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards made it mandatory that children attend school from age 5 through 18, changing the previous law that required students to attend from age 7 through 18 (via AP News).

    How School Was Invented

    How School Was Invented

    It may seem like a punishment to the kids forced to attend, but, if you think about it, school is pretty great. An institution that's basically free daycare for parents, where kids can get cheap lunches and participate in sports and learn how to add and read? It's one of those things where, if it didn't exist and a politician proposed it today, they might be called a pie-in-the-sky utopian. So how did school come to be?

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