The Early National Period
The Early National Period (1775-1820)
The early national period in education had a lot of impact on the education system that we have now. The nation in this period moved from being part of England and getting supplies and ideas from them to being a separate nation. We became the Untied States of America and set forth the constitution and the amendments that move our educational system still today. Three things of major importance happened in the early national period they are the link between religions and state, the control of education was given to the states, and education became essential to improve the quality of life and growth (the book.)
The most important thing that happened in the early national period to education is the separation of church and state. This is when the long debate of, should church actives be taught in school, started. We see this separation in the first amendment which was submitted to the states for ratification on September 25, 1789 and adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights. The first amendment let’s everyone have freedom of religion, which makes it so teachers can’t teach one religion over another. The founding fathers wanted government to not affect people choice for religion. This includes education and what is taught in public or government schools (Kilman & Costello 2000.) Even though the first amendment is so old it is still affecting our education system today by the separation of church and state. For example, school are debating today wither or not they should be able to do the pledge of allegiance in class because of the phrase “one nation under god.” Because, god is religion and it can’t be involved with school (Ganly, 2008.)
Another very important thing for our nation and the education of our children is the 10th amendment. The tenth amendment was ratified on December 15, 1791 with all the other amendments. It gives the education system in our nation to be controlled by the states. Basically the tenth amendment did two things. First, it removed the federal government form a central role in education. Second, it gave the rights to run public schools to each individual state. This revolutionary right passed in the early national period is also still affecting our education today. For example, the big debate on the no child left behind act, many people wonder if it is going against the 10th amendment. “There is little dispute over whether NCLB (No Child Left Behind) represents an unprecedented level of federal involvement in the affairs of our public schools. However, there is disagreement between the law’s supporters, who hail this federal intrusion into state and local education as effective national reform, and its detractors, who argue that the intrusion consists of a set of politically motivated mandates that are detrimental to our school (Ann McColl, 2005.)” Form this quote we can see that the no child left behind act is federal affecting our state education, but the debate is weather that is against the 10th amendment or not.
The last thing I want to cover is that education is essential to improve the quality of life and growth of our country. This was set up in the early national period. The founding fathers set up the government and the starts of society. They put together schools under each state and funding it was important to educate the future so that the nation could grow. They set up the nation so that when you went to school and got more education you could have the opportunity to achieve more in society. Civilization perceives education as an essential tool to maintain a normal civilization. So it is important to go to school and learn to achieve a higher civilization.
The early national period had many affects on our education system today although I only covered three of the ones that are most important. The separation of church and state by the first amendment, the educational system being ran by the states instead of the federal government by the tenth amendment and the importance of education on the society and social capital. The early national period was a very important not only to our education system but to our country. This is where the foundation of our schools that we go to today come from. This period is very important because it set up our whole nation not just the education system.
Kilman, J. & Costello, G. (Eds). (2000). The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation
Ganly, Sarah (2008, February, 06). The Impact of the First Amendment of Education. Associated Content, 14,
Retrieved February 16, 2009, from
McColl, A. (2005, April 1). Tough Call: Is No Child Left behind Constitutional?. Phi Delta Kappan, 86(8), 604. (ERIC
Document Reproduction Service No. EJ711917) Retrieved February 19, 2009, from ERIC database.
Donald, Kauchak, Paul Eggen (2002). Introduction to Teaching: Becoming a Professional. Upper Saddle River, New
Jersey: Pearson Education.