In 1795 America's preeminent scholarly organization sponsored a contest for the best essay on education. The two winners have been canonized in the scholarship on early American educational thought. This essay refocuses attention on the great contest itself, not only seeking understanding of the works that it produced but also analyzing its intrinsic significance in American educational thought. While the great contest was a failure in its day, the essays it produced provide evidence of a decided lack of consensus about American education right from the start of the nation. The contest highlights key tensions in American educational research and policy: Should girls be educated the same as boys? Can religion be taught in public schools? Is higher education a right or a privilege? Should policy be made locally or centrally? Is there such a thing as an "American" education? The founding generation could not provide answers, but they did identify the enduring questions.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||American Journal of Education|
|State||Published - Feb 2008|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes