Public Education (E-2)


Public Education (E-2)


"It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape, not from our own time — for we are bound by that — but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time."
- T. S. Eliot
Recognition of the importance of public education, for both the individual and society, is as old as Western civilization. There is a lot of science behind teaching and even more intuition and intelligence behind its success and yet, more often than not, there is inadequate support for curricula and learning, and small thanks or remuneration for even the most excellent teachers.
Like others called to public service, those working in public education are there to make a difference in the lives of their students and because of their commitment there have been wonderful developments in public education over time. First of all, there is no age limit to accessing public education. Many return to public education institutions as adults beyond the age associated with specific educational levels.  Curricula continue to expand to include more diverse groups of student as well as new areas of study that help to keep public education relevant and accessible. 
In the age of electronic access to information, those interested in accessing public education has many more options including online line courses and e-publications. The exhibits in this gallery allow up to reflect on the accomplishments of public education and the stalwarts that made important contributions to public education in roles such as public policy development, supervision of public education institutions, as well as the unionization of teachers.

Collection Items

Paulo Freire
Freire was born in Recife, Brazil on September 19th, 1921. During this time, Brazil was in the process of industrial transformation and was experimenting with policies that seriously catalyzed the production of its primary export, coffee. During…

The Country School
I touch the future. I teach. Christa McAuliffe, teacher and NASA space shuttle crew member Soon after the American Revolution, our founders argued education was essential for our nation's survival and prosperity…. Common-school advocates worked to…

James Benson Dudley
A newspaper sketch of James Benson Dudley, president of The Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race.

When James Dudley was elected to be the next president of The Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race, not much…

A Westerly View of the Colleges in Cambridge New England
An engraving of Harvard College.

Harvard University was the first college in the U.S., and was also the first to be used as a corporation. It was named after its first benefactor, John Harvard, and was originally a very religious institution.…

Get Ahead! Adult Education Classes
Poster encouraging adults to attend adult education classes

Federal Art Project, sponsor. By the People, For the People

Albany State Education Building
Photo shows the New York State Department of Education Building in Albany, which was dedicated on October 17, 1912. Architect of the building was Henry Hornbostel.

State Education Dept. Building in Albany, N. Y. has 36 Corinthian columns forming…

Albert Shanker, President of U.F.T.
Albert Shanker, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, is holding the report that would stop the threat of striking teachers. When Albert Shanker saw two teachers unions form into one, The Teacher’s Guild and New York City's High School…

Amos Bronson Alcott, Teacher
A photograph of Amos Bronson Alcott, a teacher whose controversial methods would better improve the school system. When Alcott decided the life of a salesman wasn’t fulfilling enough, he turned to teaching, and found a great calling. He opened the…

Boston Latin School
A historic sketch of what the Boston Latin School first looked like, before years of moving and renovation changed it to what it is today. The Boston Latin School was founded in 1635, during the time the first thirteen American colonies were settled.…

Mrs. Ella Flagg Young, First Female Superintendent
I believe in it ..[equal suffrage for women]. I have not been an active suffragist because I have kept so busily to my own line, but I realize that, had it not been for Susan B. Anthony and the other women who were the pioneers in woman's cause, it…
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