Who Invented School? The Man Who Created The Schooling System


Kids like/dislike it. Teenagers have a love/hate relationship with it. Adults dread the expenses it demands.

Career academics love it. Especially those in colleges who derive pleasure in the feeling of faux superiority being part of the academic class offers them, like the opportunity to compete with their peers as they chase academic titles in their little ego bubbles.

Come to think of it, has there ever been a more integral aspect of our lives that has evoked a love/hate emotion from all kinds of humans like school? I am sure everyone reading this has at one point, with their eyes rolled asked the question: who invented school?

It probably came in the wake of a train of assignments or a very difficult test.

But honestly, though, we all know what a great place school can be. Filled with fun, the opportunity to learn interesting and boring topics, and the chance to spend quality time with your friends.

Well, in this article, we will be profiling the man who is credited for the invention of modern schooling.

Who invented school?

Enter Horace Mann

HORACE MANN (1796-1859). American educator. Lithograph, 19th century.

Horace Mann is regarded as the inventor of the modern concept of school. He was born in 1796 and he went on to become Secretary of Education in Massachusetts.

He is recognized for being a pioneer in bringing about educational reforms. He was a stronger believer that public education where students would follow a curriculum was needed to impart knowledge in an organized way.

He also believed that the aim of education must be about character and civic virtue rather than just learning to advance society. Mann’s educational methods soon garnered popularity and were adopted by other states.

During his tenure, he created a number of public schools in Massachusetts

As secretary of the school board, Mann made sure to visit every school in Massachusetts to see how they operated. He began a journal which he named Common School Journal around 1838 for teachers to follow and be on the same page in their teachings.

He also traveled to Europe to check out their schools and study the methods they used.

Mann’s Principles Of Modern Education

Mann came up with 6 principles when it came to public education. They were a tad controversial at that time but were adopted and put into effect. Here they are:

  1. Citizens cannot be both ignorant and free
  2. The public needs to pay for, maintain, and control education
  3. Children from all classes should have the same schooling
  4. Education needs to be nonsecular and not religious.
  5. Education needs to use the principles of a free society
  6. The instructors and teachers need to be professionally trained

Not just focusing on these principles, Mann also separated students by age group as opposed to grouping all students together. He is also the one who postulated that lecturing would be better suited to learning. Gradually, many states began adopting Mann’s principles that led to the education system that we know today.


There you go! I hope you’ve been able to learn something new! Did you find this piece instructive? Kindly share if you’d like more posts like this.

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