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Horace Mann

Horace Mann Horace Man is one of the most famous educators and statesmen of the country who made significant contributions in this regard. Indeed if it weren’t for his efforts, the education system of this country would have been quite different from what one sees today.

Mann was born in Franklin, Massachusetts on May 4 1796. He did not belong to a very rich family and so right from the beginning he had to face a lot of hardships. His childhood was certainly not like that of other children i.e. without any cares or worries in this world. He belonged to a family of farmers and so it is quite obvious that he had to put with a lot as a kid. He did not receive a formal education as such i.e. since his family was too poor to afford proper schooling, Mann was taught for a mere three months in the entire year. In spite of that he became quite well versed in the Calvinist doctrines and this was possible owing to the efforts of Reverend Dr. Nathaniel Emmons, who belonged to the “New Light” (Filler, 1965) Calvinism, that was quite popular at the time.

Mann was considerably inspired by Rev. Emmons efforts and said that he: “expounded all the doctrines of total depravity, election, and reprobation, and not only the eternity but the extremity of hell torments, unflinchingly and in their most terrible significance, while he rarely if ever descanted on the joys of heaven, and never, in my recollection upon the essential and necessary happiness of a virtuous life” (Filler, 1965).

Mann was a devout Calvinist during the early years of his life perhaps because he had limited exposure to other forms of education. However he realized the error of his ways when he was fourteen years old – his older brother Stephen drowned in the river and Mann was shocked when he realized that the Reverend was using his brother’s funeral as an excuse to scare everyone into adopting Calvinism i.e. he said that all those people who did not adopt the Calvinist creed would burn in hell. Mann was devastated and thus decided to forego Calvinism for good.

He felt that he did not think God could be so cruel to people and so his Calvinist faith was in direct conflict with the views that he held about God. Later on he adopted Unitarianism. It is interesting to note that Mann was eligible for admission in Brown University despite the fact that his formal education was limited. He did however continue to receive private tuitions and it was perhaps because of this that he was admitted into Brown University as a sophomore.

After his graduation from Brown University and later

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