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  • 1. Timeline of US Education
    A Chronology of
    Pioneers, Events and Philosophers
    By Melissa Boutin
    Granite State College
    June 2010
  • 2. 1635
    First Latin Grammar School (Boston Latin School) in established
    Harvard College established
    • John Locke publishes “Essay Concerning Human Understanding”
    (his belief that the human mind is a tabula rasa)
    • New England Primer became most widely used schoolbook in New England
    College of William and Mary established in Virginia
    First publicly supported library established in Charles Town, SC
    John Locke
  • 3. 1734
    Benjamin Franklin forms American Philosophical Society bringing ideas from European Enlightenment to US
    Ben Franklin established first English Academy in Philadelphia
    (University of Pennsylvania)
    Thomas Jefferson proposes a two-track educational system with one for the laboring and one for the learned.
    Noah Webster writes “A Grammatical Institute of the English Language” consisting of a spelling book, a grammar book and a reader.
    First academy for girls (Young Ladies Academy)open in Philadelphia
    Noah Webster
  • 4. 1790Pennsylvania state constitution calls for free public education but only for poor children. It is expected that rich people will pay for their children's schooling.
    Bill of Rights passes making education a function of the state rather than the federal government
    James Pillans invents the blackboard
    Johan Pestalozzi publishes “How Gertrude Teaches Her Children” (concerning the psychology of elementary education).
    1805New York Public School Society formed by wealthy businessmen to provide education for poor children. Schools run on "Lancasterian" model: master gives rote lesson to older students, who pass it down to younger students.
    Johann Pestalozzi
  • 5. 1817
    The first permanent school for the deaf open in CT (Connecticut Asylum at Hartford for the Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons)
    First public high school opens (Boston English High School)
    The first school for children with visual disabilities opens in MA (New England Asylum for the Blind)
    First college for women founded (Mount Holyoke Female Seminary)
    • First state funded school for teacher education (“Normal School”) opens in
    Lexington, MA
    • First educational psychology course offered in America: “Mental Philosophy”
    also in Lexington MA
    Mount Holyoke
  • 6. 1848
    • Hervey Wilbur establishes first school of its kind in Ma (Massachusetts School for Idiotic and Feebleminded Youth
    • 7. The Perkins Institute, founded by Samuel Gridley Howe was first residential institution for mentally retarded people
    • 8. Massachusetts Reform School at Westboro opens, which combines the education and juvenile justice systems.
    Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and Blind authorized to grant college degrees (first college for people with disabilities in the world)
    1851 Massachusetts passes first compulsory education law to make sure that children of poor immigrants get "civilized" and learn obedience and restraint, so they make good workers
    • Massachusetts enacts the first mandatory attendance law (all states by 1918)
    • 9. The town gave education pioneer Horace Mann 20 acres and $20,000 as an inducement to establish the nation's first "alternative" college
    (Antioch College).
    Horace Mann
  • 10. 1854
    First free library opens (Boston Public Library)
    • Department of Education originally created
    • 11. George Peabody funds Peabody Education Fund to aid public education in south
    • 12. Howard University established in DC for African Americans, partially funded by Freedmen’s Bureau
    First public school kindergarten in the U.S. founded in St. Louis, MO.
    Michigan State Supreme Court rules that taxes may be levied to support public schools
    Edouard Sequin becomes first President of Association of Medical Officers of American Institutions for Idiotic and Feebleminded Persons (American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)
  • 13. 1879
    First Indian boarding school (Carlisle Indian Industrial School) opens in Pennsylvania and becomes model for assimilating Indian children into mainstream culture
    Booker T. Washington becomes first principal of normal school in Tuskegee Alabama (Tuskegee University)
    First textbook on educational psychology published by Louisa Hopkins
    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that Louisiana has right to require "separate but equal" railroad cars for Blacks & whites. Federal government officially recognizes segregation as legal resulting in southern states pass laws requiring racial segregation in public schools.
    Booker T Washington
  • 14. 1897
    First empirical study on school learning published by J. Rice on relationship
    between time on task and learning
    Alfred Binet’s article “New Methods for the Diagnosis of the Intellectual
    Level of Subnormals” published in France.
    • Binet-Simon Scale (IQ test) published in Europe.
    • 15. Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching is founded
    E.B. Huey publishes The Psychology and Pedagogy of Reading.
    The first issues of the Journal of Educational Psychology is published.
    Alfred Binet
  • 16. 1911
    First Montessori school opens in Tarrytown, NY
    Achievement tests are first used on a large scale in New York City.
    Edward Lee Thorndike publishes “Educational Psychology: The Psychology of Learning”
    • Lewis Terman translates the Binet IQ test, publishing it as the Stanford-Binet IQ
    • The American Federation of Teachers is founded
    • 17. John Dewey publishes “Democracy and Education. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education” advancing progressive education movement
    First large scale IQ testing of American adults (army conscripts in WWI).
    John Dewey
  • 18. 1919
    Progressive Education Association founded to reform American education
    William S. Gray and colleagues at the University of Chicago publish numerous studies on reading behavior and achievement
    Council for Exception Children (CEC) formed to inform parents, teachers, and administration about education of individuals with disabilities
    Tennessee vs. John Scopes: trial in which teacher is charged with teaching evolution and is convicted, upholding the Butler Act
    making it illegal to teach evolution
    Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is first administered
  • 19. 1929
    Jean Piaget’s “The Child Conception of the World” published detailing his theory of cognitive development
    Alvarez vs. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District first
    successful school desegregation case
    The General Equivalency Diploma (GED) program and the Military Evaluations Programs for veterens who left school to serve in World War II are established.
    Educational Testing Service (ETS) is founded.
    BF Skinner’s “Science and Human Behavior” published (operant conditioning) influencing American education
    US Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruled separate is not equal
    Jean Paiget
    B. F. Skinner
  • 20. 1957
    Federal troops enforce integration in Little Rock as Little Rock 9
    enroll at Central High School
    Benjamin Bloom’s “Taxonomy of Educational Objectives” is published.
    The ACT Test is first administered
    Inclusion comes onto the scene, trying to meet the needs of learners who had been excluded from school or marginalized in classrooms
    Lev Vygotsky’s book “Thought and Language” introduced to English-speaking world, considered foundation of social constructivist theory (Zone of Proximal Development)
    Benjamin Bloom
    Lev Vygotsky
  • 21. 1963
    • Campbell & Stanley publish “The Design of Experiments”.
    • 22. John Flavell publishes “The Developmental Psychology of Jean Piaget”. Piaget’s work receives widespread attention among American educators
    • 23. US Supreme Court says no state law or school board may require prayer be recited in public schools
    • 24. Samuel Kirk coins the term “Learning Disability”
    Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) passed providing federal funds to help low income students (leads to Title 1)
    • Higher Education Act singed into law providing federal aid to higher education and provides for scholarships, student loans and establishes National Teachers Corps
    • 25. Project Head Start begins
    Jerome Bruner’s “Toward a Theory of Instruction” is published offering cognitive learning theory as alternative to behaviorism
    Jerome Bruner
  • 26. 1968
    • David Ausubel publishes textbook, “Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View” confirming the influence of cognitive perspectives within the field.
    • 27. Bilingual Education Act provides federal funding for local school districts to establish educational programs for students with limited English speaking ability
    • 28. US Supreme Court rules that prohibiting teaching of evolution in public school or university is unconstitutional
    • 29. McCarver Elementary School in Tacoma Washington becomes first magnet school
    • 30. Navajo Community College Act created first tribally controlled college
    Herbert R. Kohl’s book “The Open Classroom” helps promote open education (student-centered classrooms)
    • First meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Minneapolis. MN
    • 31. Jean Piaget’s book “The Science of Education” published
    Herbert Kohl
  • 32. 1972
    • Title IX is passed prohibiting discrimination under any education program receiving federal financial assistance
    • 33. Mills v. Board of Education ruled that disabled children could not be excluded from public schools
    • The Rehabilitation Act becomes law guaranteeing civil rights for people with disabilities . Sections 501, 502, 503 1nd 504 prohibited discrimination in federal programs and services and other programs receiving federal funds.
    • Congress passes Education for All Handicapped Children Act requiring all public schools accepting Federal funds to provide equal access to education for children with physical and mental disabilities
    • 34. Requires “free appropriate public education” in least restrictive setting
  • 1975
    Newsweek article “Why Johnny Can’t Write” brings literacy to the forefront
    Apple computers are introduced into schools
    US Department of Education is made a Cabinet level agency
    John Holt’s book “Teach Your Own: A Hopeful Path for Education” adds momentum to homeschooling movement
    John Holt
  • 35. 1982
    • US Supreme Court invalidates “Creationism Act” requiring teaching of creationalism whenever evolution is taught because it violates the First Amendment
    • 36. Madeline C. Hunter’s book “Mastery Teaching” is published, introducing direct instruction teaching model
    • 37. US Supreme Court rules in Board of Education v. Pico that schools cannot remove books from library based on offensive content
    • National Commission on Excellence in Education publishes “A Nation at Risk” calling for sweeping reform in public education and teacher training
    • 38. Howard Gardner publishes “Frames of Mind” identifying seven intelligences leading to greater understanding of how students learn
    The Emergency Immigration Education Act enacted providing services and offsetting the cost for school districts that have large numbers of immigrant students
    Howard Gardner
  • 39. 1984
    First issue of “Cognition and Instruction” is published.
    First issue of “Educational Psychology Review” is published.
    • Tim Berners-Lee is credited with the invention of the Internet, allowing two computers to communicate
    • 40. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act replaces Education for All Handicapped Children Act mandating transition services and adding autism and traumatic brain injury to eligibility
    • 41. Americans with Disabilities Act signed into law by President Bush mandating all local, state and federal government programs be accessible as well as public accommodations
    First charter school appears in Michigan (City Academic High School)
  • 42. 1993
    • Jacqueline and Martin Brooks’ “In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms” is published.
    • 43. Massachusetts Education Reform Act requires common curriculum and statewide tests (first in the nation)
    • 44. Federal government begins direct lending (public student loans)
    Goals 2000 signed into law by President Clinton setting goals for standards-based education reform, considered to be the predecessor to No Child Left Behind
    Smartboards made their way into classrooms
    • D. Berliner & R. Calfee publish the “Handbook of Educational Psychology”
    • 45. James Banks’ book “Multicultural Education: Transformative Knowledge and Action” makes contribution to growing body of scholarship in multiculturism in America
    James Banks
  • 46. 1998
    • California passes Proposition 227 requiring all public school instruction be in English
    • 47. Higher Education Act reauthorized requiring institutions and states to produce “report cards” about teacher education
    • 48. Google invented
    Columbine High School Tragedy occurs with two students killing 15 and wounding 23
    No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) signed into law by George W. Bush reauthorizing ESEA holding schools accountable for student achievement & penalizes school that don’t make yearly progress toward goals of NCLB
    Columbine High School
  • 49. 2002
    US Supreme Court in the case of Zelman-Simmons-Harris ruled that school voucher programs are constitutional and do not violate the first amendment
    The Higher Education Act is reauthorized, expanding access to higher education for low and middle income students
    The IDEA reauthorized including modifications in the IEP process and procedural safeguards, increased authority for school personnel in special education placement decisions and alignment of IDEA with No Child Left Behind Act
    The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 provides more than 90 billion dollars for education
    Works Cited
    A Timeline of Historical Events in the Development of Educational Psychology. (2010). Northern Illinois University Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations. Retrieved June 9, 2010, from Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University website:
    Ayala, M. (2010, February). Timeline Of Relevant Events In Special Education Myrnas Version. In Slideshare. Retrieved June 10, 2010, from timeline-of-relevant-events-in-special-education-myrnas-version
    Historical Timeline of Public Education in the US . (2009). The Applied Research
    Center. Retrieved June 10, 2010, from Applied Resource Center website:
  • 50. Works Cited
    A Timeline of Historical Events in the Development of Educational Psychology.
    (2010). Northern Illinois University Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations. Retrieved June 9, 2010, from Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University website: edpsych/timeline.pdf
    Ayala, M. (2010, February). Timeline Of Relevant Events In Special Education Myrnas Version. In Slideshare. Retrieved June 10, 2010, from timeline-of-relevant-events -in-special-education-myrnas-version
    Historical Timeline of Public Education in the US . (2009). The Applied Research
    Center. Retrieved June 10, 2010, from Applied Resource Center website: