Education is considered one of the primary needs of the society for wholesome development of the society and all its constituents. It is therefore of vital importance that children are imparted the right kind of education at the right time, to make them better citizens for tomorrow. Earlier public schools were considered as means of nurturing the talents of ‘natural aristocracy’, but Mann sought to change the notion and made efforts towards democratizing the education sector so that public schools can also prove to be useful for the larger and deserving sections of the society (Dewey, 1964). The fact that today public school education is available for everybody is a testimony to the success of such efforts from Mann.
Born on May 4, 1796 Horace Mann got his initial education from the congregational church in Franklin, Massachusetts (Ritchie, 2009). For many years he practiced law, was a member of state senate for three years, when he became the Secretary of Massachusetts Board of Education in 1837. This proved to be a big turning point in his life and in the history of United States of America. Those days were known for sectarian religious education, meant for the privileged few. Mann started raising his voice against this practice and in the process ended up ruffling the feathers of a number of influential people in the society. He started advocating the non-sectarian religious education. He continued his campaign till he was elected to the House of Representatives in the year 1848, which further paved the way for the cause being taken up by him. While advocating education as a means of development Mann introduced two major goals for the twentieth century (Brick, 2005);
Today, while talking about education emphasis is laid on around round development of the student. This appears to be straight out of the thoughts propagated by