Frontier Education

From Ohio History Central
Frontier Education.jpg

There were limited educational opportunities in Ohio prior to statehood. Most parents educated their children at home, although there were a number of schools founded in towns and villages. The settlers believed that schools would have a civilizing influence in Ohio.

At this time, there were no public schools. Parents paid tuition for their children to attend or worked out a trade of some kind. Both men and women taught in these early schools, but women were commonly paid less and did not usually continue to teach after they were married. The first school was built in Marietta only a year after the settlement was founded. Other communities also viewed education as an important priority and quickly established schools.

The type of education that children received in frontier schools was limited. The schools taught basic skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic. Teachers also usually stressed manners and good behavior. Because children were needed to help in the fields, schools were open for a few months a year. Most students did not obtain more than an eighth-grade level of education at best, and many never graduated. There were no laws requiring students to go to school during this era.<p/>

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