The Untied States education today is not the same as it was back in the 1800’s, neither is Michigan’s education. Today’s education you may have multiple classes of the same age at a school, or the class size of a grade can depend on how many people live in that certain school district. Today some parents are even home schooling their own children. Today education is key to having a future for your life, family and work, but back in the 1800’s it was a lot different.
Most people over looked education because money was tight and the family needed to work more and more to have a better living that meant having children work. A lot of families that had multiple children couldn’t even afford to send their children off to school, being that each child cost $2-$4 in tax, this being unfair to a lot of families compared to those with who may have one child. Towns of 50 or more were required to have a hired teacher, and if you had a town with 200 or more this required higher education meaning more subjects at higher levels. Classes were taught in single room school buildings with all different age groups making learning difficult for children and teachers.
In Michigan though, education has always had a higher standard than other states, because of so many different immigrants that migrated to Michigan for numerous jobs like shipping, mining, agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, to help even for national purposes. Teaching though was a very tough job. Many people thought of it as a part time job to get extra cash. Because there were so few teachers, they were often required to work in more than one school house, requiring them to travel to multiple buildings to teach. During the early structure of Michigan’s education the the typical teachers were young women, usually between the ages of 16-25. Two example of these remarkable women are Elizabeth Wilcox and Eliza Moore.
These two teachers, Wilcox and Moore, had very different viewpoints on education when they taught. Elizabeth Wilcox was a women who recorded some of her teaching experiences. Only teaching 8 students she dreaded her job as stated on July 5 “feeling alone and away from home, to fulfill her summer duties, ‘Tis a Dread” (Wilcox 70).
Then a teacher like Eliza Moore, enjoyed teaching even though she taught 89 children of different ages in the same room, seeing the difference in each child she taught. Teaching was not necessarily a job that people did for the money because it was a tough job to handle and the pay was not the best.
Our founding fathers that wrote our constitution of 1835 found education to be very important to our states future, by looking forward and seeing all the different jobs that the state needed educated people to work to keep the state prosperous. They created a whole paragraph dedicated to education titled under Article X. Creating 5 Tiles needed by each school: 1. Having an appointed superintendent. 2. Perpetual school funds 3. Common school system 4. Libraries 5. University funds. For our for founding fathers to put this in our constitution, paved the way and laid the foundation for not only Michigan but for the United State as well for education is today.