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In today's society not many people can remember what school used to be like. Many people can't even imagine a time where there were no computers in schools. In this essay I will tell you all about the history of schools.
A lot of kids in society today can't imagine a world without pens and pencils. This is because the first pencil was actually made in 1662. Before the pencil was used, there were many things used, for example it is said the cave people would use rock to draw on the walls of caves. The next documented substitute for the pencil was in Greece and it was a wax tablet with a stylus. Those were used until the late 15th century. After that chalk and slate boards were common. Then came the invention of the quill feathers and ink. Back than they were so common that they weren't seen as anything special but today they are available as pens but sometimes you can find some like you would back then. After the quill feather, the pencil was invented in 1662 and then established in 1761. However this new invention was not really used until the late 1800's. That is when the pen was invented. The idea came from the quill feather; however they wanted a neater way to write with ink. Over 2 billion pencils are used in the United States each year. However pencils used to be round and fall off the desks but were later changed to their now hexagonal shape so they wouldn't role as easy. Now you would think that since a pencil can write 45,000 words, that's a line 35 miles long, we would use less. Now that you know that think of how much you erase with a pencil. Now imagine yourself in Europe where there are no erasers on the pencils. (www.pencils.com, 1/9/13) (www.pencils.com, 1/7/13)
Before the lunch box was created, what did people use? They used metal pails to protect their lunches. These pails could protect your lunch from anything up to a small bomb. In the 1880's children actually created their own lunch pails. Than the lunch box was created in 1935. Since then people have taken this ordinary and boring lunch box and changed the color, material, fabric, and more to improve the lunch box. (www.lunchboxes.com, 1/7/13)
If you want to carry books, or hunting gear you can use a backpack. For example the backpack was invented by a guy named Dick Kelty. He invented the backpack in 1952, but was called the packsack until later renamed the backpack. Some other names for the backpack include rucksack and knapsack. The backpack was plain inside until 1967 which was created by Greg Lowe. The reason he came up with the idea is because he is a hunter and needed to carry all of his hunting gear. That was in 1951 the backpack was originally a piece of wood. Kelty sold 29 backpacks for $24 each by 1952. A backpack is a bag that is carried on your back with straps that either goes on your shoulders or across your torso. Today we use backpacks for hiking, laptop carrying, school, and traveling. Before the wooden board people used animal skins, for example they sewed them together with the intestines. Now instead of anima skin people will sometimes use leather. They do this because it is a high-class material and people who owned leather were considered high-class. That is because leather is expensive, very durable, and long-lasting. Leather also has the ability to breathe. The backpack only became popular in the 70's due to the amount of hikers. They also became more popular because other people started making them. (www.Fabric-and-handle.com, 1/10/13) (www.whenwasitinvented.org, 1/9/13)
Some people might wonder how people came up with the "stick" idea. Others might wonder what they used before glue. Well those questions will be answered along with some others. The first recorded use of glue was in 4000 BC but they didn't use glue back then, they used tree sap. Then the first glue patent was issued in 1750 in Britain. Glue was actually packaged in glass in 1940 all the way to 1960 however this was when there was only liquid glue. Finally in 1969 the glue stick was created. This was actually because of lipstick methods. (www.redleafloans.ca, 1/7/13)
Unlike glue crayons have a smaller history with less gapes. Crayons were only invented in 1903 but before that they used squished fruits. The first brand of crayons, which is still around today, is Crayola it started out as a dull package with eight crayons but later expanded and became more colorful. When the dull package was still there they were 10 cents apiece. This is really good considering the prices today are like three dollars apiece. (www.redleafloans.ca, 1/7/13)
Before paper many children carried around hornbooks. The hornbook has the alphabet, frequent letter combinations, and a copy of the Lord's Prayer. For protection people placed it on a thin piece of wood with a thin slice of cow horn over it. Now instead of just a horn book we bring in stuff like hand sanitizer, paper towels and tissues. You also have to bring in stuff to write on like notebooks and paper. (www.suite101.com, 1/15/13)
During the time of colonial America paper was scarce, so kids went to school with a slate board and a slate pencil. A slate board is a shale rock with a narrow strip of wood on the edges of the board. This is where the blackboard came from. Can you picture a blackboard made of rock? Of course there were many changes to make it better. For example they made it so the slate pencil was easier to erase from the board. (www.suite101.com, 1/15/13)
Most children know that there aren't just single desks but desks were you sit with other people. In early America school children sat at three-legged stools behind narrow tables. Now imagine sitting like that for the whole school day. By 1880 children sat at individual desks which helped keep their work private. However even with their individual desks the room was still different than the ones we have today. For example the girls sat on one side and the boys on the other. Another example would be age, because there was only one room for the whole school the seats also went by age with the younger kids in the front. By the 1930's portable desks were very common. They were used just like the benches were in the 1880's. In 1960 small round desks were introduced. This encouraged students to work together and help each other if they needed it. Today both are used and are both very common in schools. (pbs.org, 1/16/13)
The computer is well known today and used casually every single day. The first computer mentioned was not actually a computer but a person who is really smart and can calculate things quickly. However the first tech computer was invented in 1837. The first programmable computer however was invented in 1943. However the laptop was not available until September of 1975. (www.computerhope.com, 1/8/13) Since the computer came out more and more employers wanted people who could work computers and other tech stuff. This was when students, mostly in high school and college, started looking things up on the computer and stopped looking thing up at the library or in books to be exact. Although technology was helping kids find things quicker, it was making kids lazy. On top of that kids were finding ways to cheat on tests, quizzes, and even exams. So even though technology is good and helps people find and save things it is being used to do something bad every day. Cheating isn't the only problem with the computer usage at school. It helps some kids but distracts most of them and tempts them to do things that they aren't allowed to do. For example around 2005 a group of students hacked into their university's detailed financial reports and posted them on the internet. You might say it happened once and it's nothing to bother with but it happened at Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth and almost every elite private institution. (The future of higher education pages 19-26 by Avila and le'ger) (www.computerhope.com, 1/8/13)
Now that we talked about computers I will tell you about calculators because they are more common in schools and almost everyone knows how to work a calculator however not a lot know the history of them. It all started with the abacus which lasted from around 2700BC-2300BC which is actually a long time. After that was the invention of the comptometer which was the first machine with columns of keys used to write or type. Than in 1961 the first electronic calculator was made. Finally in 1978 they made pocket-sized calculators which were really popular in schools. (www.redleafloans.ca, 1/7/13)
In 2000-2005 tuition was so expensive/high that parents couldn't afford to send their kids to school. The highest tuition was usually for colleges. The reason for the high price of colleges is because they have to hire people to look at the applications. When they looked at the applications they had to look at G.P.A., S.A.T., ethnicity, and geography. Kids who couldn't afford to go to school and actually wanted to go started to protest because of this. Final an accounting firm approached and saved colleges money on employees. This cut the price down by 80%. With the lowering of costs students started to go to school and get into trouble. Some of these things include parties, drinking, and more stuff like that. This was because the price was lower so it wasn't as hard to send your kids so they stopped caring about their grades. Soon after the accounting firm backfired the press got hold of this story and stared interviewing faculty. Professors had noticed the improvement of students since admissions outsourcing had begun. The faculty thought that this was because the applications were being evaluated more carefully. (The future of higher education pages 60-63 by Avila and le'ger)
When the great depression started no one knew who it would affect. Believe it or not the depression affected many kids. Most kids had to drop out of school to get job, however that was mostly the older kids. Some kids could afford the school but couldn't afford the supplies to send their kids to school. If they were lucky enough to go to school they usually went hungry because they didn't have any food so they went most of the day hungry. If you were really lucky you got something to eat at lunch but most weren't that lucky. Many couldn't go for the money and others couldn't go due to transportation. For example there is a documented case where one high school student couldn't go because of the transportation problems. Her family didn't own their own car and didn't have access to a bus which actually makes her family like so many others. However unlike most people she lived 25 miles away from the nearest school which makes this case unique. (tn4me.org, 1/14/13)
There are some big differences with school stuff and some things that dint change at all. School books used to have to be bought and now are provided. Back than people dropped out for the sake of money and now people drop out for personal reasons. The clothes also changed but not that much girls wore dresses and boys wore overalls. Now girls wear pants and dresses everyday clothes or uniforms and boys wear pants everyday clothes and uniforms. One thing that never really changed was sports and physical education. However schools changed a lot they went from one room to a whole building filled with rooms. (tn4me.org, 1/14/13)
Even though there was a lot of change for the American school system some people didn't want it and still want to change it back. For example William Chandler Bagley complained that "fads and reforms that swept through the educational system at periodic intervals". However it doesn't stop in 1907. Some people wanted to get rid of spelling and grammar to make schools more fun. (The death and life of the great American school system, pages 1-3, by Ravitch)
Even with all of this change some people still want more change, including the curriculum. One thing used to help motivate kids is volunteer work. For example high school counselors push kids toward voluntary work at nursing homes, and internships at non profitable organizations. These nonprofit jobs are teaching kids responsibility, it also helps them learn different skills and gain some perspective. (The future of higher education pages 57-60 Avila and Le'ger)
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