Example Of Essay On Thomas Jefferson And Education

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Students, University, Idea, Declaration, History, People, President, College

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/02/27

1) Thomas Jefferson, although more popular for his achievements as president and writing the Declaration of Independence, provided many contributions to higher and adult education. Jefferson was devoted to the cause of education because he believed it helped in promoting freedom for all people. Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819, one of the first state universities the school was founded as a secular university, which was contrary to many other schools at this time. Most schools had some religious affiliation, although Jefferson did not intend for this to happen with the University of Virginia. As such, chapel attendance was not required for students, which was another change Jefferson made. Jefferson also created the University of Virginia to offer professional and graduate level courses and programs. These programs included courses in law, medicine, language, history, rhetoric, math, and many sciences. He wanted Virginia to be the highest level of learning that could possibly be achieved in America, and succeeded in doing so. A student elective system was also established, as well as a high standard of faculty achievement. Jefferson had a rigorous examination and hiring process for professors. The idea of intellectual freedom was also founded under Jefferson, and Virginia became the model for public universities across the nation.
2) Other notable achievements of Jefferson in the field of education were the promotion of reading, writing, and arithmetic within elementary schools. He wanted to increase access to free and open education even beyond the elementary level, and had different policies for different economic classes. The rich could obviously afford any college of their choosing, so Jefferson was left to decide on what to do with the poor. For those of the lower class who could show exceptional ability, they were given scholarships by the state to obtain education above the elementary level. Along with this system, Jefferson also promoted the creation of public libraries which stressed elements of philosophy and educated people in history, geography, agriculture, and mechanics.
3) Arguably, Jefferson’s greatest achievements in education was the University of Virginia because of how it revolutionized post elementary education. The University of Virginia had many unprecedented elements to it, such as the secular values and graduate level courses. Because of these advancements, more universities out of this model sprang up around the nation, and the idea of graduate education was born. In the historical context of the rise of the University of Virginia, it was one of the first universities ever established. The University of Georgia opened in 1801, while the University of North Carolina opened in 1795. There were about 12 more institutions of higher learning that opened after these two, and Virginia was among these. However, religious charters were common for all of these institutions, which is what made Virginia unique. For these reasons, Virginia was the biggest achievement in the field of higher education for Jefferson.
4) Jefferson did a lot to physically enhance the fields of scholarship within high education. He oversaw the creation of many new courses and higher levels of learning. These included classes in law, medicine, language, history, and many of the sciences. Jefferson was a champion of both the humanities and the sciences, so he understood the value of a well-rounded education. He also began the idea of scholarships for low income students, which laid the foundation for many other programs that have been implemented throughout the years. Jefferson started the idea that those who cannot afford college should be allowed a way to do so, as long as they demonstrate proper collegiate abilities. Programs like the PELL grant and many in-state tuition discounts all can be traced back to Jefferson’s ideas about college affordability.
5) Jefferson is known for many other accomplishments outside of the world of education. First, he wrote the Declaration of Independence, which is one of the foundational documents of the United States. It stressed the idea of a people overthrowing an oppressive governments and the ideas of unalienable rights, such as equality. Jefferson was heavily influenced by Enlightenment philosophy. Because of this, these themes are present within the Declaration and US constitution. He believed in limited government and a distinct separation of church and state. This idea also influenced his secular stance for the University of Virginia. After writing the Declaration, Jefferson was influential during the ratification process as he sought to gain passage of the Bill of Rights. Individual liberty was one of the basic principles Jefferson held to and this came out in everything he did, including education. Jefferson sided with the Anti-Federalists who wanted to guarantee certain freedoms for all Americans. Jefferson also became governor of Virginia in 1779, which is why he was so influential in the creation of the University of Virginia. Jefferson became president in 1801, and was the third president ever elected. Jefferson is most famous for overseeing and carrying out the Louisiana Purchase. This was one of the largest expansions of American territory ever, and this started the historic Lewis and Clark expeditions.

References

Thomas Jefferson. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2015, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/thomasjefferson
The Short History of the University of Virginia. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2015, from http://www.virginia.edu/uvatours/shorthistory/first.html

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"Example Of Essay On Thomas Jefferson And Education." WePapers, Feb 27, 2021. Accessed April 21, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-thomas-jefferson-and-education/
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"Example Of Essay On Thomas Jefferson And Education," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 27-Feb-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-thomas-jefferson-and-education/. [Accessed: 21-Apr-2021].
Example Of Essay On Thomas Jefferson And Education. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-thomas-jefferson-and-education/. Published Feb 27, 2021. Accessed April 21, 2021.
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