William Andrus Alcott Analysis

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CONCERNING THE HIGH LEVEL OF LITERACY FROM WEBSTER’S AND OTHER SYLLABLE-BASED METHODS, AND THE OPPOSITION TO THEM Concrete records are available concerning the success of Webster’s speller and those like it with little children. What is surprising is that perhaps the best testimony concerning its success came from someone who spent massive effort trying to remove the Webster speller and those like it. He was one of the change-agents of the period, William Andrus Alcott, an associate of Gallaudet’s and of other change-agents of the period. His cousin was A. Bronson Alcott, who went to Pennsylvania about 1830 with William Russell, the Scot activist editor of the American Journal of Education, to work for government schools. In 1840, A. Bronson Alcott paid a visit to England, to mingle with other luminaries there. Earlier, he had run a private school in Boston, but his wealthy clientele abandoned him when he instituted what they considered at that time to be risque curriculum.. He did have a lovely daughter, Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women.…show more content…
In it, he gives his age at different periods, but does not tie it into dates. However,since his birth date is known, it is easy to tell the actual years in his account. From the ages of four to eight, he attended the “district” school, which is what the village or town schools were called, but at that time there was no state control over the schools. Alcott wrote, “Two summers and one winter had made me a ‘speller,’ as it was then called, and a tolerable reader of easy lessons.” That means, at the age of 5, in 1803, he could both read and

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