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Benjamin Franklin: An Inventor Who Shaped America's Education System

Silas is involved in education and safety oversight. Obtained his masters of science in safety and education, and MBA.

Benjamin Franklin: An inventor who helped shape America's education system

Benjamin Franklin: An inventor who helped shape America's education system

From the Beginning

Throughout history, inventions have become a novelty that supports the American way of life. Benjamin Franklin, the inventor of multiple gadgets, helps consumers requiring assistance. According to the Franklin Institute (2021), Benjamin Franklin's inventions proved many things within his lifetime as an inventor, author, scientist, and educator. For example, inventions included the bifocals used by many due to eyesight changes over a lifetime. Next, the Franklin Stove invention provided a hollow baffle that allowed the fireplace air to mix more quickly and produce less smoke. The lightning rod directed energy away from the building and protected people inside of the structure. During the initial colony days, buildings included a sphere attached to a rod located on top of buildings to protect people and the structure following a lightning strike.

Lightning Rod on Top of Building

Lightning Rod on Top of Building

An area of interest written within this article includes the life experiences of Benjamin Franklin that helped shape our education foundation. Education became a large part of Franklin’s life through the theory of value, knowledge, and learning.

Invention and Education

Invention and Education

Learning Process

The learning process requires one to acquire knowledge or skill. Learning involves a change in behavior or attitude (FAA, 1999). One of the American founders born in 1706, Benjamin Franklin, accomplished more during his lifetime than most people dream about throughout their life. As a Renaissance man and author, his writings are full of fascinating reflections on human nature, the character of good leadership, and why the government is a messy and problematic business (Pangle, 2018). He created the first public library, invented countless items such as the woodstove, bifocals, and the lightning rod. He signed the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. All of this makes for an exciting life with only two years of formal education (Hand, 2014). Franklin was not in favor of traditional education but believed in the new methods of student-led experimentation and learning through experience because personality often shapes one’s environment (Blinderman, 1976).

Learning Process

Learning Process

Theory of Value

Benjamin Franklin enjoyed learning, and others followed his example. Science and experimentation were integral in learning, and he felt both are the centerpieces of the new education system. He was idealistic and hoped others could learn everything through the theory of value and knowledge (Hand, 2014). One of the goals of education was to create a sense of unity among the colonies. A sense of unity remained the plan and provided leadership to the new country while preventing the British from using any weakness against them. Franklin’s educational philosophy was based on man and his hard work to support the American education system (Bowers, 2013).

Theory of Value

Theory of Value

Knowledge

Benjamin followed the footsteps of others to engage more in the age of enlightenment. The knowledge was necessary and drawn from the natural world, and science would provide a means for understanding. Franklin was confident in the ability to reason, overcome challenges, and a pathway to knowledge. People began to rely upon rationale and reason as a means to believe (Hand, 2014). Franklin provided an overview geared toward the necessary educational skills to learn and do. He suggested the English language rather than classic languages to allow people to converse better and conduct business (Holmquist, 2016). Education is not something you have to acquire; it’s something you want to do. Education is an active, ongoing vocation rather than a passive, limited training process.

Learning

Benjamin had little chance to learn in a formal setting, and most of what he learned he picked up as he went along through life. People learn by the doing approach that allows room for one to fail and proved successful (Hand, 2012). This approach provided Franklin success through failure and success. Franklin Instruction and teaching should be done by whoever is available, although understanding each person's learns style differs. During the Revolution, intellectual figures were of sound moral judgment and identified as clergymen, politicians, and academia. Franklin felt the life experience was the best teacher and provided advice through his published work (Hand, 2012).

Franklin felt strongly about the experience as a learning method through his exploration of many areas of study. He developed his curriculum, published a pamphlet titled "Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania," and provided ideas that led to the University of Pennsylvania's creation (Hand, 2012). Benjamin had progressive plans for the school. The creation he started as a vision has been seen throughout our education system today in various colleges and universities.

The academic grounds required student housing surrounded by meadows and orchards. Peace and tranquility aided in the learning process. Also, there was a liberal expenditure on maps, books, and scientific apparatus to interest the students in learning. He recommended temperate diets to ensure student health, including running, leaping, wrestling, and swimming (Blinderman, 1976). Today the areas are found on campuses across the nation.

Knowledge and Learning

Knowledge and Learning

Conclusion

During the early years, Benjamin Franklin was curious, diligent, and successful in understanding how people learn. Through his own experience, the old education was deemed useless, and he recommended the teachings of moral science. Perhaps no other man of the founding period contributed to our education system. As the founder of libraries, schools, and learned societies, Franklin contributed to American education. Through contributions, he perceived the need for adult education and identified as one of the American library system's fathers. He remained a significant promoter of the more informal means of learning. Perhaps the adult education movement in our nation stemmed from Franklin as people learned for the sake of learning.

References

Comments

Silas Still (author) from Baltimore, MD on February 24, 2021:

Thank you Umesh. I admire Benjamin Franklin as an educator. Knowledge is the one investment that keeps paying dividends - Benjamin Franklin

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 24, 2021:

Nice hub. Thanks.

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