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Jeffersonianism: Overview & Practical Teaching Examples

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  • 0:01 Thomas Jefferson
  • 0:43 Inclusive Education
  • 2:30 Citizen Education
  • 3:52 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Thomas Jefferson was a founding father whose ideals have impacted much of modern American life, hundreds of years after his life. In this lesson, we'll look at the legacy he left in the American education system, a philosophy known as Jeffersonianism.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States and the writer of the Declaration of Independence. In many ways, his values and ideals have shaped American life, even today, almost 200 years after his death.

Jeffersonianism, or the philosophy based on Thomas Jefferson's beliefs and writings, has had a major impact on the politics and laws of our country. But did you know that Jeffersonianism also has impacted some of our ideas about education? Let's look closer at two Jeffersonian ideals of education, inclusive education and citizen education, and how they are applied to teaching and learning today.

Inclusive Education

Shana is a good student, and she really likes to learn. But sometimes she struggles in school because the teachers talk in ways that she's not used to hearing at home. They use big words and expressions that her parents don't use. Not only that, everyone around her seems to understand things, like how to apply for college, and Shana has no idea how it works.

One key ideal of Jeffersonianism is that everyone has a right to education, which is sometimes called inclusive education because it is about including everyone in education. To Thomas Jefferson, this was a major point because he believed that education for every citizen makes both the citizen better and, by extension, the country stronger.

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