In 1749, Benjamin Franklin wrote “Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania”. This article served as a basis for the academy that he founded. The academy was a private secondary school, which offered a practical curriculum that included a variety of subjects and useful skills. English grammar, classic, composition, rhetoric(修辞学), and public speaking were to be the chief language studies rather than Latin and Greek. Students could also choose a second language based on their vocational
interests. For example, prospective clergyman might study Latin and Greek; physicians could choose Latin, Greek, and French; businessmen might elect French, German, and Spanish. Mathematics was to be taught for its practical application to book-keeping rather than as an abstract intellectual exercise. History would be the chief ethical(伦理的) study. By studying biographies of great men, students were to learn moral and ethical principles. Franklin’s curricular proposal was especially noteworthy because it brought many practical skills into the formal school that so far had been ignored. They included carpentry, ship-building, engraving, printing, painting, cabinetmaking, farming, and carving. With a prophetic(先知的) insight into the course of civilization and education, Franklin suggested that special attention be
given to science, invention, and technology.
By the mid-nineteenth century, there were many academies functioning throughout the nation, especially at the secondary level. These academies offered a wide variety of curricula and courses, ranging from traditional Latin and Greek to very practical and utilitarian(实用的) studies. The late nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw the emergence of high school and the junior high or middle school, which
incorporated utilitarianism, vocationalism, and commercialism, such as Franklin had recommended in his
proposals of the mid-eighteenth century.

Questions:

1. Why did Franklin write “Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania”?

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2. What did the chief language studies exclude?

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3. What was the main purpose of the ethical study?

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4. Which word in the first paragraph could be used to describe the curriculum offered at the academy?

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5. What did the formal school overlook?

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1. It was a basis for the academy founded by Franklin.
2. Latin and Greek
3. to learn moral and ethical principles
4. practical
5. practical skills