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One elemental theme in colonial education was the idea that there was a distinct stratification element present in who achieved education and who did not. This could result in several themes off of this idea. Women received a different type of education in dame schools of the time period. If this was not an option for women, then their education consisted of serving in a domestic capacity. At the same time, education, itself, was seen as a class based element. The concept of public education for all was not a reality as of yet. In the process, one could see that the first nations' education was not intended for all. Another theme that could arise out of this was how the early nation's education addresses people of color, who were not conceived in the educational system.
The question as posed suggests 21st century policies and systems applied to 15th century events. Early colonists, at least in New England, didn't give a damn about educational policies or how to carry them out; everyone (including indians, girls, and servants/slaves) went to dame school to learn how to read. Being a theocracy, reading meant the potential for salvation, as the colonists concern was to save the souls of their youth through reading and interpreting the Bible. Without the ability to read, you were damned. Boys who were going into specific trades might have the opportunity to attend a school and learn basic business skills. Education, as we understand it, was reserved for the very few sons of the very wealthy who could afford college, and college's initial focus was solely to train ministers.
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