There were various changes brought about by the educational reform movement of the 1800s. One of the areas of change involved the efforts of Horace Mann. Horace Mann believed teachers needed to be trained. He started the "normal school" that was basically a school of education for teachers. Teachers would be trained in the art of teaching in the normal school. Horace Mann also wanted to improve the curriculum and lengthen the school year. The school year increased from three months to six months. He also believed the curriculum needed to be better. He wanted to focus on secular subjects much more than religious topics. Finally, he believed public schools should be free so all people would have an opportunity at getting an education.
Another area of change was working with people with disabilities. Dr. Samuel Howe worked with students who had visual impairments. He developed books using the braille system so these people could read. Thomas Gallaudet worked with students who had hearing issues. Dorothea Dix worked to help those people who had mental illnesses. She knew it was wrong to put them in jail. They needed to be treated instead of imprisoned.
Women also began to demand improved educational opportunities. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton believed in coeducation. They felt boys and girls should be taught together. They wanted girls to be taught the same subjects as boys. As a result of their efforts, girls had more educational opportunities. Many changes were made in the area of education in the 1800s.