How Did the Industrial Revolution Affect Education?

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The Industrial Revolution brought several important changes to the field of education by making education accessible for children of all socioeconomic backgrounds and setting laws making education a requirement. Prior to the 1800s, the accessibility of education to children was spotty. Children born into wealthy families often had access to education, while children from impoverished families did not.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, education was not free. Wealthy families could afford to send their children to school for a basic education while the education poor children received was limited to the tutorials offered in Dame schools and church schools at Sunday services. However, in 1833, education received a helping hand from the British government. The government, for the first time in history, allocated funds to promote education in schools. It gave money to charities for the purposes of helping to make education accessible to children of all socioeconomic divisions. In the same year, the British government established laws requiring children working in factories to attend school for no less than two hours every day. In 1844, the government-established Ragged Schools Union focused on educating poor children, while the Public Schools Act, created in 1868, brought reform to the public school system in Britain by establishing basic requirements for educational standards.