As an educator, Webster’s vision was to maintain an American Christian republic where Christian values and moral principles were taught, valued and preserved. In short, Webster envisioned “an educational system that would impart, “a love of virtue, patriotism, and religion”, based on scripture” (Pope 2010). Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, regarded education as a key factor for the smooth function of democracy and he laid emphasis on education for all. He believed that only educated and well-informed citizens could play crucial roles in democracy. thus, for him education was the ‘foundation of democracy and a prerequisite to vote’. The four principles that governed Jefferson’s views on education were: “democracy cannot long exist without enlightenment”, “that it cannot function without wise and honest officials”, “that the talent and virtue, needed in a free society, should be educated regardless of wealth, birth or other accidental condition” and “that the children of the poor must be thus educated at common expense” (Jewett 2010). Jefferson pointed out that States should be divided into small districts or wards for better educational outputs and for him the structure of education should be in four levels: elementary schools, grammar schools, universities, and life-long learning. However, Jefferson’s liberal views on education failed to accommodate the educational needs of women, Blacks or Native Americans.
Pope, Randy. (2010). Noah Websters Distinctly Christian Education System Shielded the Republic from the Enlightenment.