Posts Tagged ‘educational shifts’

EDCI 506 Blog 3: Recent Issues in Education

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

In terms of the purpose of education I believe Aristotle hit it spot on, “Education’s purpose is to cultivate liberally educated, rational people who can use their reason to make decisions and to govern society” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011).  However, I do not believe that this means only through a strict curriculum of reading, math and writing, is education useful and purposeful.   In today’s schools systems it is imperative to the students that a teacher is respectful to them and their learning development, aware of emotional issues of the students, aware of the learning style of the student, and that teacher strives to make students knowledgably in areas deemed as worthy, history, sciences, math and language.

Throughout the readings on chapter three and four you can really get a sense of where education was and how it came to be today.  In each section little bits of history was transferred down from generation to generation and eventually allowed for what our education system looks like today.  The American education system has styles of Chinese, Hebraic, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian. However those countries alone cannot be credited with making education what it is today. Aspects from different time periods have also influenced how education is operating today such as, Medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment eras.

The American education system has been influenced by all of the above countries and time periods.  For example, the idea of testing our students to make sure they are the best and brightest came from Ancient China where it was imperative that students to see where students would spend their profession.  Egyptian educations system influenced the idea of using the education system to teach the upcoming bureaucracies.  Just as the idea of a well-rounded individual, emphasis on practical administration, the structure of the education system, focusing on science, math, language and history, and to provide education to everyone came from the Judaic, Greek, Roman, Arabic, Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation periods respectively. However, although many of the ideas of these countries and time periods have influenced America’s education system there are several ideas of those above that are no longer practiced  in the education system in American.  For example most of the countries only allowed boys and men to go to school because their job was to be a professional, and women were to stay at home.  That has completely changed in today’s education system, no longer are only certain people educated but everyone has a chance to learn and grow.

Not only have other areas all over the world helped the American Education system become what it is today but pioneers in the education field as well.  By looking at Comenius, Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Herbart, Froebel, Spencer, Dewey, Addams, Montessori, Piaget and Freire you can see all how those individuals had their own teaching method and how each was adapted and used in the classroom of today’s schools.  These pioneers introduced teacher to really look at the students, their emotions and the learning stages and development stages of the students in order to really understand what they should be learning and how they should be learning.  These pioneers changed the American system by providing not only a education outlook on how to teacher but also using influences of psychology and religion to offer different way to teach a student (memorization, self-activity, spontaneous learning, etc.).  Without these pioneers I can only imagine how the school system would work. Teacher would be lost at understanding their students, they would not have the idea of plan out lessons, and organize instruction in the most beneficial way.

From the beginning of the idea of an education system, experience has always played a part in how students should learn.  Most of the pioneers and ideas from other countries you can relate Dewey’s idea of progressivism.  For example, Rousseau “highlighted that children’s natural interests and instincts will lead to a more thorough exploration of the environment” ((Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011). Pestalozzi introduced the “reliance on sensation” and that “knowing as understanding nature, its patterns and its laws…empirical, pr sensory learning through which children learn about their environment…”.  A lot of these pioneers called for students to use sensory, and putting what they’re learning into perspective, by seeing how it applies to society at that time, Addams stated that “The curriculum should be reconstituted to provide broadened experiences that explored children’s immediate environment…”.

In schools today you are more likely to see students learning the objective and then trying to relate it to a situation that occurs today.  For example the video in which the Civic’s teacher allowed for the students to learn about the law through a mock trial.  This is experience learning at its finest.  Here students are not just reciting facts and then “spitting” out the memorized facts on a test.  They are actually researching the legal terms, ad stating their case for what they believe in.  This way the teacher can see just how well the students are interpreting the information and how they are learning it.

Changing Education Paradigms –this is a pretty neat video on how education has changed and what is viewed as wrong with the education system.

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth