My Foundations of Education

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My Foundations of Education by Mind Map: My Foundations of Education

1. Politics of Education

1.1. Four Purposes of Education

1.1.1. 1. The intellectual purposes of schooling are to teach children skills such as reading, writing, and mathematics, to give students knowledge of concepts such as literature and history, and to help students develop thinking skills like analysis and evaluation.

1.1.2. 2. The political purposes of schooling are to develop patriotism and allegiance to the U.S. political order, to prepare students to participate in the political order in the future, to teach students laws within the U.S. society, and to combine different cultural groups into this common political order.

1.1.3. 3. The social purposes of schooling are to aid in the effort to solve on going social problems, to come together as one of many institutions for the purpose of social cohesion, and to socialize students into the different aspects of society.

1.1.4. 4. The economic purposes of schooling are to to prepare students for the occupational roles they will obtain in the future and to select and train students into the division of labor.

1.2. Perspective

1.2.1. 1. The role of the school: For my view of the role of schools, I chose a slightly liberal perspective. The liberal perspective believes that all students should have an equal opportunity to succeed in society. This view also points out another role of the school in socializing students into societal roles. Schools should also teach children to be mindful and respect cultural diversity because the U.S. society is diverse itself. This perspective points out the importance of participating in a democratic society. Schools should also enable each student to develop certain talents and skills as individuals. Although I believe students should be provided with an equal opportunity to succeed, I also believe that individuals succeed largely on their own accord and should be rewarded for their success.

1.2.2. 2. Explanation of unequal performance: For my view on the explanation of unequal performance, I have also chosen a liberal view. This perspective points out that many students, especially from low socioeconomic backgrounds, begin school without proper preparation and that other students begin with more advantages. Therefore, schools must implement policies in which students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds can have better chances of success.

1.2.3. 3. Definition of educational problems: For my view on the definition of educational problems I chose a slightly liberal perspective. Schools have, in the past, limited minority students with traditional curriculum. Although I do not believe curriculum should be watered down, I do believe it should accommodate to minorities. In some cases, teachers have focused more on their authority and control of the class room than on individual development. I do believe it is important to teach traditional american values, but I also believe it is important to incorporate all cultures in ones teaching.

2. History of U.S. Education

2.1. Reform Movement

2.1.1. 1. I believe the Progressive Movement, a period between 1900 and 1914, has had a big impact on the U.S. education system. John Dewey has become highly associated with this reform movement. He advocated a curriculum that would consider each student's interest, talents, and developmental level. Dewey also believed that one of the aims of education is growth. This movement emphasized the belief that teachers are facilitators of learning instead of the belief that teachers are the source from which all knowledge flow. During this period, education expanded rapidly with more students begging to attend school. Dewey emphasized on children impulses, feelings, and interests. There was also two different approaches to progressive reform during this period. G. Stanley Hall believed that schools should cater their curriculum taught to the stages of child development. He suggested that schools should individualize instruction based on the interests of all children. This became known as the child-centered reform. Edward L. Thorndike, on the other hand, proposed a social engineering reform. Thorndike believed that education could change students in a positive way and that the methods to achieve such a goal should be determined scientifically. Many progressive thinkers encouraged teachers to be "socially efficient" in their teaching methods. Schools should prepare students to earn a living and educate students based on their abilities.

2.2. Historical Interpretation of U.S. Education

2.2.1. 1. I have chosen to describe the democratic-liberal perspective on education. This perspective believes that that the history of our country's education involves the "progressive evolution" of schools in providing equal opportunity for everyone to receive education. Each period of expansion in our history has involved attempts to expand educational opportunities to the disadvantage population. This perspective believes that the Common School Era was the first step in providing education to all. This perspective tends to view the U.S. educational history very positive and optimistically while also realizing that the evolution of schools has been flawed. Liberals believe that the educational system must move closer to both equity and excellence without sacrificing one or the other.

3. The Sociology of Education

3.1. Theoretical Perspective

3.1.1. 1. Functionalism: Functionalists emphasize that our social system is dependent on many things. They view society as a "machine" in which each part works together to form a highly functioning society. Functionalists often examine how these parts work together with one another. Functionalist view "consensus" as the norm for society rather than conflict. They believe that if a society is functioning properly, that schools will socialize students into the "appropriate values." Functionalist also believe that schools will sort out students based on their abilities.

3.1.2. Conflict theory: Conflict theorists believe that social order is based on the ability of the upper class(i.e dominate group) to force their will on the lower class (I.e. subordinate group). They believe the glue of society is power. the dominate group of society create ideologies that enhance their position. Conflict theorists view schools as a "social battlefield" where students struggle with teachers and so on. They believe the organization of schools and the distribution of material goods reflect power relations within society. A conflict theory from a Marxist point of view emphasizes that their is a direct relationship between the organizations of school and the organization of society. Other conflict theorists see school as demanding and oppressing to students. Randall Collins emphasizes that educational credentials are used by dominate groups to reach a more advantageous place in society. Research has also found that the school in which one graduates from passes on social identities that can effect life chances.

3.1.3. Interactionalism: Interactional theories that describe the relationship of school and society critique functional and conflict theories because of their microsociological level of analysis. Interactional theories focuses on what happens in the everyday interactions between students and teachers. Because of this, interactional theories are microsociological theories. An interactional theorist named Basil Bernstein has examined how language patterns reflect a students social class backgrounds. He points out that students who are from working-class backgrounds are at a disadvantage in schools. He believes this is because schools are middle-class organizations.

3.2. Five Effects of Schooling

3.2.1. 1. Knowledge and Attitudes: Research indicates that the more schooling one receives, the greater knowledge and social participation they have. The difference between school's academic programs and policies make a difference in the lives of students. Schools that are "academically oriented" have higher rates of learning. The amount of time students spend in school greatly influences how much they learn. People who attain more education are more likely to participate in public and political affairs.

3.2.2. 2. Teacher Behavior: The attitudes that teachers have towards their students have a profound impact on students academic achievements and self perceptions. Teachers should be models for students. Teachers's expectations for their students impact a student's achievements. A teacher's expectations can either encourage or discourage students. When a teacher expects more from his or her students, the students are more likely to learn more due to increased engagement. It is sad fact, but also very common, that many teachers expect less from minority students with leads to these studnts having little confidence in themselves and preforming poorly academically. A teachers attitude towards students can have life changing impacts on the students.

3.2.3. 3. Student Peer Groups and Alienation: Often, students see the characteristic of athleticism and good looks as being "cool." This student culture can come into conflict with adult culture and lead to alienation. Students often misinterpret being bad as being tough from the media. In society today, violence is more accepted than in the past. Because of this, violence is becoming more widespread among students. Through all of this, it is evident that student culture plays an important role in shaping how children experience school.

3.2.4. 4. Inadequate Schools: The inadequacy of schools reproduce inequalities. For example, children who attend urban schools are often minority and poor children. These schools fail to educate these types of students properly. On the other hand, students who attend suburban schools or private schools get a better education. Where a child attends school can either benefit them or lead them back to the vicious cycle of inequality. Students who attend elite private schools often have a major advantage over other students. Not only because of their educational experiences, but also because the social value of this type of schooling.

3.2.5. 5. Tracking: School tracking impacts student mobility. Tracking involves placing student in curricular programs (i.e high-ability or low track) based on student's academic abilities. Sadly, it has been found that some schools are influenced by class and race when placing students in these programs. For example, children who are considered working-class often end up on vocational tracks. On the other hand, middle class students often end up in academic tracks. Students who are placed in high-ability tracks have access to a better educational experience than their peers placed in lower tracks.

4. The Philosophy of Education

4.1. Student-Centered Philosophy of Education: Pragmatism

4.1.1. 1. Generic notations: Dewey's form of pragmatism was influenced by Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. His form includes instrumentalism and experimentalism. Dewey believed that society would be improved for the better through education. He believed children should learn skills both experimentally and from books. He thought that these ways of learning, along with traditional curriculum, would prepare students to function properly in a democratic society. Dewey's views are progressive in nature. He strongly believed that educators should consider the interest and needs of students foremost. Children are actively developing and they require curriculum that reflect the stages they are presently going through.

4.1.2. 2. Key researchers: Many researchers contributed to this philosophy of education. Some of the earliest, William James and George Sanders Peirce believed that pragmatism encourages people to search for effective processes in order to obtain the desired results. Another Early philosopher, Francis Bacon, emphasized experience within our daily existence. John Locke believed that our minds are blank tablets and that we gain knowledge through our senses. Jean-Jacques Roussea believed we are all born naturally good and that society corrupts us. John Dewey, who was influenced by Charles Darwin, introduced instrumentalism and experimentalism. As the book says, "it has been Dewey's work that had the most profound intellectual and practical influence on U.S. progressive education."

4.1.3. 3. Goal of education: Dewey believed that one of the main functions of school was to prepare students for living and working in a democratic society. Another primary role of schooling is growth. Dewey stressed that schools should be a place where "ideas can be implemented, challenged, and restructured, with the goal of providing students with the knowledge of how to improve the social order." He also believed that schools should balance the needs of society/community along with individuals themselves. The desired end or goal of education, according to Dewey, is cooperation and community.

4.1.4. 4. Role of teacher: In this philosophy, the teacher should be a facilitator rather than an authoritarian figure. Teachers should "encourage, offer suggestions, question, and help plan and implement courses of study." Teachers must be highly educated in many area in order to create and implement curriculum that is catered to the diversity and interest of their students. Teachers should not be considered the sole source "from which all knowledge flows."

4.1.5. 5. Method of instruction: Dewey's method emphasized students learning in natural ways that where viewed as nontraditional at the time. He discarded the old formal furniture and brought in tables and chairs that could be grouped when needed. Children could converser their opinions with one another. The traditional time frame in which each subject should be taught was discarded. He believed that children should ask themselves what they wanted to know(i.e. inquiry method). He supported field trips and projects that was different from the traditional course of study of the time.

4.1.6. 6. Curriculum: Dewey did not believe in a fixed curriculum. He believed in a curriculum that was every changing with society and the interest of children. He pushed for an integrated curriculum in which problems addressed would be solved by using academic and vocational disciplines a like. He believed in the integration of "math, science, history, reading, writing, music, art, wood or metal work, cooking, and sewing" when analyzing and solving problems.

5. Schools as Organizations

5.1. Stakeholders in Curry: Walker County, Alabama

5.1.1. 1. State Senator: Greg Reed

5.1.2. 2. House of Representatives: Connie C. Rowe and Tim Wadsworth

5.1.3. 3. State superintendent: Michael Sentence, J.D, LL.M.

5.1.4. 4. Representative on state school board (District 7): Jeffrey Newman

5.1.5. 5. Local superintendent: Jason Adkins

5.1.6. 6. Local school board member (district 1): Jamie Rigsby

5.2. Elements of Change Within School Processes and School Cultures

5.2.1. 1.Conflict: When in the process of democratizing schools, previous conflicts may surface. School staff must be prepare to handle such conflict because conflict is necessary for change.

5.2.2. 2.Learning of new behaviors: Change requires new behaviors and relationships to be formed. These behaviors include, "building communication and trust, enabling leadership and initiative to emerge, and learning techniques of communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution."

5.2.3. 3. Team building: Decision making that is shared must give continual awareness to the relationships among a school's faculty. If this is not carried out, issues such as "exclusiveness and imagined elitism" will occur.

5.2.4. 4. interrelation of process and content: The process used for going about work is just as important as the "content of educational changes it attempts." The content of a project is related to the degree of trust among a team.

6. Curriculum, Pedagogy, and the Transmission of Knowledge

6.1. Historical Curriculum Theories

6.1.1. 1. Developmentalist Curriculum: This particular theory is based from the writings of John Dewey and the psychologist Jean Piaget. The developmentalist curriculum focuses on the needs and interests of the students rather than a standardized, set curriculum. This curriculum is student centered and is designed to relate the curriculum to the life experiences of the students. This curriculum theory focuses on the needs and interests of students as they progress through the different developmental stages. It's goal is to positively develop each students capacities so that they may be effective citizens. Rather than the teacher being the source of all knowledge, he or she is the facilitator of knowledge for the students. I would advocate for this theory because I believe it would produce students that have full access of all their powers and capabilities. These students would be able to be effective in a democratic society because they could exercise their capabilities through their future jobs. This theory does not place students in certain developmental tracks through standardized testing as the social efficiency theory does. Rather, this theory focuses on the needs of students and bases the curriculum from this factor.

6.1.2. 2. Social meliorist: This particular theory is based from the works of George Counts and Harold Rugg, two professors at Columbia University, who radicalized John Dewey's philosophy of education. Although I usually do not hold radical views of education, I believe this theory has some very good points. This theory stresses that schools should be a change agent in society and help solve many of its leading problems. The theory advocates for a curriculum that makes students analyze the problems of society and learn how to be change agents within it. This curriculum theory also advocates for an integrated curriculum that revolves around common themes rather than dividing curriculum into separate subject areas. I would advocate for this theory because I believe that schools could be a change agent in society. I believe that schools should focus on curriculum that teaches students how to be active and productive in our society. Although I do not think schools could solve every societal problem, I do think they could prepare students to positively impact many of the current problems.

6.2. Tradition of Teaching

6.2.1. 1. The Mimetic Tradition: This tradition of teaching views the purpose of education as transmitting certain information and knowledge from the teacher to the student. This tradition believes the best way of doing this is through the "didactic method." This method utilizes lectures and presentations by the teacher as the main form of communication in the classroom. This tradition can be broken down into a step-by-step process for teacher to follow. It views teachers as an authoritarian figure in the classroom. The mimetic tradition has measurable goals and objectives that it seeks to fulfill through the relaying if information that students do not possess.

6.2.2. 2. The Transformative Tradition: This tradition of teaching believes that the purpose of education is to positively change a student's psychological state. This tradition is more broad than the former, therefore, it can not be broken down into a step-by-step process. Transformative educators base their views from the works of Socrates and John Dewey. This tradition believes the best way of accomplishing its desired goals is through the "dialectical method" that utilizes the use of questioning. This method advocates for the active participation of students in the learning process. This tradition views teaching in its artistic form rather than in its scientific form as the mimetic tradition does.

6.3. Sociological View of Curriculum

6.3.1. 1. Functionalist View: The functionalist view of curriculum has been largely developed through the work of Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Dreeben. This view advocates for curriculum that teaches students what they need to know to be active and effective members of America's democratic society. They believe the role of curriculum is to give students the "knowledge, language, and values" needed to assimilate into society. Giving students such knowledge will prepare them for their future roles and careers. I would advocate for this view because I believe it is vital for schools to partake in such tasks. Schools should teach students socially relatable curriculum that they can apply in their future roles.

7. Equality of Opportunity and Educational Outcomes

7.1. Impacts of Educational Outcomes

7.1.1. 1. Class: Class is directly related to the educational attainment and outcomes of students. Students from different social classes have different experiences in their educative careers. The upper and middle class students are more likely to to graduate high school and earn a college degree than the working and under class students are. The working an under class families often have lower expectations for their children and cannot provide these children with the same finical support for education as can the upper and middle class families. Studies have shown that the middle class students are more likely to speak "standard english" than the lower classes. Teachers have been found to even favor children and their abilities based on their social class. This favoring leads to the labeling of children that is passed on from year to year. It has also been found that parental income has an effect on the achievement of students on achievement test. These facts are evidence that the social class a student is born into is related to their academic outcomes.

7.1.2. 2. Race: It is statistically undeniable that race is related to the academic outcomes of students. An individuals race will impact their likelihood of achieving more years of education, like college. The book lists many alarming statistics in regards to the educational outcomes of white, Hispanic-American, and African-American students. Overall, white students are more likely to complete high school and receive higher scores on the SAT than Hispanic and African American students. Both the completion of high school and SAT scores have a large impact on the future income of students. It has also been shown that white students receive more educational opportunities than do Hispanic and African American students. Consequently, these minority students often remain in the same social class as their parents when they reach adulthood and the cycle continues generation to generation.

7.1.3. 3. Gender: Although there are still some differences in the academic outcomes of males and females, this gap has been reduced in the last twenty years. Female students have caught up to male students in almost all measures of academic achievement. Today, females are more likely to complete high school and possess higher levels of reading and writing proficiency than males. On the other hand, male students are more likely to achieve higher scores on the SAT and attend more prestigious schools than females. Even though the achievement gap between genders has been reduced, males students still have advantages over female students when competing for academic awards and prizes.

7.2. Coleman Study Responses from 1982

7.2.1. 1. Response one: The first response of Coleman's study of 1982 was centered around the "interpretations attached to the magnitude of the findings." What Coleman found to be significant findings from this study differed from what others deemed significant when they analyzed the same data. Coleman and his colleagues found that the differences among schools have an impact on student academic outcomes. They based these assumptions from the data collected that showed private school students outperformed public school students in every subject area on test scores. Some critics, when analyzing Coleman's data, concluded that the differences in learning between public and private schools was negligible. Other studies have shown that private schools better educate low-income students. The big question behind the results of the Coleman study is wether the organizational characteristics of private schools that are related to student outcomes are as significant as some researchers suggest in terms of their relationship.

7.2.2. 2. Response two: The second response of the Coleman study arose forty years after Coleman's book was published. Geoffrey Borman and Maritza Gowling evaluated educational data to formulate this response. They found that the "racial and socioeconomic composition of a school has a greater effect on student achievement than an individual's race and class." Norman and Gowling believe that school segregation and dominate middle-class values are the two factors responsible for the gaps between student achievements. The two conclude that schools must diminish their biases for white, middle class students and eliminate segregation based on race and socioeconomic status for positive changes to occur in schools.

8. Explanations of Educational Inequality

8.1. Cultural Deprivation Theory

8.1.1. 1. Family disadvantages: Sadly, many students who come from working-class families or who are nonwhite students come to school without the skills and intellect needed to succeed in school. This is largely because they come from a deprived culture, one that lacks the values of hard work and initiative. The reject the idea that educational attainment will provide future success. Often, these students lack the dispositions to be successful because of their family background. These students are not as prepared to enter school as students from other classes

8.1.2. 2. Economic disadvantages: Many students, who are nonwhite or come from working-class families, lack the resources necessary for success. In their earlier years, they are not provided access to books or educational stimuli like other children are. This lack of access puts these students at a great disadvantage compared to their cohorts. Many of these students are put in programs such as Head Start that tries to make up for this disadvantage.

8.2. School-Centered Explanations for Inequality

8.2.1. 1. School Financing: This explanation for inequality is both a moral and a political issue. It is evident that affluent suburban schools receive better funding than public schools in poor inner cities. This is because schools are significantly funded by local property taxes. Property values are significantly higher in suburban regions than in inner cities, therefore, these inner city schools receive far less funding. The subject of unequal school financing has been the subject of much debate in the past. There have been many court cases, such as Serrano v. Priest and Abbott v. Burke, that have ruled the unequal funding between wealthy and poor districts as unconstitutional. On the other hand, court cases such as the U.S. Supreme Court in San Antonio (Texas) Independent School District v. Rodriquez have upheld the use of property taxes for educational funding. Some states have enacted state aid programs which insures all districts receive proper funding. Some people believe that financing through federal income taxes should be enacted. Others do not support this because they believe federal financing threatens local decision-making. The proper means of school financing has been the subject of much debate in the past and it continues to be today.

8.2.2. 2. Between School Differences: There has been research regarding how "school climates" affect a students academic performance. The findings suggest that some schools do affect educational outcomes independent of extra-school factors. A larger proportion of schools located in higher socioeconomic communities have school climates that positively affect students education. The types of teachers, pedagogical practices, and curriculum which varies between schools affect student performance. There has also been research on the relationship between schooling and life expectations. Students will receive different sets of aspirations from the school they attend which will impact their future. Student also receive different types of resources from the school in which they attend. Students who attend school in upper middle-class suburbs have access to many features that can positively impact their educations performances.

8.2.3. 3. Effective School Research: Much research has been done to see if a student's academic achievements are affected by between-school differences or within-school differences. In Coleman's first study, he concluded that the "differences in school resources and quality do not adequately explain between-school differences in academic achievements." In his next study he concluded that "Catholic schools produce significantly better levels of academic achievement because of their more rigorous curriculum and higher academic expectations." These studies contradict one another and they are the bases of both sides of the debate. Questions such as whether student differences or school differences are more important have been the bases of much research. The interaction between both of these factors cannot be isolated. Research has found that some schools have qualities that make them more effective independently from their demographic compositions. These finding suggest the there are things a school can do to positively impact student achievement. This research, however, does not indicate the directions for implementation of effective school qualities. It also does not provide the answer as to how effective schools are created.

8.2.4. 4. Gender and Schooling: Feminist have long argued that schools play a role in reproducing gender inequalities. They have pointed out some of the ways in which schools limit the educational opportunities of women. First, they conclude that the curriculum taught in school often "silences" women's history. They also conclude that the hidden curriculum often reinforces traditional gender roles. They also consider the fact that females are more likely to teach elementary school whereas males are more likely to teach secondary grades. They believe that this sends students the message that women teach children and men teach the real ideas to adults. With all of this being said, recent research has found that the gender gap in educational achievement has almost diminished. Females usually attain higher grades in school and are more likely to graduate high school and attend college than males.

9. Educational Reform and School Improvements

9.1. School-Based Reforms

9.1.1. 2. School-business partnership: There is little evidence that these partnerships have significantly improved schools. These partnerships began in the 1980's when business leaders became concerned that schools where not producing students that could positively change the U.S. economy. One example of such a partnership is the Boston Compact. These partnerships include scholarships for poor students to attend college and management assistance to some school districts. Many foundations have financially contributed to educational reforms. For example, Mark Zuckerberg contributed 100 million dollars to improve education in New Jersey. We must wait to see if these partnerships will have any significant effects on the educational system in the future.

9.1.2. 3. Privatization: This reform began in the 1990's when private education companies started to become involved in public education. Many for-profit companies took over the management of failing schools. Many of these companies have provided tutoring for public schools under NCLB. As the book explains, it is too early to conclude whether privatization is efficient or not.

9.2. Societal, Economic, Community, or Political Reforms

9.2.1. 1. School Finance Reforms: In 1971 the Supreme Court came to the decision in Rodriquez v. San Antonio that there is "no constitutional right to an equal education." In 1970, Robin v. Cahill was filed in regards to discrimination in funding in some school districts which failed to provide all students with "thorough and efficient education." In 1980, Abbott v. Burke was filed on behalf of urban school districts who where not receiving adequate funding. In 1990 it was ruled that more funding was needed for the academic success of children in poor school districts. In 1998, the state implemented supplemental programs which included preschool and the renovation of urban schools. Abbott v. Burke also implemented entitlements to urban schools such as full day kindergarten, whole school reform social services, increased security, technology alternative education, school-to-work, after-school, and summer-school programs. In 2009 New Jersey Supreme Court replaced the Abbott remedies with SFRA. With this program, the state believed that money should be given to districts based on student needs. These reforms, by themselves, will not completely reduce the academic gaps. These reforms must also address factors such as social and economic problems to be most successful.

9.2.2. 2. Full Service and Community Schools: This reform strives to educate the whole community rather than just the students. This reform includes Dryfoos's model of full service schools, Canada's Harlem Children's Zone, and Newark's Broader Bolder Approach. Full service schools meets the many needs of students and their families between school and community service. These reforms try to improve at-risk neighborhoods and prevent problems. There is no empirical evidence to support whether these full service schools truly affect student performance and achievement yet.