Standard 6.A

“Understand the structure, function, purpose, and value of education and schools in a free, democratic,

and pluralistic society.”

 

As both a member of the Education department and the Ford Institute, my coursework has shown me both sides of the democratic importance of education and schools. During Education 202, we learned about the historical progression of public schools in America. I think that this historical background is important to understand while considering the current state of education in America. Through the Ford Institute, I have been able to analyze policy issues related to education, including state-wide policies such as Proposal A, national policies such as No Child Left Behind, and international competition for better-performing schools (as with the surge in math and science education in America after Sputnik). Education forms the future leaders of our country, and so it is important that our young people are prepared to become well-rounded, critically-thinking, and socially adept adults.

 

During my Education 202 class, I wrote a paper entitled “Education as Personal and Public Empowerment.” In this essay, I looked at some of the historical contexts of American public education, and analyzed the importance of education in empowering individuals, as well as in empowering groups of people who may have been oppressed. In this essay, I come to the conclusion that progression of education will have a direct correlation with the success of individuals and our nation as a whole.

 

During a research project that I did for one of my Ford Institute courses, I studied comparative educational policies and the impact that competitiveness among countries has on national educational policy. During my research, I came across a powerpoint that was used to try to convince Americans that we need to strengthen our educational programs in order to remain the main superpower in the world. This shows that educational success is not only important on a local, state, or national level, it is also important to the overall future of our country’s international status. In educating future leaders of America, we prepare our country for future policy decisions.

 

I feel as though I am studying American education at a strange point in educational history. For the first time, we now have a national system for tracking school progress. Unfortunately, this program as a whole has not been found to be completely successful. With the inauguration of the new president in January of 2009, it will be interesting to see how educational policy changes within the next couple of years.

 

Artifacts:

         Education as Empowerment Essay

       Shift Happens ppt

 

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