Indeed the school system has failed to adapt to the dynamic trends of modern era. The inadequacy of the current education paradigm lies in its emphasis on standardized testing and performance measures for schools without cognizance for individual needs and innovative capacities in the scheme of a productive educational paradigm. Dave Whittington and Alan McLean’s article titled ‘Vocational Learning Outside Institutions’ and Illich’s ‘Deschooling Society’ confirm this. This initiated the current discussion of education reform.
A more productive and meaningful reform of our education system that would truly address the educational crisis would be progressive method of education coupled to pragmatism. On the basis of the capabilities of online technologies, and current developments in education, the authors predict that vocational learning will be profoundly changed. Inevitably, these developments will also challenge established colleges and universities, including their current dominance in major areas of vocational education and training.
Education will probably become more pluralistic and more international (Whittington and McLean paragraph One). In the ‘deschooling’ of the education system, this issue of economics is a major component. In essence each article is arguing for equal education, an education system that actually teaches instead of schools the children engage in thinking through memorization instead of productive reason. In the conceptualization of schools as highlighted by The National Conference for State Legislatures, there is a significant example of how the education system was formed.
The salient and noteworthy features that highlight the significance of educational significance from 1880 through 1920 in regards to progressive education and pragmatism can best be described as engaging not only the students in an era of academic discipline but also on the levels of teachers and administrators. The lesson of cooperation is one that is a shared in each academic approach: progressivism and pragmatism. As David Wiles states about Dewey and his ideals of progressive education, “This philosopher and educator made the variability and integrity of the individual the cornerstone of this writing.
The word ‘progressive’ became associated with forms of declaring the individual as the most important feature in understanding how organizations work and what reason or logic must come to mean in a civilized society”. Thus the development of education at the turn of America’s twentieth century entailed a refreshed focus on the individual student. This is the essence of this article. In deschooling a student the main theory, which evokes change, is Pragmatism: Pragmatism is similar to concepts involved with child psychology prevalent today.
The student then is viewed as learning by their own set of standards and by relating current progress to past mistakes. Thus, a student is judged and allowed to learn at his/her pace. While other disciplines heightened learning through an array of tests and were exclusively subject oriented, pragmatism guided the student at the early turn of the twentieth century, through a varied education in several genres, which would ultimately be considered a type of social studies education, combining subject matter into a common arena of education. The common theme between each article presented at the start of the paper is progressive education.
That is, education which focuses on the student’s individual learning capacity. Thus, in deschooling there must be attention paid to the individual. Learning goals in regards to pragmatism can only be realized if consensus is constantly challenged. Really, ‘Do not block the way of inquiry’. By generalizing education into separate genres, the sociology and interrelated issues of each subject become a chaotic discord. Through this type of group learning, individuals learn that nothing is related and that one subject cannot breach another subject. This limits the possibilities of science, math, art, etc.
By interrelating subjects, one student who is not interested in a certain genre may see how their study of choice hinges upon another subject such as math calculations to art. What are the components of progressive education? There are five components by which progressive education has worked: positive interdependence, promotive interaction, individual accountability, interpersonal and small-group skills, and group processing. Each of these components teaches students and teachers that learning is not achieved through route memorization but through actively taking part in lessons and developing independent thought.
Active learning should the basis for structuring each classroom is structured. In analysis, active learning simply refers to a situation where students are not spoon-fed the correct answers, instead they question the subject and come up with their own hypothesis and then are allowed to check to see if it is correct: They are not handed the answers and taught to memorize such but are taught to actively engage in each school subject and come to their own conclusions through proper problem solving techniques applicable in any genre.
In active learning, questions are just as important as the answers. Teachers then are given the duty of making sure they engage students in becoming active learners. Through formal and informal learning, this is accomplished. Cooperation means learning with a group and giving succor to everyone participating in that group. A school then, is merely a larger extension of the classroom group, which in turn is an extension of the smaller learning groups within the classroom. The focal point of pragmatism then becomes the welding of fine Arts in education, i. e.
fine arts as the fusion between art, math, history, languages and science. On noteworthy also is Congruency; this concept permeates both progressive education and pragmatism. In a progressive education, the common and ultimate goal of the entire system is to improve learning, and the avenues by which material is learned by the students. Progressive education also entailed elements of Humanism as thought of by other philosophers and educators of the time period. In the concern for the individual that pragmatists exhibited, it was only natural that Humanism be involved in the philosophy.
What is the essence of this humanism? Humanism is the value of each person and that feeling extended throughout the human race. This theory deals with Maslow’s theory of ‘development toward self-actualization or McGregor’s Theory Y and the intrinsic motivation of individuals engaged in work. Humanism was not only part of the interdisciplinary status of progressive education but it also clearly supports the proposed idea of individuality, making space for individual education and improvement. It is cardinal to the idea of progressive education and pragmatism.
There is emphasis on education tailored to the need and gifts of the person and in conformity to the demands of the society. Another strong element within the understanding of progressivism is liberalism. Liberalism combined with progressive education forms cohesion of social justice and advocacy consent. Progressive education should be understood within a social context, and not be misguided by ideas pertaining to Constructivism, which is similar but models itself towards pupils gaining their knowledge based purely and solely on individualistic efforts, instead of the hands on experience involved with pragmatism.
What constitutes the economics of progressivism? As earlier mentioned, economics is a major component of deschooling the society. Illich presents the reader with this defining point of education. Without money a school will fail because it does not have the necessary funds available to give children a proper education; this includes current books, facilities, after school programs, athletics, etc. Thus, a child who attends a highly funded school will surely get a better education than a child who attends a poorly funded school.
This also includes too many students in a room because the school system cannot afford more teachers, or more construction to increase the size of the school with the ever-increasing size of the student population. Although Dave Whittington and Alan McLean’s ‘Vocational Learning Outside Institutions’ highlights how learning can encompass online courses, home schooling and vocational schooling, which eliminates some of the economic problems, there still remains the basic fact of a child’s education resting on the availability of these different avenues of being schooled.
The future is in the minds of the country’s children, and those minds are in the hands of policy makers and their ability to fund a school. This funding should indeed be targeted at meeting the special and individual needs of the students; this is part of progressivism and pragmatism. Halford sets two examples of this issue, “provisions to personalize urban schools, and professional development for educators”. This means that the education of the educator is as important as that of the child in the classroom. Inequality is the child of racism and ignorance.
The issue for policymakers is how to get funds to bring knowledge into the inner city school and thus retard racism. Halford states, “In center-city schools, equal funding may not be adequate funding, because urban schools may require an initial extra investment just to be elevated to an acceptable baseline for academic achievement. ” Halford paints a grim example of schools that is entirely accurate. Without the quick action by policymakers, infirm buildings will go back to nature and the already crowded school next door will have to harbor all the students whose school was dilapidated.
This points to a cogent idea: policymakers are turning toward the community and their involvement to make the school structurally and financially better. I feel that the refusal of some policymakers or wealthy endorsers (who do not want to waste their time on something that is already failing) is a great testament to what America holds as sacred; that is, keeping money. The issue of education is only a secondary byline in Halford’s article, the real issue is about money; how to get it, invest it, and make it prosper. Schools are in a dire need of a lot of money, and to begin changes, a lot of money must be put forth at the get-go.
Each of the different templates that Chicago has presented to its schools would not work with inadequate funding. What is important to Americans does not seem to be education, but only a pale glimmer of it found in health violation buildings. With current debate on education reform, the plausible question then would be: what is the solution to the prevalent dilemma? In response to this, Robelen discusses the area of public charter schools. The fostering idea behind this legislation of charter schools is one that is extreme.
The policy is that if a school’s performance is exceeding they should be encouraged but if they fail then they should be closed. One then asks: does the charter school benefit and advance the education of the student? Here comes the answer: Charter schools do not face the same legislation as public schools! Unions are limited and the controversy of charter school draining money from public schools is widespread. A charter school essentially allows the student more choice to their education, and specializes in the needs of the student. Isn’t this cardinal to the proposed progressivism and pragmatism.
The charter school has been criticized for meeting the expectations of students and not innovative in its education style. I strongly believe that the educational system offered by the school is important in the tutoring of a child. The initializing of charter schools across the country should be focused on improving student’s scores and aptitude and cognitive abilities. It should not be give room for negligence and ill proficiency. In order for education to be the main focus in the country, an issue of whether a charter school should be in existence or not, is not an issue. The population growth in cities necessitates more schools.
However, the issues should be: will this school provide a legitimate education for its students? Will the school provide them with a challenging education and personalize it so that they do not get left behind in any subject? In the area of education, it is up to the school system to ensure appropriate teachers with certified degrees. And whether or not it is a charter school, every school should be concerned with the welfare of the child and their specific needs. Charter schools seem to promise a definite assessment of needs being catered to by educators.
WORK CITED ? Goodman, Paul. Two Simple Proposals.16 September 2007. http://www. factoryschool. org/rhood/goodman/twosimple. html ? Halford, Joan M. Policies and Promises. ASCD. Number 5. 1996. ? Illich, Ivan. Deschooling Society. 16 September 2007. http://reactorcore. org/deschooling. html ? Robelen, Erik W. A Viable Path for School Reform. ASCD Info brief, Vol. 12. 1998. ? The National Conference for State Legislatures: The Forum for America’s Ideas. 2007. 16 September 2007. http://www. ncsl. org/programs/educ/CompulsoryEd. htm ? Whittington, D. and A. McLean. Vocational Learning Outside Institutions. Studies in Continuing Education, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2001.
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