Foundations of Education

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Foundations of Education par Mind Map: Foundations of Education

1. Conservative Perspective on the Definition of Educational Problems: Conservatives view five key issues which have led to educational problems: decline of standards, decline of cultural literacy, decline of values/civilization, decline of authority, and an inefficient and bureaucratic mess. Conservatives think schools should foster a cohesive culture where teachers are viewed as authority figures and education standards are high, regardless of student backgrounds.

2. Politics of Education

2.1. Political: Patriotism; to prepare citizens who will participate in this political order; to help assimilate diverse cultural groups into a common political order and to teach basic laws of the society.

2.2. Intellectual: Teach basic cognitive skills,e.g., reading, writing and mathematics; to transmit specific knowledge and to help students acquire higher-order thinking skills.

2.3. Social: Help solve social problems; to work as one of many institutions, e.g., family and church, to ensure social cohesion; to socialize children into various roles, behaviors and values of the society. Socialization.

2.4. Economic: To prepare students for their later occupations and to select, train and allocate individuals into the division of labor.

2.5. Conservative Perspective on the Role of the School: School is essential to both economic productivity and social stability. Schools socialize children into the adult roles necessary to maintaining social order. Schools also serve to transmit cultural traditions via what is taught.

2.6. Conservative Perspective on Explanations of Unequal Performance: While it is true not everyone starts at the same level, through hard work and support, many can improve their performance. That having been said, there will never come a time when everyone will preform at the same level unless assessments are geared toward the lowest performers.

3. History of U.S. Education

3.1. The advent of free public education was the most basic and influential reform movement. Though the kinks in implementation and access had yet to be worked out, the idea that the masses should be educated is at the core of the modern U.S. educational system. Without this most basic of reforms, equitable education wouldn't even be a concept, let alone a goal, today.

3.2. Conservative Historical Interpretation of U.S. Education: Conservatives view some changes to the educational system as using schools/education to solve social problems and this trend has led to an erosion of standards. Ravitch is of note in that she sees all students, regardless of background, learning a rigorous curriculum as consistent with the belief all students be given an equal opportunity to succeed. Conservatives see educational standards as being "watered down" so the most students can pass, not necessarily excel.

4. Sociological Perspectives/Sociology of Education

4.1. Functionalism: concerned with the ways that societal and institutional forces create a collective conscience based on shared values.

4.2. Conflict theory: concerned with the ways in which differences among groups at the societal level produce conflict and domination that may lead to change.

4.3. Interactionalism: think functional and conflict theories are too abstract. By looking at the small issues within school and society, the messy problems can be identified and worked on.

4.4. Employment: students who have achieved a high school diploma earn more than those who haven't. Generally speaking, college graduates will earn more than those with just a high school diploma.

4.5. Teacher Behavior: Teachers have a huge impact on students not just in what students learn but also in how they view themselves and the world at large. An encouraging, understanding teacher with achievable goals will lead students to want to learn.

4.6. Peer Groups/Alienation: students who are accepted and supported by their cohorts are more likely to find satisfaction in schooling and graduate. Conversely, students who are alienated at school tend to be miserable and unhappy at school.

4.7. Gender: this is an area where bias can be subtle or overt. Males can be pushed to participate in sports. Females are sometimes told they aren't good at math and pushed toward more "artsy" pursuits.

4.8. Tracking: while this can have some benefits for some students, most tend to believe tracking is mistake since it tends to prevent some students from learning the skills necessary for upward movement in the school system and later in life.

5. Philosophy of Education

5.1. Pragmatism: Key figures include, George S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey. Pragmatists look for solutions to problems and after brainstorming, turn those suggested solutions into actions to solve a problem. The goal of education is ultimately to improve society. Teachers are seen not as the leader of the class but as a facilitator to help guide students in their own discoveries and learning. Students should learn both in a group setting and individually. Curriculum is integrated in that each lesson teaches/introduces students to multiple areas of learning. The lesson isn't static and can change based on students' interests and current events.

6. Schools of Organizations

6.1. Senators: Richard Shelby and Luther Strange

6.2. Representative: Mo Brooks

6.3. State Senator: Paul Sanford

6.4. State Representative: Howard Sanderford

6.5. State Superintendent: Was Michael Sentance--successor not named

6.6. State Board Rep: Mary Scott Hunter

6.7. HSC Superintendent: Dr. Matt Akin

6.8. HSC School Board Members: Elisa Ferrell Walker McGinnis Beth Wilder Michelle Watkins Pam Hill

6.9. Elements of Change: School Processes This is an element of change due to who the school chooses to employ, how those teachers are evaluated, and what those teachers teach. School Culture: This is an element of change due to what the school's culture values, e.g., sports vs. academics. It is also an element of change based on whether the school's culture promotes diversity and thinking outside of the box.

7. Curriculum & Pedagogy

7.1. The curriculum theory I advocate is the Developmentalist Curriculum theory. This theory holds that education is more about the needs/interests of the student rather than that of the society. The curriculum taught should make connections between what is being taught and the real world. Curriculum should be malleable enough to adapt to student needs. However, I do not think it should be as malleable as Neill advocated.

7.2. Two Dominate Traditions of Teaching:

7.2.1. 1. Mimetic: miming/mimicking method of teaching. The teacher presents the knowledge to the student. Then, the student processes the presented knowledge. The teacher can, if fact, be a book since this tradition only requires knowledge being introduced to the learner and such knowledge can be introduced via the written word.

7.2.2. 2. Transformative: more nuanced and artistic than mimetic. This method requires the teacher to model the behaviors they expect from their students. Teachers often must take a backseat to their students to allow their students to fully explore the lesson. Teachers act a guide instead of deliverer of knowledge.

8. Educational Inequality

8.1. Cultural Differences Theory

8.1.1. 1. Rejection of Dominate Culture: "Students reject the white middle-class culture of academic success and embrace a different, often antischool culture--one that is opposed to the culture of schooling as it currently exists"(p. 426).

8.1.2. 2. Slang-Language Usage: "although African-American students and parents believe it is important that schools teach standard English for educational and occupational mobility, they are ambivalent about its use within the community" (p. 425).

8.2. School-Centered Inequalities

8.2.1. 1. School Financing: Since the majority of school funding comes from tax revenue, less tax revenue means less school funding. Therefore, more affluent areas would have better funded schools.

8.2.2. 2. School Climate: Schools within working-class neighborhoods are far more likely to have authoritarian and teacher-directed pedagogic practices" and to focus on vo-tech training at the secondary level than their upper-class counterparts which are more humanistic and offer liberal arts at a secondary level (p. 433).

8.2.3. 3. Tracking: students are grouped based on academic achievement. Some argue this can limit students' upward mobility and can be racist in nature.

8.2.4. 4. Gender: Schools tend to focus on competitiveness rather than cooperation and reward students accordingly. In the text, competitiveness is identified as a "male" trait and cooperativeness is identified as a "female" trait (p. 437).

9. Equality of Opportunity

9.1. Educational Impact Outcomes:

9.1.1. Class: Class/access to money "is directly related to achievement and to educational attainment" (p. 342). At the lower levels of education, children who come from higher-income families generally have access to more and better supplies. They are also granted access to higher quality schools due to choice in school districts since the parents are able to buy houses within the districts they desire. With regards to higher education, students originating from higher income households are not hindered by monetary issues and can attend private universities and colleges with little worry about paying tuition.

9.1.2. Race: According to our text, only 5.2 percent of white students drop-out of school as compared to 17.6 Hispanic students (p. 343). The text also notes minorities have lower SAT scores than white students (p. 343). However, the text does point out it is hard to separate race and class within American society so it is difficult to blame race, exclusively, with the achievement gaps.

9.1.3. Gender: As the text points out, men historically had access to education whereas women were less likely to either have access to education or had limited access to education (p. 343). Now, however, women have greater access to education than in any other period in history. The text also mentions a "feminizing" of classrooms leading to declines in male academic achievement.

9.2. 1982 Responses to Coleman Study:

9.2.1. 1. Private school students outscored public school students in every measured subject.

9.2.2. 2. The reasoning the authors of the Coleman study gave for this disparity is private schools place more emphasis on academics and discipline.

10. Educational Reform

10.1. School-Based Reforms

10.1.1. 1. School-Business Partnerships: Businesses "adopt" schools and provide funding for the adopted school. This money is used to improved training and provide scholarship funds.

10.1.2. 2. School-to-Work Programs: An extension of school-business partnerships. This program included school-based learning (classroom instruction), work-based learning (vo-tech), and connecting activities (on-the-job instruction).

10.2. School Finance Reforms: After a court ruling in 1990, "funding was equalized between urban and suburban school districts" (p. 538). In addition, federal supplemental programs were put in place and some states further implemented additional funding strategies.

10.3. State Intervention: Poor academic performance within a school can lead to a state takeover of a school and/or district. This takeover allows state officials to provide more direct guidance of teachers and administrators, and ensure students are receiving an equitable education. The potential downsides are that the local population loses control over their schools, it creates a negative view of the system due to it being labeled as "failing" and it removes local responsibility for the schools.