Historical Perspectives

| January 29, 2016

Historical Perspectives
1. Consider the following quote and how what you have learned about the history of education supports or challenges the author’s point of view. Prepare a 1000-1500 word response based on the “School: The Story of American Education ” , the first chapter and any other relevant material you find  in “American Education”  and other material in this module. The suggestions below the quote are intended to help you get started.  Try to include(Cite) at least 5 references.ÂÂ

“A hundred years ago, eight and a half percent of American seventeen year olds had a high school degree, and two percent of twenty three year olds had a college degree. Now, on any given morning you will find something like fifty million Americans, about 1/6 of the population sitting under the roof of a public-school building and twenty million more are students or on the staff or faculty of an institution of higher learning. Education is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution; the creation of the world’s first system of universal public education from kindergarten through high school and of mass higher education is one of the great achievements of America democracy. It embodies a faith  in the capabilities of ordinary people that the founding Fathers simply did not have. “

Nicholas Lemann, New Yorker Magazine Sept. 27 2010ÂÂ

There are a number of ways you could address this topic and you can extend your look at American education further back in time than Mr. Lemann does.  You might want to focus on “big moments” in the history of American education like the development of Common Schools in the 19th century or school desegregation. You might want to focus on specific populations of students i.e. females, girls, Native Americans , or immigrants throughout American history. You might want to select one or more conflicts about goals and values to focus on – for example, debates about who should receive a “liberal arts” education and who should receive vocational training, or an in depth look at the conflict between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois that I introduced in my lecture about inequality in the educational system.

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