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Describe Classical and Present-Day Objects of Education (Essay Sample)


Classical and Present-Day Objects of Education


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Classical and Present-Day Objects of Education
Since the inception of formal education nearly three centuries ago, there have been discussions and arguments over how the same should be carried out altogether. One of the reasons that it got so complex was the process of switching from the informal setting to a formal one. As a matter of fact, it became so complicated that it was considered a task that should be overseen by the government as opposed to private individuals or entities. At the time of these considerations, there are certain objects that the proponents of this framework had; individuals like Horace Mann who anticipated education would be the instrument to help drag individuals out of ignorance and primitive tendencies. As they are advances, more concerns have arisen and naturalists such as Paulo Freire are faulting the educational facility currently in place as a sham that propels ignorance and is erred in many ways. In this paper, the current educational dispensation has been discussed vis a vis the intentions that its conception envisaged at the time.
In the article Choice without Equity; Charter schools segregation, the authors introduce their arguments by stating an interesting point which is incidental to the entire proposition by the authors. They reiterate the fact that charter schools are a recent development which prior to 1990 were unheard of. Frankenberg expresses concern that barely two decades later, there are now several schools of this kind. This rapid ascension to popularity is not just social but also political and has suspiciously coincided with the increase in their enrollments. Evidence is adduced of the first year of Obama’s Administration where districts that supported the idea of charter schools were favored in the government’s funding more than the others, and the fact that these sorts of schools are notorious in certain regions usually high life neighborhoods as opposed to middle class or low income neighborhoods
Albeit the escalating political interest in charter schools however, statistics attested that they only represented about 3% of the total public school enrollment in the 2007-2008 academic years. The exercise of choosing schools is made unequal akin to the fact that is assumes that families are at an equal position to access all the information that one needs to get a school. Because of this unfortunate set of circumstances, we see that residential patterns of segregation are replicated in school populations. There are a number of factors that unequivocally constrain the choice phenomenon and as they continue to do that it is increasingly becoming more and more difficult to actually control them. The quality of information regarding a school that is exchanged, the information that is available, commuting to and from school and language barriers are among the issues that constrain the choices families have to make.
To be able to choose a certain school for example, families have to have learnt of the school whether through the media or other means such as social interaction. They must indulge in the tedious application process which is also fettered by several circumstances like say the number of applicants and the individual requirements that both parents and students must then fulfil such as the demand for recommendation from previous schools or passing of a test. The authors then juxtapose charter schools with magnet schools which were conceived with the agenda of negating the advancement of segregation. Albeit the vast jurisprudence of legal pronouncements that inform the education system, there is reasonable evidence that suggests that they have not clearly prescribed guidelines that exacerbate desegregation in schools.
As a matter of concern, charter schools have been accused of conducting recruitment targeting certain kinds of students. Though this is not entirely mistaken and that it helps the school attain its specific goals, it is clear that to a significant degree, it promotes segregation. Be as it may, it is unlawful to discriminate students during recruitment, but denying learners an opportunity in certain schools for reason of not fitting a certain criteria is not exactly against the law. What the charter school system has brought upon us is a situation where they operate within the law but the conduct of those operations is frowned upon. On the other hand, schools, and in particular, charter schools are often given incentives to serve a specific population. There is an incontestable contention in the fact that charter schools attract more private funding separate from the public funding than the normal public schools. The article reiterates that this is one of the contributory factors that illicit the discrimination and segregation of students.
The integration goals of the school system have been severely constrained by these factors that influence choice and magnet schools have been observed to the only institutions that have a frameworks that significantly circumvents the upheavals of the choice mechanism. Though the parents have the liberty to rank the educational institutions, placement of students in to those institutions are done by the district. The end result for this is that magnet schools have been observed to promote educational equity more than the charter schools. Notwithstanding the fact that several individuals and institutions such as the civil society have voiced their concerns over the growing segregation in educational institution, it appears that capitalism has taken a toll on its underpinnings because authorities involved as well as the government does not seem too eager to indulge in a discourse aiming at a discussion on segregation in public schools.
Statistics have overwhelmingly demarcated charter schools as segregated learning institutions and with the backing of government entities and capitalist interests such as privatization and competition, it appears that desegregation is not getting the support it should be merited. Since 1996, studies have been conducted that indicate that charter schools are potential segregation and racial isolation hubs but because of their profitability to investors and the financially affluent few, any efforts to combat that effect are easily thwarted. In particular, the enrollment characteristics within charter schools have raised more questions and concerns than answers. This set of facts is qualified by the author’s comparison of charter schools to traditional public schools in terms of the kinds of findings they receive, their enrollment procedures, intake structure (racial and demographic). The same is then contrasted with the performance trends in the various institutions and the findings are quite disturbing; particularly for students of color and those from minority groups.
The area of education has been the center of several discussions and classical authors and academicians have also added their voice to the questions surrounding the education standards debacle. Throughout their discussion, one thing is clear; that education is an important constituent of any society’s welfare. The likes of Horace Mann who is commonly referred to as the father of common schools is an elite figure in as far as present day education is concerned. With the rejection of his Calvinist upbringing, Mann had the motivation to introduce a measure that would counter the effect and prospects of the proponents of Calvinism. It was at the time when he served in the legislature that his ideas began to go national. He proposed that education be formalized and be taken up by the state and its goal should be to shape the characters of the people that went through such a system.
These notions are shared by other like-minded individuals such as Dewey and Paulo Freire. The immediate goal of education for students as was perceived by the trio was that education would make the learners knowledgeable. The desired long term effect was that the acquired knowledge from schools would shape the characters and behavioral conduct of the students. Dewey in was especially infuriated by an informal education system that prospected nothing else beyond informing the learner. This concern is echoed in Mann’s literature where he stated categorically that an informal education sector not controlled by the government teaches only things that are of interest to them. Learners are not at liberty to choose what to and what not to learn but instead learn what a specific group wants them to learn. The consequence was that different learners from different places did not have common knowledge. Each group had their own set of knowledge depending on the institution that they attended. This is in itself a form of segregation.
Consolidating the education system and putting under one entity that is national in nature such as the government ensured that all learners were exposed to the same set of information thereby desegregating the learning environment. Dewey and Mann agree that students are the future of a society and their role in the education sector is to learn and shape their characters for their benefit and for the benefit of the larger community. Freire on the other hand despite agreeing that this is the role that students and other learners should play, he has observed that they in fact do not. He gives an analogy that describes students as vessels in his article, Pedagogy of the oppressed. By calling students vessels, he alludes to the argument that students are merely there to listen and be filled with information without the right to question.
Freire argues that the formal education system as...
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