History of Educational Reform
Today new school reforms have been formulated. These reforms are created to form individuals into becoming financially advanced and globally competitive persons. The very means to gauge the progress of the new reform is through test scores. Standardized tests and the test scores are now tantamount to accountability, transforming the educational system into a dehumanized market institution. The school is seen as a capital investment and is now measured according to financial value. Today's school reforms have seemed to do away with the notion of schools "helping to create people who are fully developed as human beings and as democratic citizens." (Tyack D. 1997) However, amidst the prevailing regress in today's education and contentions on reforms, Americans hold schools as the means to change and influence society. No other institution in the culture is solely devoted to developing mental powers, and the existence both of powerful means of psychological and political influence through the organized media and of an intellectually complex culture and economy amply justifies, and indeed compels, a focus on the effective use of one's mind. Furthermore, intellectual training is eminently useful: it opens means to educate oneself in any sphere of interest or importance. Without it, one is crippled. With it, one can gain, on one's own, that comprehensive learning that so attracted the predecessors in the past. The belief is still the same: "education holds the key to the future". Indeed, the future of the United States of America, of any similar country, depends to a huge extent on what goes on in the schools, whose membership (teachers and studies) comprised a large percentage of the nation's population. Any reform, any revolution of ideas, of hearts and minds, of attitudes could very well take root in the school system. The school is obviously the most potent vessel of the development of a pole and its culture. The academic community of parents, teachers, support staff, and students forms a formidable nucleus of the socio-economic, political and cultural life of the entire community that it serves. After all, a great majority if not all of the current community leaders and people of note received their formation and training in school. Those who man the most sensitive posts in the community organization have their children in the school. Would it not be logical, then, to expect that a school worth its name (from the Greek Schole, that means a place where leisure contemplation of reality takes place) develop the greatest sensitivity to the urgency and importance of building a national culture of excellence? Would it not be reasonable to envision that the school shape the wherewithal that would enable a community, a town, a city, an entire country, to persevere in and sustain its pursuit of excellence? Would not the school be likewise the best venue to formulate, define, and refine the basic nuanced signposts and standards of excellence? And the most important question, "Who is the principal agent of the school to instigate this very fundamental change or reform?" (Tyack D. and Cuban, L. 1997) The early history of educational reforms can be traced back as far as the time of John Dewey, William Heard Kilpatrick and the Teachers College of Columbia University and the influence on public school policy and practice. That was the time when the Progressive reform theory was first conceived for the promise of educational equity that according to Hirsch was a failure. (Hirsch, E.D. 1996) The educational theories of John Dewey along with some proponents in educational reforms in the early 19th century were so influential in the United States but strikingly parallel to the regimented State-planned educational program of the Soviet Union. John Dewey was perhaps the most influential of all modern American educationalists and reformists. In his view the purpose of education is...
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