Purposes and Meanings of American Education
As Americans, we take education for granted. We see it as a right that everyone is entitled to an education. This was not always the case. There was a time in America’s history in which education was not a basic right for everyone. In this essay I will be discussing the purposes of American education, how the American educational system has changed through the years for students, what the meaning of American education is to me, and about the new understandings I have gained about the American education. The purposes of American education have changed in many different ways. Education has been used for: preparing children for citizenship, creating a skilled workforce, teaching cultural literacy, preparing students for college, helping students become critical thinkers, and helping students compete on a global scale. As the purpose of American education has changed through the years, the way students were taught has changed. American education has not always been an entitlement granted to students regardless of race or gender. American education has undergone periods of segregation and was discriminatory to students based primarily off pre-judgments of Caucasian men. America’s educational program’s first purpose was to educate children in preparation for citizenship to America. However, based on trends, the school system was curved by the Gary Plan and implemented a system of “work-study-play" in the school. What seemed to be a great idea drew controversy from concerned parents who thought that their students were just being trained for jobs of working in factories. Segregation was something that was another huge issue with our school system. Segregation caused an in-equal balance to the American education program in which students of color were separated to the point where the information being taught to students of color was three to five years behind that of the Caucasian students. When segregation was ended...
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