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Understanding the Relationship Between American Schools and Socie...

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Understanding the Relationship Between American Schools and Society: A look at how society and curriculum are based upon each other

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The interrelationship between society and the curriculum being taught in schools is deeply rooted in the history of American schools. The organization of society itself is believed to always shape the education of children in one way or another. Schools in turn reinforce the normality's of the society they are based within. The subject matter of the curriculum taught in the United States public schools has been an important issue throughout American history. Programs of study have varied in what is being taught, and how it is being taught; as the many types of social reform have also varied through the years.

In America in the late 1700s, following the Massachusetts education laws of 1642 and 1647, educating American children became more of a social responsibility as teachers were beginning to be formally hired for the exclusive purpose of teaching. School was becoming more of a necessity within American society. Children were taught in the hopes they would some how contribute to achieving social harmony by means of literacy and religion. In this period in the history of the United States, the search for of religious freedom led the way to modern education.

The socialization of America's youth begins to show in America in the 1800s, as a school's set of courses would consist mainly of reading, writing and basic arithmetic. The values and beliefs which are common with that of the societies are drummed into a child's life. Many social reformers at the time believed that the way to achieve a secular society was through educating children in a certain fashion. In the early 1800s schools in the United States eliminated English textbooks in an attempt to ensure nationalism and patriotism in Americans. At this time most people could only read the Bible, newspapers or their taxes. Children who were going to school were expected to learn how to read for religious reasons, as well as learning national history that was built around the founding fathers (George...