Understanding The Purpose Of American Public Education

1115 words - 4 pages

Understanding the Purpose of American Public Education
American public education has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past several hundred years. This transformation not only includes technology and appearance, but diversity and policies as well. However, an age-old question is still being pondered today. What is the purpose of American public education? Although you may have your own answer for this question; not everyone may agree with you. This is where the problem resides. How can one purpose be suitable for everybody? The point of this paper is to informatively examine and explain the purpose of American public education through different perspectives.
One noteworthy viewpoint is that the purpose of public education should be to uphold and protect the stability of democracy. Diane Ravitch, an educational historian, clearly explains this idea in her article titled “Education and Democracy: The United States of America as a Historical Case Study.” Ravitch expresses that public education is the key to the lock that represents democracy, and that schools must educate children to protect its existence. In fact, Ravitch states that “the best protection for a democratic society remains well-educated citizens” (2008, p. 56). The purpose for public education to sustain democracy is definitely not a new idea, nor was it introduced by Ravitch. In reality, many influential people such as Thomas Jefferson and Noah Webster believed that education played a major role in a democracy. This is because a democracy is a type of government that relies heavily on its citizens, and so it’s very important that these citizens are educated and ready to handle any contribution for the progression of the state. This type of perspective is generally focused on the big picture, and how education can effectively progress American society toward a common goal. Although only three people are mentioned here, their influence and opinions are still present because their beliefs reach the public through the media and other forms of communication. Therefore, the purpose of education to influence democratic qualities and lifestyles is a common perspective that is most likely widespread throughout society.
Another way to approach education and its purpose would be to examine the relationship among schools and their responsibility for their students. While the previous paragraph was about the contribution to society as a whole, this one is about the personal effect that schools should have on their students. What should be the focus for public schooling, and how does that have purpose? This is an important question, and it sounds awfully familiar. A common conception of public schooling is that it’s a place to formally educate and prepare children for college and careers that will determine their lifestyle and place in society. However, most people forget to consider that the most important thing in life is to just be happy. Harry Brighouse, an author and...

Find Another Essay On Understanding the purpose of american public education

The Purpose of Education Essay

759 words - 3 pages Purpose of Education In almost every culture and in all parts of the world, getting an education is valuable to a person’s future. But what is it that makes education so valuable? What is the purpose of an education starting from the early stages of a child’s development into adolescents, and from adolescents into adulthood? There are many different reasons why a K-12 education is important. Although Kindergarten

The Importance of Comprehensive Sex Education in American Public Schools

846 words - 4 pages One of the most controversial topics amongst American teachers and parents is that of comprehensive sex education in public schools. Some feel that comprehensive sex education in public schools goes against their religious beliefs and instead opt for more abstinence-only until marriage programs. Some choose a more factual approach and insist on that comprehensive sex education is necessary. Others believe that sex education should be left

The Real Purpose of Education

2729 words - 11 pages The Real Purpose of Education "There are two educations: the one that teaches how to make a living and the one that teaches how to live" (Anthony De Mello, The Heart of the Enlightened) For many years there has been much debate as to the 'real' purpose of education. With

American Public Education

871 words - 3 pages Public schools in America were regarded as the best public schools in the world up to the 1970's. Today, compared to the development of Asian and European schools, American schools are ranked as some of the lowest schools. Some students are graduating from high school with little or more knowledge about the core classes. For instance, I started school in the US at age twelve, eighth grade, and was placed in college prep classes, even though

American Public Education

1908 words - 8 pages The American public educational system is filled with an assortment of problems. Most students are graduating with less knowledge and capability than similar students in other industrialized countries. Classroom disruptions are surprisingly common, and in some classrooms, nearly continuous. The public education system is having difficulty adjusting to the no child left behind act. The No Child Left Behind(NCLB) is a landmark in education

The Purpose and Ideology of Education

1935 words - 8 pages The purpose and ideology of education There is no one single definition for what education really is. Experts and scholars from the beginning have viewed and commented about education in different ways. The definition mostly agreed upon was that education is an acquisition or passing of skills, behavior or knowledge from an institution to another. This institution can either be a person, a school, a family or even the society. If we go in the

The Real Purpose of a University Education

2355 words - 9 pages The Real Purpose of a University Education All my life I knew I would be attending college. There never seemed to be any other option available as far as I knew. I never really stopped to think about whether or not it was necessary for me, or why it was so important; I was just funneled into the college curriculum in high school. I have attended the University of Arkansas for three years now, and have heard two main arguments over the

Purpose of Education

616 words - 2 pages To understand the purpose of education, one must have knowledge of the diversecultures and historic events that have contributed to today's current practices. A global andhistoric frame of reference will help understand the development of today's teachingmethodologies. The following is the highlights of each dynasty.China (3000 B.C. - A.D. 1900) - The educational goals of the Chinese were to prepareofficials to govern the empire according to

Purpose of higher education

694 words - 3 pages It would appear that the argument for higher education is not one that too many people would contradict in today’s American Society. Higher education is a means to greater opportunity, better lifestyle and a higher standard of individuals that make up our culture. Yet somehow in the past few decades the journey towards a better society through better education seems to have lost its focus. While college reforms were busying about trying to make

The Importance of Improving Public Education

1579 words - 6 pages were going to be competitive, or up to par, with other countries. He also wanted to ensure that every American would receive a well-rounded education, regardless of their racial, religious, or even class background. With Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 his proposals never made it to become law. President Johnson took over Kennedy’s agenda and continued where Kennedy left off. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act passed Congress and

The failure of American Education

1199 words - 5 pages those tests instead of actually teaching the material. Mathematics and English in the Common Core curriculum have caused students to stress out and shut down. This program is removing innovation and creating robots instead.The American public education has a long way off before it can be paired with the standards of Finland and Canada; however, it's not impossible. Raising the value and standard of teachers will create more quality teachers

Similar Essays

The History Of American Public Education

3069 words - 12 pages . However, it quickly became apparent that a certain education was necessary to perpetuate this union. Before a new system for education could be introduced, public or private, a common goal and specifics on the different subjects to teach became a question the founding fathers and other prominent individuals of the Jacksonian period needed to answer. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Rush, and Horace Mann held different beliefs regarding

The Purpose Of Education Essay

1841 words - 7 pages What is the purpose of education? What do we seek from it? How does it better our lives? What is the role of public schools? These are all important questions, but first I am going to give a brief summary of the text by Timothy McMannon entitled The Public Purpose of Education and Schooling. McMannon gives the reader plenty of reasons for why we need education and how it helps us and our society; he starts by explaining that in past cultures

The Purpose Of Education Essay

566 words - 2 pages of being someday. While there isn’t necessarily a universally agreed upon goal of education today, there may be a purpose which has not been fully discovered yet. Through continued reasoning and understanding of the human mind we will no longer be victims of a determined environment, but rather acting agents capable of defining our own future in this world and beyond.

The Purpose Of Education Essay 721 Words

721 words - 3 pages The Purpose of Education As teachers endeavor into the field of education, it is imperative to ask exactly what the purpose of education is and why education has become one of the fundamental institutions of society. In examining this question, I realize that education serves as the basis for the organization of our culture, and essentially, the entire world and its influence is invaluable. I see four essential purposes of