The School in the American Social Order

The School in the American Social Order

The School in the American Social Order

The School in the American Social Order

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to give those who read it an understanding of the development of American education as an integral part of our evolving civilization and to help equip them for intelligent decision-making in the area of education and, some extent at least, in the broader area of public policy.

The central concept that has governed the selection and organization of materials is that education derives its purpose, form, and content from the particular social environment in which it develops. Of this environment, an important dimension is the past. Education can never be fully understood unless it is viewed historically, and the history of education to be fully understood, must be viewed as a part of the total history of a people. Since education, however much it may be influenced by custom and tradition, is a product of the civilization of which it is a part, consideration must be given to such matters as the worth and dignity accorded the individual, religious ideals, the sources of political power, the class structure, the nature and operation of the economy, and the thought pattern of the age because all are woven, at any given time and place, into the purpose and form of the educational enterprise. It is not too much to say that, in the long run, these and other social forces that impinge upon the school determine the main tenets of its philosophy, the amount and kind of educational opportunities afforded the various social classes, the content and organization of the curriculum, the preparation and status of teachers, the source of financial support, the agencies of administration, and the structural form of the educational system.

The purpose of educational institutions is to prepare the learner to participate intelligently and helpfully in the social order of which he is a part. But society is rarely static for any long period of time. New social classes emerge and seek to shape events in their own interest; the prevailing ideology is modified or supplanted by one essentially new; political power passes from one dominant element in society to another; the role of government is modified; the whole pattern of economic life may be greatly changed by technological progress; and the whole society may be transformed from one that is essentially religious or ecclesiastical to one that is essentially lay or secular. When changes such as these occur in the social order, the old educational institutions may function . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.