The Evolution of Educational Theory in the United States

By Dickson A. Mungazi | Go to book overview

society. Students who are educated to play a role in a society that operates by a different set of values are miseducated and may find it hard to adjust to its institutional functions. This study has furnished evidence to show that all the functions of education must come into play to enable students to prepare themselves fully for that role. It has also discussed evidence to suggest that the rapid pace of social change in the United States has not been fully reflected in the educational system. This is why students have found it hard to bear the social pressures that society imposes on them. It is the function of both society and the school that must ensure that students are properly educated so that they adjust to society without experiencing any difficulties.

The study has also presented evidence to show that the United States has at its disposal technological skills and financial resources to initiate continuing reform in education from the federal level to the local level. All levels of authority, as well as individuals, such as scholars, must share in the process of formulating theory. But each level encounters serious problems that inhibit its ability to contribute its best. For example, the manner in which funds are distributed, the difference in educational practices, the curriculum, the manner of promotion of students, the setting of regulations, all are carried out in a fashion that is detrimental to the coordination of efforts to serve the educational interests of students. The involvement by the courts and Congress leaves local authorities confused as to what they must do to secure adequate financial resources to operate their schools. Here the formulation of theory is desperately needed. When things go wrong, as they often do, both the federal authorities and the local authorities blame each other when they should appreciate each other. In the era of great technological development communication should facilitate the process for the benefit of the country. America, be well advised and be wise!


NOTES
1.
John D. Pulliam, History of Education in America, 5th ed. ( New York: Merrill, 1991), p. 1.
2.
Yuri Azarov, Teaching: Calling and Skills ( Moscow: Progress Press 1988), p. 30.
3.
David Nasaw, Schooled to Order: A Social History of Public Schooling in the United States ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), p. 29.
4.
Cleveland had been defeated in 1888 by Benjamin Harrison, whom he defeated in 1892.
5.
Peter McLaren, Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in The Foundations of Education ( New York: Longman, 1989), p. 166.
9.
Robert Manners, "Functionalism, Reliability, and Anthropology in Underdeveloped Areas," in To See Ourselves: Anthropology and Modern Social Issues, ed. Thomas Weaver (Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman Company, 1973), p. 117.

-211-

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The Evolution of Educational Theory in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Origins of the Theory of Western Education 15
  • Notes 34
  • 2 - Theory During the Colonial Period 37
  • Notes 57
  • 3 - Theory During the Revolutionary Period 61
  • Notes 80
  • 4 - Theory During the Common School Movement 83
  • 5 - The Theory of Secondary, Higher, and Teacher Education 103
  • Notes 121
  • 6 - The Courts and the Theory of Education for African Americans 125
  • 7 - Theory to Address National Problems: From Warren G. Harding to Bill Clinton 153
  • Notes 181
  • Conclusion 210
  • Notes 211
  • Selected Bibliography 215
  • Index 237
  • About the Author 251
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