Joel Spring and His Education Theory
Brief History about Joel Spring and His Book American Education
Joel Spring is a renowned American academician who has written various articles and books that address pertinent issues affecting global education. Furthermore, he has written different books that evaluate various educational policies affecting the progress of education in the United States. He is a qualified policy maker in matters pertaining education not only in the United States but globally. He concentrates much of his research works on education politics and on various human rights that relate to different education policies. The scholarly works revolve around education matters. Such materials range from education history, education in the light of globalization, Culture of Native Americans in relation to the work they carry out and education in multicultural set up. He also discusses how politics affect education, as well as torching on how human rights affect education. Basically, Joel Spring has majored in devising various policies that affect education in various parts of the globe. He has also dealt with ways, through which education can be improved. American Education is one of the most influential books written by the scholar. The book will be the subject of discussion. Various themes and quotes that emanate from it will be analyzed and different conclusions will be derived from it.
The book tends to be clear, authoritative and concise in its efforts of accentuating on various factors that affect education. The book American Education contains a lot of information regarding historical backgrounds of education, political aspects, as well as social economic factors related to education. In addition, it contains a section that deals with legal foundation that helps address issues that affect education.
Themes of American Education Book
One of the themes that have often been discussed in the book is public schooling. Various goals and themes have been discussed. A variety of thoughts regarding public schooling have been elaborated, including the purpose of such schools, its conflicting interest and goals it is expected to achieve. Politics, economic and social aspects are some of the issues that are also looked at. The book also discusses debates relating to the conflicts that arise due to these factors. They all tend to seek answers on the questions regarding best morals and values that should be used as the pillars of public schools.
The following aspects are discussed in the book: goals and history of schooling in public schools. The author outlines the historical goals that have to be achieved at schools. The book discussed also analyzes political education, as well as education of political leaders and future citizens. The author, as well, contracts problems that emanate from common schooling and analyzes difference between academic learning and socialism. The author looks at various ways, through which education is viewed as a political tool.
In addition to these factors, socials goals that are enshrined in the teaching process are assessed. Example of phenomenon that falls under current part includes roles that a school plays in trying to expand social roles in a school environment. Moreover, Spring looks at the feasibility of adopting some of these social practices at schools. Economic aspect in relation to schooling is another phenomenon that is considered and the theory of human capital, opportunities equality, as well as the human capital and business roles in enhancing American education are profoundly tackled.
One of the concepts that current book holds is that it is not guaranteed that education would benefit the society or an individual. There are different reasons why public schools in the US were established through passing of laws. One of them is to enact knowledge for future citizens of the United States involving schools, which would help to mitigate effects of social and political unrest. The scenario can be accomplished as soon as it calls for patriotism, as well as holds common political values. Tensions coming from social backgrounds are reduced in the effort of enhancing equality when it comes to accessing education opportunities (Spring, 2014). Moral education is aimed at reducing the rate of crime. Economic growth stimulation leads to improved level of living, thus, reducing the level of poverty in the country.
Spring’s Advocacy for Democracy in Schools
It is purported that the US public schools had the original goal of impacting education by qualified leadership that could help to strengthen the Republican government. Nonetheless, school institutions are highly essential in training and sorting citizens on better living ways. In the process, citizens were able to access equal opportunities in education. The social thought of Americans is based on the idea that schooling paves way for the best leadership and hence, leads to democracy. There is an inherent idea that schools will encourage fairness in every selection process that they undertake. Fairness observation in the process of decision-making ensures that any undertaken determinations do not depend on social factors but rather on the talent of an individual. Failure of meritocracy leads to perpetuation of racial groups and privileged economic powers.
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Spring (2014) also noted that Jefferson claimed that general citizenry required narrow education. He said that another man called Mann advocated for the installation of the same political creed to all schools in America. Springs learnt that the researcher feared that there could be a chaos and political strife if no political beliefs existed, which were deemed common to all. In this context, schools were considered as the perfect tools that could be used for societal reforming purposes.
Politics in American Education Work
Political values that were considered under the same conditions could maintain order in the political scene through curtailing of revolution and violence. Therefore, Spring considered the introduction of common schools for all children to be a wise step. Such move could enable children from different religious backgrounds, as well as of different social classes access a universal education. However, the approach was not perfect. The move advocated for the observation of the republican governance principles. Consequently, such move could face strong resistance from the other political party, democrats. Such strategy could act as an undermining factor for the existence of the democrats’ governance principles.
Loyalty, obeying the rules and service provision to schools are strong mechanisms that advocate for socialization. Therefore, republicans who are more of socialists and conservatives will have an advantage when it comes to the implementation of such rules. Such finding was affirmed by a saying from the book which reiterates that: “Two methods by which education can be used as a method of social control: One is to deny a population the knowledge necessary to protect its political and economic rights and to economically advance in society; the other is segregation.” (Spring, 2014)
Americanization of Schools in America
Spring noted that all schools advocated for “Americanization” of their cultural procedures. To Americanize these schools, high spirit, as well as upholding of patriotic exercises appears essential ingredients that could accelerate the process. “Americanization” was aimed at transforming Eastern and Southern Europe immigrants who moved to America. Nonetheless, it remained a prior task to impose any community and patriotism teachings to the American society due to its multivariate societal factors. American society has experienced political, religious and ethic diversification. Such diversification at times made it hard for schools to impose certain policies. Education Board of West Virginia and the Supreme Court of the US, Barnett, found themselves in a similar situation. It was stated that expelling Jehovah witnesses from the school due to their strong stand not to salute the flag equals to their constitutional rights violation. Bowing before the flag was an infringement of their religious beliefs.
Social Education in Schools
Schools are depicted as police units, which are not expensive at all. The assumption is derived from the fact that they control social behaviors, as well as solve them. Decline of churches and family values have continued to thrive in the American society due to their overreliance on schools. Such institutions have delegated most of their moral teachings to schools. Despite this fact, educational leaders face some obstacles in their efforts of determining the best moral values, which they can teach, as well. For instance, courses that relate to home economics were designed to enable women to become housekeepers who have adequate knowledge in science. Such women will rely more on processed and packaged foods.
Secondary Education Cardinal Principle helps create space where high schools are transformed into socialization institutions. Even though it is a public institution, youth of both sexes come together through such combined extracurricular activities as clubs, school dances and athletic (Spring, 2014). Such activities are aimed at controlling sexual behaviors during adolescence period, thus, underpinning their values to become competent parents in the future.
According to Springs, high school introduced proms as a way of helping students acquire better dating skills, as well as mating rituals. There were a lot of controversy in identifying what exactly education aims at when it comes to social studies. Social education entails many aspects such as sexuality, sex education, sexual orientation and moral values. Schooling was seen to aim at achieving another controversy that surrounded citizenship and character.
Secular Humanism Teaching in Schools
There was a teaching of secular humanism where people were taught on various ethical standards, which underscored on people’s interpretation capabilities. Furthermore, it guided the moral actions of such people. Later there was an evidence that indicated reduction in crime due to the school’s moral instruction. Drug substance abuses, teenage sexuality and societal vices are taken to schools, which are public for curing purposes. In today’s world, majority of schools prioritize economic goals. Teachers highlight the need for their students to be more focused on their education in order to gain capability to work in the diverse economies globally.
Strings noted that Mann held two objectives, which were based on the opportunity of equality and on the human capital. The two objectives are based on the economic pillar. The theory of human capital states that there will be a notable improvement in the quality of workers education. Consequently, community’s wealth will be increased. Legislative outcomes of poverty war during the programs in 1960s were greatly realized due to the integration of arguments that emanated from human capital. Programs aimed at eliminating poverty were used for that purpose.
The relationship between poverty and schooling was carefully evaluated. Analysts hoped in the effectiveness of the program, which was called to break the poverty cycle. It was observed that children who came from families with low-income were more disadvantaged than their counterpart who came from high and middle income families. Arguments on human capital register have direct authority over school’s organization.
Use of Machine in Efforts of Rising American Standard of Education
Machines have dominated in creating a link between labor market and the school through various models. It is a major observation that has been made during the last two centuries. Schools carry out a sorting process, whereby the process is based on the interest and capability of using machines. Such strategy enables children to get jobs that match their career interest upon graduating. The main objective of sorting machines is to put the US workers at alert. They remain superior to the other citizens in the labor market where they can get jobs that are higher paying. Such dream is made feasible by the fact that the machine enables expansion of educational opportunities.
It was on the record that Mann advocated for opportunity equalization. Equalization referred to the process of mending the strong division that is found within the economic inequalities. Poverty’s total war meant that all children despite of their economic background had the right to access education in public schools up to High school level. It is declared that they should be in school despite being poor so that they could have an equal opportunity to get a job at the market. Education inflation can occur when more people access quality education. During such times, job requirements on matters pertaining education are increased while skills for the same job remain constant. Education inflation occurred initially in the year 1970s (Spring, 2014). It led to the underscoring of opportunities significance in work. It is determined over educational opportunities availability in employment identification.
Therefore, children have to train and prepare for involvement in other social organizations that seem complex. One of such organizations is the workplace. Some of the parts that the system of global education insists on are lifelong learning and learning societies. Under the learning society banner, status and income are determined by education credentials. Lifelong learning entails workers’ continued training. Such practice is a critical requirement for the ever changing workplace requirements. Global economy education approach helps to bond schooling with the business community’s interests, as well as with the international organizations.
Arguments Based on the Spring’s Work on Education in America
Various conclusions based on Spring’s understanding about the American education can be made. For instance, Spring’s declaration that democracy should be gradually enacted into the learning system of American school is a brilliant idea. Even though the idea has faced opposition from democrats it was proved to be successful. In many American schools, harmonizations of the learning process, where all differences relating to religion and culture have been put aside, have enabled the country register tremendous improvement in the education sector. However, one can disagree with the Spring’s agenda of “Americanization” of the country’s educational system.
Taking into account that over the recent past years the country has concentrated on improving quality education system, such move will act as demoralizer. American is now focusing on making its students more competitive in the global market of employment. It means that implementing of such strategy can lead to negative affect. It will create a bad image globally, thus, lowering the countries’ quality of education.
Teaching is a Noble Course to Help Humanity Attain a Better Tomorrow
There are a number of significant things that one can learn from the work of Spring. For instance, his advocacy in using school as a tool for enhancing morality of an individual is a good thing. It depicts schools in a positive light and helps restore and reaffirm its trust among the American citizens. Therefore, it depicts teaching as a noble work or process, through which people’s lives are changed to the better. Of all experts who are involved in shaping up lives of Americans, teachers are the biggest contributors to the development of the American professional class.
Earlier, family and religious institutions, such as churches, bore responsibility of bringing up children before school. Teachers struggle in their work not only to ensure that students excel in their education but are also brought up in a morally upright manner. Moral teachings are provided in various forms, such as congregating students during various social activities. It is clear that success of a child can be greatly attributed to teachers. Such scenario depicts teacher as a significant participant of every nation development. Therefore, teaching is a noble profession that deserves utmost respect from everyone.
Comparison of Spring’s Work with Works of Dewey, Locke, and Rousseau on Education
Dewey’s work outlined the same concept about education as the one of Spring. He advocated for meaningful activity premium and learning activities where students and teachers were expected to observe classroom democracy (Jenlink, 2009). He proposed to teach students those subjects, which would be relevant in their lives. Consequently, his aim was to make learning process more democratic.
John Locke, on his part, had a different thought about education that depicting it as waste of time and resources. He considered collection of education material as unnecessary activity. He credited for enactment of moral education as the only significant system in comparison to the formal one (Locke et al., 1996). The overall goal of education is to create a man who is virtuous and not a scholar.
Rousseau’s education theme advocated for natural education that could give rise to a natural man. His proposal was to have a specific pedagogy that was detailed at every stage of human development. Any education material should match with characteristics of a person at a particular stage of life (Rousseau et al, 1964). Basically, his theory differed from Spring’s as it did not advocate for democracy during the learning time.