WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING AND THINKING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED STATES?
One of the indicators of understanding is to examine how complex your thinking is when asked questions that require you to use the concepts and facts introduced in this chapter. After you answer the following questions as fully as you can, rate your knowledge on the Complexity of Thinking rubric to self-assess the degree to which you understand and can apply the ideas presented in this chapter.
1. Who are some of the key educators and scholars who contributed to the establishment of the common schools in the 1800s and the early childhood and middle school movements in the 1900s?
2. How has the field of child development contributed to the types of schools that exist today?
3. Why were high schools initially established? Why and how have they changed since those early days?
What is your current level of understanding of why schools developed into educational settings for students of different age levels?
|Complexity of Thinking Rubric
|Parts & Pieces
|Elements/concepts are talked about as isolated and independent entities.
|One or a few concepts are addressed, while others are underdeveloped.
|Deliberate and structured consideration of all key concepts/ elements.
|All key concepts/ elements are included in a view that addresses interconnections.
|Integration of all elements and dimensions, with extrapolation to new situations.
|Understanding of history of school development
|Identifies some of the key people involved in establishing common schools, early childhood education, and middle level education.
|Identifies the role of child development in creating the type of schools that exist today.
|Describes the development of schools based on the age of students.
|Discusses the development of schools based on the age of students and the work of the scholars and educators who contributed to their development.
|Explores the major developments over time of the level of the school in which he/she plans to teach and discusses the major issues faced at that school level today.
STUDENT STUDY SITE
Visit the Student Study Site at www.sagepub.com/hall to access links to the videos, audio clips, and Deeper Look reference materials noted in this chapter, as well as additional study tools including eFlashcards, web quizzes, and more.
for Learning More About the History of Schools in the United States
Ask a Teacher or Principal
Identify a teacher who has been teaching for more than 10 years and ask him or her to describe some of the curriculum packages or programs the school system has asked teachers to use over the years. How long did most of them survive? Why were they successful or not successful? What does the teacher think are keys to a curriculum package being successful?
Make Your Own Observations
When you begin teaching, you will probably work in a preschool, kindergarten, or primary, elementary, middle, or high school. Your teaching license may allow you to teach observations at two or more levels. The levels are different not only in the curriculum taught, but also the organization of a school day and the interactions of students and teachers. As you observe teachers in schools at two different levels (for example, middle and high school), make notes of the similarities and differences between the levels. You could organize your notes into a table or narrative. Write a brief paper on what level you would prefer to teach and why.
Reflect Through Journaling
Expectations for education have changed greatly since colonial times. Take a few minutes to reflect in your journal on what has changed and remained the same since the primary goal of education was to learn to read the scriptures and be a moral and patriotic person. In your opinion, what should be the goals of education today?
Build Your Portfolio
What is the largest group of color in your community or state? What do you know about the historical educational experiences of this group in your community or state? Write a brief paper on the historic and current segregation or integration of schools in your area.
Teachers have a history of not being included as members of committees or panels developing policies to reform education. Why are they not included? How could teachers become more involved in these activities? Prepare a brief paper about the importance of teacher involvement on policy groups that are making recommendations for improving teaching and public schools.
Read a Book
For more information on the issues, trends, and personalities that have shaped education in the United States since 1900, check these articles by Education Week staff: Education Week, Lessons of a Century: A Nation’s Schools Come of Age (2000; Bethesda, MD: Editorial Projects in Education).
To learn more about the court cases that led to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka and the ones that stopped desegregation later in the 1900s, read the Spring 2004 issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s magazine Teaching Tolerance.
Search the Web
Check out the references to the Constitution of the United States and the amendments mentioned in this chapter ( http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html ).
Listen to National Public Radio’s discussion and background on the historic Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka by historians, political leaders, and educators ( http://www.npr.org/news/specials/brown50/ ).
To review the 200-year history of education in the United States with images of schools, classrooms, and students, visit http://www.pbs.org/onlyateacher/timeline.html , a part of the website of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).