SocofEd-Ideology Paper - ToryMathieson SOC273: Prof.DanielLong ,:Whatis theroleofeducation?? thes

SocofEd-Ideology Paper - ToryMathieson SOC273:...

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Tory Mathieson 11/12/12 SOC 273: Sociology of Education Prof. Daniel Long The Collective Impact of Educational Ideologies In discussing current education reform, one issue comes to the forefront: What is  the role of education? What is the purpose of schooling? As many theorists approach  these critical questions with opposing answers, there is a passionate conflict between  those believers of back-to-basics traditional education and those who advocate for  experience-based, problem posing, progressive education. Alas, there are also many  education reformers who find themselves scattered along the spectrum between these two ideologies.  “A Nation at Risk”, a report written in 1983, argues that American schools are  failing, not only internally, but also on an international scale. The report calls for  improved education and a focus on standards, so that our country may regain its  educational power and prestige. Diane Ravitch agrees that there should be common  knowledge and an educational system that promotes equality. John Dewey’s ideal  education is one with a strong emphasis on valuable experience. He viewed learning as a  social and interactive process, whereby a teacher’s role is to guide and facilitate a  student’s experience – through this guidance, the experience will be positive, and thus,  the student will want to experience more. Paulo Friere supports the notion of a teacher as  a facilitator and furthermore as a partner in learning. He advocates for critical thinking,  question posing, and applicability as crucial elements of learning as a means of social  1
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justice and transformation. Lastly, Michael Apple sheds light on the role of hidden  curriculum – lessons that are learned, but not intended – and stresses the importance of  conflict and questioning the norms of the education system. Changing ingrained institutions and systems is never an easy task: “it is easier to  walk in the paths that have been beaten than it is, after taking a new point of view, to  work out what is practically involved in the new point of view” (Dewey, 30). In order to  have liberating, equal opportunity based, and meaningful educational system, our country must reconcile and prioritize various ideologies and critically evaluate the current system  in order to be transparent and unified in our strategic pedagogy implementation. While  most education reformers fear the debilitating influence of compromise, in order to have  a high-functioning education system, multiple strategies and efforts must be combined,  without being diluted, in order to make a collective impact. 
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