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5 Φεβ 2013 (πριν από 5 χρόνια και 5 μήνες)

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Clare Kupcho

Spring 2010

Define what is meant by the term culture. What is the difference in

your mind
between high and low culture in American society?

When looking up “Culture” I find examples of fine arts and humanities; an
integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behavior

used for social
learning; and a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that
characterize a group.

It was interesting to read the difference between high and low culture. The
definition of high culture was to know the best that has been said or thought
around the world.

To me this might mean high culture is the more educated

. Low culture was represented by more “pop” media.

It was
interesting that the word derogatory was used to describe low culture but many of
the examples of this culture are what our typical American person would be
involved with: slapstick, reality TV, popular music.

A term that I grew up with discussed people as being “high brow”. These people
usually attended symphonies, plays, or other “cultural events”. People who lacked
such culture were inferred to as people who enjoyed the simpler things in life
many of which might need little mental thought.

Can you think of examples of how you were socialized
in your experience as a student? What were the sources
of that socialization?

Students socialize by going groups that have common
interest. In example, if students are interested in sports
(or have ability in sports) they join those organizations.
In elementary school, students have few groups to join.
There may be girls or boys clubs they can join such as
scouting. This starts the socialization by gender. It
may also be determined by the amount of participation
the students parents are willing to make. Students may
socialize by their living situations… in that if you ride
the bus you might socialize with the country kids.
Students also socialize by class sections. When
assigned to a specific classroom, those students
become your friends for the year. Someone that has
been in your class previously may not be as good a
friend just because you don’t have the interaction
anymore. As students get older and more opportunities
for outside interests are available

drama, music,
leadership, church activities, sports, specialized class
groups (such as FFA, FBLA, FCCLA).

I believe that schools need to provide opportunities
for children to socialize. In having these groups and
advisors the students should be in a setting that is
conducive to having positive situations for all
members of the group. In other words, students
shouldn’t be in a situation that would make them
feel bullied or teased. This is usually a child’s first
way to learn how to socialize with individuals.
Usually it is with individuals that have common

How does our choice of curriculum reflect specific cultural

Because we do live in America, we do have some choices of what
is taught in schools. Those choices change periodically because
of events that happen in the world: legislature, current trends,
technology, economy and many more… But many times where
you live affects the curriculum. Larger cities contain more ethnic
diverse populations which will indeed affect the curriculum.
Teachers need to be cognizant of all their student’s backgrounds
when lessons are presented so that students are aware of
differences between people’s culture and so that students learn
to respect all people.

Although I am in a predominately
white community, we have several
Native American families and we are
starting to have more African
American families and mixed race
families. I actually think that
younger students handle different
cultures better than adults. But
children are also easily swayed to
thinking like their parents. The
culture that is most evident in our
community is the strong German
ethnic culture.

I thought it was interesting to read on

things that are
considered distinctly American: Belief in the First Amendment,
guaranteed by the government and perhaps God; Familiarity with
TV Icons such as

David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, Sesame
Street, Bill Cosby, Donald Duck and the Three Stooges;
Knowledge of the three all American Sports

baseball, basketball
and football, and if you are Male you know all the rules; Lastly,
you are fortunate if you get three weeks of vacation a year.

In the article “What Does It Mean to Be an American? Patriotism,
Nationalism, and American Identity After 9/11”, this article
presented what is American in a different light than the above
paragraph. They conducted a survey of college students and a
small community sample of adults to assess the
interrelationships among patriotic American identity, nationalism
and attitudes toward cultural diversity.

What most people identified as being distinctly American was
speaking English, Being born in America and being Christian. It
seemed that there is a common factor with having a patriotic
national identity then people are more tolerant with cultural
diversity. The effects of 9/11 brought a heighted sense of
patriotism and with more people having common feelings about
their patriotism it allowed them to relate to cultural diversity
issues in more tolerant attitudes. They may not have the same
backgrounds, but they felt the same about the country and this
brought them together

There are many types of capital. Mostly people think
of economic capital as some monetary exchange for
profit. Cultural capital is using culture to describe
capital. Some examples of cultural capital might be
to know how to dress for success, how to talk
intelligently to others, how to select the right wine at
dinner, golf, manners, choosing the right
neighborhood to live in… all of these are capital
resources of the person, but not human resources. In
education, the opportunities that schools offer can
aid in a person’s cultural capital. The quality of
education and the degree earned becomes capital
because it has value and can determine the type of
job a person can attain.

In my quest to research this area of concern relating to Families, School
and Children the research that kept my interest was about involvement
of families in schools. As a parent of four successful children in their
educational endeavors I know the importance family played in their
upbringing. Many of the web sites that I looked at (nea.org; pta.org;
hfrp.org) suggested including families into the curriculum in the schools.
Realizing that all families are not the same with economic, social, and
cultural differences this presents some difficulty for schools.

“To be successful in school and in life, children must have access to
multiple supports, including enriching early childhood experiences,
effective schools, out
school time programs, and nurturing families.”
, 2009). No Child Left Behind initiatives have placed most of
the teaching responsibilities onto the school systems. Family
involvement has not been stressed in past educational policies. The
information that I have read suggests that when schools encourage and
provide opportunities for families to be included in the child’s education
the students are more likely to be prepared for the 21


Some of the concerns are with disadvantaged families that have less access to
information about school policies. These families lack the cultural and social
capital need to help their children at home and are not as likely to communicate
with teachers, volunteer or know how to relate to common parenting problems
associated with children and schools. Many of these disadvantaged families
have not been exposed to common practices, experiences or values that
normally belong to middle class family’s philosophy of education (e.g.
extracurricular activities, tutoring, and summer camp). Research consistently
demonstrates that families from all backgrounds report a desire to be involved,
want their children to do well in school, and hope that their children will
achieve a better life. (
, 2009).

With disadvantaged families having less access to resources the idea of building
a program of shared mutual responsibility for learning is the foundation for a
new approach to family involvement. This type of program can work with
support from school administration and legislative support. The initiative of
many organizations is to put family involvement back into the school and help
families learn how to be supportive of their students. The idea isn’t to put the
teaching back onto the parent but to encourage communication and support
from the family to the student.

One such program is (TIPS)Teachers Involving Parents in School. This program
involves weekly homework assignments that require students to talk to
someone at home about something interesting that they are learning in class.
With this type of program, homework becomes a three
way partnership
involving students, families and teachers at all educational levels. The program
on the following web page has several examples of homework assignments for
different subject matters. While it is not a free resource, the concept of making
a homework assignment the involves interaction with family members
reinforces the importance of support from family and community in the

PTA, the National Parent Teachers Association also has created six standards for Family School
partnerships. They also have found research that there is a positive relationship between family
involvement and student success regardless of race/ethnicity, class, or parents’ level of education.
Their six standards are:

Standard 1:
Welcoming all families into the school community

Families are active participants in the
life of the school, and feel welcomed, valued, and connected to each other, to school staff, and to what
students are learning and doing in class.

Standard 2:
Communicating effectively

Families and school staff engage in regular, meaningful

communication about student learning.

Standard 3:
Supporting student success

Families and school staff continuously collaborate to

support students’ learning and healthy development both at home and at school, and have

regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills to do so effectively.

Standard 4:
Speaking up for every child

Families are empowered to be advocates for their own

and other children, to ensure that students are treated fairly and have access to learning

opportunities that will support their success.

Standard 5:
Sharing power

Families and school staff are equal partners in decisions that affect

children and families and together inform, influence, and create policies, practices, and programs.

Standard 6:
Collaborating with community

Families and school staff collaborate with community
members to connect students, families, and staff to expanded learning opportunities, community
services, and civic participation. (PTA)

To be successful in school and in life, children must have access to multiple supports, including
enriching early childhood experiences, effective schools, out
school time programs, and nurturing

Social class definitely affects the quality of education an individual receives. Many
times we hear that race and ethnicity affects the educational achievement of
children but most of the articles accessed stated that socioeconomic factors are
much more critical to a child’s educational success. These factors include parental
education levels, neighborhood poverty, parental occupational status, and family

Data in the Rand Review claims that the achievement gap is narrowing for black
students but not for Latino Americans. Latino students face more socio
challenges. Some of these are disproportionate attendance at resource
school, lack of qualified teachers, low
income households, high mobility of
students whose families are migrant farm workers, students who are
undocumented and cannot attend college or work legally, English language
learners. (Lara
Cinisomo,2004) Looking at these factors it is easy to understand
why children are falling behind. Living in poverty areas can have an effect on a
child’s behavior, they may be more aggressive or anxious or they may not be able
to have access to adequate play because of the neighborhood.

Some connections were made between a mother’s education and the school
readiness of children. The Rand Report suggested that these programs should be
focused on children of poorly educated mothers rather than on a particular ethnic
group. The more access to higher education, occupational advancement, and
wage increases for parents the better chance there is of improving the
socioeconomic status of the poor and improving the test scores of students.
, 2004)

It was interesting to read NEA’s position on full day kindergarten. They promoted
full day kindergarten and also encouraged access to pre
kindergarten to decrease
the achievement gap. Parents preferred full
day kindergarten because of work
schedules, less disruption in the child’s day and more time for focused and
independent learning. Many states, including North Dakota, have adopted full day
kindergarten programs and list academic benefits, developmental and social
benefits as well as closing the gap on literacy skills. (Strategies)

Parental and family involvement correlates with student performance. Family
members include parents, step
parents, grandparents, foster parents, relatives,
caregivers even community members. When family and community involvement
takes place students are more likely to stay in school and earn better grades. A
based framework, developed by Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins
University, describes six types of involvement

parenting, communicating,
volunteering, learning at home, decision making, and collaborating with the

that offer a broad range of school, family, and community activities
that can engage all parties and help meet student needs. (NEA, Parent, Family,
Community Involvement in Education, 2008
2009) When students have the
backing of a support system they are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors
and be successful in school.

When looking to provide equal educational opportunities for students schools
need to promote more rigorous coursework for all students, more attention needs
to be placed on keeping students in school and strengthening dropout prevention
programs. Professional development for educators on effective instruction for
English language learners would be helpful as well improving resource
schools and early childhood education programs. (NEA)

Unless we improve the quality of the education that students receive and include
parents and some type of support system for students they may not achieve much
better than their parents. Students need school programs and out of school
programs that will help them set goals and encourage literacy and math skills that
will help them succeed in the work force.


What responsibility do school board members have for the local school district?
primary role for the school board members is to raise student achievement and involve the
community in that goal. The National School Board Association (NSBA) determined there are
eight components of key work for school boards: vision, standards, assessment, accountability,
alignment, climate, collaboration and continuous improvement.

Vision refers to identifying the future of the school. School boards will look at goals for the
school, short term and long term goals and develop objectives and tasks for those goals.
“Developing a shared vision for student achievement is a starting point for a school board and its
community.” (NSBA)

Standards explain the educational expectations for each subject are and grade level. Standards
are generally set by the state but national standards may also be a foundation for a districts vision
statement. School boards need to understand where the school assessments are coming from and
how to interpret data from the identified assessments. The school board is concerned in the
school making its AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) and the assessment information can help them
analyze any problems that are identified. A school climate is determined by how the staff and
students feel about their school.

If a school is going to be successful the board needs to feel that the people in the school are
comfortable in their settings and are respected. Schools might start a school improvement plan to
change the environment of the school. By improving the climate of the school they may also
change the culture of the school, the values and behaviors of those in the school. (Stover)

The schools accountability is related to its educational outcomes. Understanding the
standards and the assessments is important for the school board if they plan to hold the staff
accountable for how the students succeed. The laws of No Child Left Behind have affected the
accountability of the staff and the school board so that they align the standards and assessments to
meet AYP.

School boards need to know how the public feels about issues affecting the
school. Members of the board need to collaborate with various members of the
community, parents and legislators to develop trust and confidence in the school.
It is important to be involved in other activities besides school related because
very often the school is the center of activities in a town.

If a school board is effective it can align all the above resources together to create
a great school district. They are responsible for managing funds correctly and
creating policies and budgets that support teaching and learning. They review
data to ensure all students are treated fairly, they develop partnerships with
community leaders and parents, and they look at all the factors that involve
student achievement. (Black)

What is the role of the superintendent for the local school district? The
superintendent should provide guidance to the school board in policy issues,
resources, community engagement support and oversight. The

should identify options for the board to consider, implement those decisions, and
provide data and information on success or deficiencies. Accountability for the
superintendent is federally mandated through adequate yearly progress (AYP).

creating collaborative relationships with business and political constituents the
superintendent can keep them current on school success standards.

closely with the school board the superintendent has the responsibility to enhance
the educational program of the students, improve the student achievement, and
see that district policies are implemented.

The principal is a cheerleader for staff and students.

The Principal is a
supportive participant for both teachers and students. By creating a
friendly, welcoming environment or providing feedback to teachers about
instructional techniques, this individual is developing the learning climate
of the school.

His/her opinions, comments, actions send specific
messages to both staff members and to students.

As a “coach” to the staff, the principal, can provide opportunities to allow
the teachers

to grow and develop a healthy learning

According to the National Association of Elementary School
Principals (NAESP) the following reflections should be considered to create
a culture of continuous learning: (Scholastic)

Provide time for reflection as an important part of improving practice.

Invest in teacher learning.

Connect professional development to school learning goals.

Provide opportunities for teachers to work, plan, and think together.

Recognize the need to continually improve principals' own professional

(Standard Four: What Principals Should Know and Be Able to Do, NAESP,

By providing opportunities for professional development of adults, school
leaders are promoting the idea that continuous learning builds better
programs for student learning.

The principal wears different hats to fit the
needs of the school.

He/she can instill academic excellence in both the
teachers and students.

The principal is involved in business and
community relations, financial responsibilities, parent involvement as well
as creating the school climate.


What role should parents have in the education of their children
and what should be their involvement in the schools?

Research has found that parental involvement in education
correlates with higher academic performance and school
improvement. (PTA, 2009) When parents, schools and the
community work together students are more likely to get better
grades, stay in school and further their education after high

Involvement with parents and community affect all
students regardless of their family status, parental education,
racial background or economic status.

Often parents feel that
they aren’t able to help students because of busy schedules or
lack of knowledge or complain that schools only contact them
when student are in trouble.

When schools offer opportunities
to involve parents for events that are positive, parents are often
willing to participate.

Parents are more likely to become involved
when they understand that they should be involved, they feel
capable of making a contribution and they feel invited by the
school and their children.

(PTA, 2009)

The size of schools and school districts can vary between rural and metropolis
areas of a state.

The size of the school refers to the student enrollment in the

The size of the school district refers to the number of students under a
single school board or superintendent.

When people are talking about size of
schools the discussion usually develops into a discussion of quality of education in
small schools versus large schools.

In smaller districts, schools usually receive
less funds because much of the funds are based on per pupil

Smaller schools have higher fixed costs such as administration,
teacher salaries and transportation.

Consolidation in smaller schools is becoming
a trend, reasons for this are improved academic results and lower operating costs.
) Research doesn’t support the trend. “Small schools promote higher
achievement and get better academic results, including more students likely to
participate in extracurricular
; lower dropout
; higher graduation
rates; and a greater likelihood of academic success in college.” (

Larger districts may spend more money on exceptional instruction or support
services for at
risk or gifted students. The quality of education that happens at a
school can be measured by inputs, throughputs, and outputs.

The inputs are what
the school has to offer a student: Money, books, materials, equipment, course
offerings, facilities and attributes of teachers. (

Throughputs refer to what
the school or district does with its inputs to improve student learning.

Outputs are forms of evaluation of the school or student performance.

The most
common measures are attendance, standardized tests, dropout rates, graduation
rates and number of students attending college. (


While there are many positions on quality of schools and school size, the
Minnesota extension

web site discussed two positions:
one best system

good schools come in all sizes

) The
one best system

feels that there is
higher student achievement from broad, comprehensive array of courses and
specialized teachers. They also promote moderate size schools as using the
best use of funds.

They claim higher costs in both small and large

A moderate size of a school district was described as 300
students in this study.

Weaknesses of this position are acknowledgement of
geographic location as a need for some schools and not always taking
consideration the costs of consolidation.

Also, a concern that more courses
offered provides too many choices and not enough depth of the course

good schools come in all sizes

position is defended by close links
between school and community, focused curriculum, participation by
students that affect higher student achievement. The weakness of this
position is the limited curriculum focus, fewer teacher, and limited
instructional techniques.

All things considered, when it comes to the educating today’s children we
need to realize that

the world is now the classroom, instruction needs to be

most students will desire higher education, only a few will
require basic education, and leaders need to become visionaries.

has entered a new level what people are calling the “information age”.

First a written statement of charges should be issued to the teacher.
The notice should be given to the teacher with the intention to suspend
the teacher without pay or dismiss the teacher after ten days from the
date of the notice. If the charges for dismissal contain immoral or
unprofessional conduct a governing board may file a complaint with the
department of education. The teacher may then be reassigned or placed
on administrative leave.

If a teacher is issued a notice of inadequacy the teacher may be given
opportunity to correct those charges. Typically a school may allow not
less than 60 days for a teacher to make changes in their performance. If
the teacher does not demonstrate adequate classroom performance the
school may dismiss the teacher within 10 days of the next notice or at
the end of the contract year. (Dismissal)

A teacher may request a hearing to discuss the inadequacies with the
governing board. The charges given for dismissal and any rules or
polices of the governing board concerning this issue should be given to
the teacher so that he/she can prepare a defense. The teacher has a
right to a hearing within 10 days of service of notice.

The Phi Delta Kappa/ Gallup Poll of Public’s attitudes towards Public schools is designed to inform
educators and is used as a source of information for those who set policy.

The poll ask the American
public about national education standards, federal funding for schools, how they felt about funding
and measuring achievement for public schools. They also were concerned how schools compared to
schools in different countries. Ten years ago in
Reading Today

(1999) discussion about evaluating
school had standardized testing as a third choice in the best method for evaluating schools.

Ahead of
it was the percentage of students attending higher education and the percentage of students going on
to successful employment.

Standardized testing was a distant third followed by graduation rate,
student projects, low rate of violence and student volunteering. In the most recent PDK Gallop Poll they
found that Americans are warming to the idea of national standards but believe state educational
leaders should work together to develop these standards (
, W.J., 2008). They favor an increase
use of federal funds to support young people who want to attend college (
, W.J., 2008). They
believe children of today will need a college education and some of this instruction can and should
begin in high school (
, W.J., 2008). Americans are warming up to the idea of online learning as
an alternative to traditional schooling (
, W. J. and
, J. A., 2009). They also favor national
teacher certification, teacher career ladders, and incentives for teaching in high need schools, but they
are split on performance pay linked to standardized tests. Only three out of 10 Americans approve
relaxing teacher requirements for technical subjects (
, W. J. and
, J. A., 2009). Americans
continue to support one area NCLB, annual testing of students in grades three

eight (
, W. J.
, J. A., 2009). They also support half day or full
day kindergarten. 40% of Americans feel
that starting children earlier in school would improve a child’s achievement. (
, W. J. and
J. A., 2009).

According to the poll summaries the blame of school failures has shifted from the school to the

The 2007 poll claimed 43% polled blamed the schools as 49% blame the law.

(Rose, 2007 p. 35)
The data in the 2007 poll is saying that even though NCLB is expecting high standards and
accountability the public doesn’t agree with the strategies used to reach those standards.

The 2009
PDK poll identified that the public has a one out of two unfavorable position towards NCLB, only one
out of four views NCLB as favorable. (
, W. J. and
, J. A. (2009).

乯t o湬礠no
Americans support such testing, they also support using a single national test, rather than letting each
state use its own test, again by a two
one margin. This opinion is held by Democrats and
Republicans equally.” (
, W. J. and
, J. A. (2009).) The subject of standardized testing
comes up often in our school, usually more during the two testing periods a year.

Many of the
teachers are concerned about the results of testing in relationship to the effort the student gives, best
conditions when testing and student understanding of the material. A concern is that more teachers
are choosing to teach to the test rather than to teach to the standards.

I found it interesting to note that the polls felt that earning credits in online classes for high
school students is gaining more support.

Considering more college courses are offered online,
parents may be more willing to attempt some high school credits in this way, but not all high
school credits.

In the schools, I believe, we are seeing more technology being used.

teachers who teach (distance learning) on the ITV system in ND have talked about using
blackboard like we used in our VCSU online classes.

Teachers are starting to use more digital
forms of assignments that helps prepare students for online classes.

Some form of online
learning is definitely the future of education as it allows us to fit more things into our busy

The end of the poll discussed the biggest problems facing the schools.

The past trends have
addressed areas of discipline, lack of funding, use of drugs and violence/gangs as areas of

But since 2004 the lack of funds is the major problem public feel is important when
evaluating schools. (Rose, L.C.; Gallup, A. M., 2007) Schools are working to have school
improvement be in the forefront of discussions.

Our school is working on Math and Language
Arts for school improvement.

But if you were to ask most teachers what the school
improvement issues are in the school it would be technology.

The commentary on page 42 of
the Phi Delta

article talks about meeting the demands of teaching students a foreign
language, but explains that technology and globalization can provide a high quality language
education if done right.

What is needed to keep these types of programs viable is creative
thinking, policy support and FUNDING.

(Rose, L.C.; Gallup, A. M., 2007) After the Economic
Stimulus legislation was passed in 2009, the poll added questions related to this. They found
that 60% of Americans knew a great deal about the legislation passed, much more than in 2002
when only 24% of the Americans knew about NCLB. Americans are also interested in schools
being more innovative. When asked what issues are most important in schools moving
forward, better teachers and more parental support were cited. (
, W. J. and
, J.
A., 2009).) NCLB and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have forced schools to
toughen up on teacher certifications, educational standards and preparing students for the 21

Century. The public is beginning to understand that schools need to change with the times
and provide students with an education that will help them compete with people from all over
the world.

“Academic freedom consists of protecting the intellectual independence of professors,
researchers and students in the pursuit of knowledge and the expression of ideas from
interference by legislators or authorities within the institution itself.” (Horowitz) This
also means that no political or religious pressures should be imposed on faculty in the
hiring or termination process or other administrative means of the academic institution.
This also relates to students: teachers should not take advantage of a students’
immaturity by impressing their opinions onto them without presenting adequate
information on all sides of an issue. A list of eight principles has been devised to secure
the intellectual independence of faculty and students and to protect intellectual

1. All teachers should be hired on the basis of their knowledge in their field of study. They should
not be hired/fired on the basis of political or religious beliefs.

2. No staff member should be excluded from tenure based on their political or religious beliefs.

3. Students will be graded solely on their class participation and knowledge of subject matter, not
on their political or religious beliefs.

4. Curriculum should contain a diversified view of material for students to develop their own
perspective on the subject matter.

5. Exposing students to a variety of reliable scholarly viewpoints in their coursework is the
responsibility of the teachers. They will not use their courses for purposes of sharing political,
religious or anti
religious views.

6. Selection of speakers or student activities should observe the principles of academic freedom and
promote intellectual pluralism.

7. An environment of civil exchange of ideas is essential to promoting academic freedom. Causing
some form of obstruction or destruction of and an exchange of ideas will not be tolerated.

8. Academic institutions should maintain a position of organizational neutrality when there are
disagreements within or outside of a researcher’s field of study. Knowledge advances when
individual scholars are left to form their own conclusions about facts, methods or theories when
they have been validated by research. (

Teachers have three duties that require attention to avoid liability for an
accident: instruction, supervision and maintenance.

Instruction would include explanations and warnings about equipment,
materials and procedures in verbal and written form. Other forms of
instruction could be step by step instructions for using equipment or
doing experiments, signs warning of a hazard or activities advising
students how to handle certain hazards. Supervision involves being
present and attentive when students are in the classroom. Maintenance
refers to the upkeep of instructional equipment in your classroom. All
equipment should be in safe conditions, this refers to equipment that
both the teacher and the student uses.

Some guidelines to prevent injury in your classroom are:

Protect the safety, health, and welfare of your students.

Foresee the reasonable consequences of your students’ action (or inaction).

Be in the classroom and attentive while activities are in progress.

Instruct your students in the use of equipment.

Modify such instruction to compensate for the age and maturity of your students.

Maintain appropriate behavior.

Immediately address or report hazardous conditions. (Holt Science)


Students have a right to freedom of expression. There are many social issues that affect students
today. Issues like school budgets, discrimination, pollution and war. The Supreme Court has said that
students do not “shed their Constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the
schoolhouse gate” (Tinker v. Des Moines independent school district) (COMD) Students have the right
to hand out leaflets, express themselves in school publications, circulate petitions, set up information
tables, organize clubs, sponsor speakers, organize peaceful rallies or demonstrations at school and
wear buttons, badges, insignias or armbands.

School officials can legally set some limits. They can legally require you to comply with a few
regulations. Speech content cannot contain anything obscene, libelous or slanderous as defined by a
court of law, not just their opinion of what might be these things. Content being discussed cannot
urge students to do something illegal or violate lawful school regulations. It should not disrupt a
school function or class.

The rules about content also have limits on when and where you can express yourself. You cannot
block the hallways or entrances so that students can’t get through. Leaflets or petitions should not
disrupt the normal functioning of the school. If the school has a rule about where students can
distribute materials is should be followed. Generally, before or after school, during lunch and in a
place where you won’t block people or cause a disruption would be the best place to distribute
literature. School officials may ask to see literature ahead of time in order to warn you of any violation
that you might incur.

Schools also need to take a stand in protecting students from harassment. School should respect the
free expression of rights of students. For example, students have a right to speak out about their
sexual orientation or gender, even if their ideas are unpopular or disagreeable. In the same fashion,
student s have a right to speak out about their objections to gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender
people. If the topic arises in a classroom and it is relevant to the topic the discussion is valid as long
as it does not intimidate or attack other students because of their sexual orientation. (ACLU) Schools
need to intervene in places where conduct is not appropriate and educate students about why slurs and
other harassing behavior are harmful


There are often many reasons for parents to choose homeschooling over public
schools. Primarily the parent should be looking at the child that needs to be
educated. Do they have special needs: physical, social or intellectual? They also
need to consider their own situation. Can they provide an environment conducive
for learning? Which environment is better for the child public education or home

Some of the benefits of public school are learning in a group setting, extra

curricular activities available, more curriculum opportunities, and a diverse social
education. Some reasons for not choosing public education might be the
teacher ratio, scheduled learning (less independence), no choice in the
curriculum, and the choice of peers in the school system.

A parent may choose to home school their child so that they can choose the
curriculum. They also are free to schedule the time when it is convenient to the
family. The student
teacher ratio is much smaller and it teaches students to be
independent in their learning choices. Home schooling is usually more expensive
than public school. The teachers may not be highly qualified to teach all the
subjects. Students may have difficulty interacting with peers because they lack
day contact. And, colleges may have stricter admission policies with
homeschooled students. Often homeschooled students do not graduate with a
high school diploma they are required to take the GED.


In Ohio, one school took a different approach to public education
that affected homeschoolers.

Local Schools had lost
enrollment to a surge of homeschooling in the 1990’s and they
surveyed families for reasons for leaving. Many of the parents
left for the right reasons: to be involved with their kids; to instill
the right values; to avoid their children from being bullied. Some
stated reasons for leaving as the schools weren’t friendly to
them, and they were allowing dress, language, courses of

especially in sexual education

that were not
conducive to their beliefs. (

The Graham School district, in Ohio, decided to take another
approach. They developed a program for distance learning.
They were offering courses from different delivery sites such as
Apex Learning, Lincoln Interactive, and

learning. By the
beginning of the 2009 school year they had course offerings of
20 AP classes and boasted 270 students. Many of the students
that were currently being homeschooled were taking these
classes as well as students in their own school district. They
offered on
site computer labs for the classes and students were
given the choice to work online from home or complete their
online curriculum in one of the academy’s six computer labs.

The 1600’s brought the Pilgrims to America and the need to have some type of formal

Education was primarily the responsibility of the parents. Religious views were
commonly taught and parents were expected to teach the child some type of trade that would
help them earn a living.

The Massachusetts Bay School Law of 1642 stated that if a child
wasn’t properly trained the child could be removed from the home and placed with a master
for some years. (Massachusetts) This decade also brought the development of many schools of
higher education.

Harvard College was the first college of higher education and was
established in 1636.

The Massachusetts law of 1647 stated that any township with 50 or more
families had to hire a schoolmaster to teach children to read and write.

Townships with 100
families or more would have a Latin school to train students for higher learning.

This could
easily be understood as the beginning of public education.

Some influential people to education in the 1700’s were Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson
and Noah Webster.

Benjamin Franklin formed both the American Philosophical Society and the
first English Academy.

He emphasized secularism, science and human reasoning into
education clashing with the religious principles of the time.

Thomas Jefferson proposed a two
track educational system, with a different learning method for the laboring and the learned

Noah Webster developed three different books: a spelling book, a grammar book and
a reader because he was so dissatisfied with the text books of the day.

The land ordinance of 1785 put in place after the Revolutionary War also showed the
importance of education to the American citizens.

When setting up townships one section of
the land was set aside for a public school.

A town was set up to be 6 miles long and sectioned
off into 36 square mile sections. Section 16 was set aside for a public school.

Towards the end of this century, 1791, the Bill of Rights is signed.

Education is not mentioned
in the Bill of rights except in the 10

Amendment where it is stated that the powers not
delegated to the federal government "are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people."

This takes education away from the federal government and puts the responsibility onto
the state government.

The 1800’s bring a different flair to education.

Women start to be valued in education with the
first college for women being opened in 1837.

Catherine Beecher founded a school for girls in

Only being educated until she was 10, Catherine believed there was a need for a school
to challenge girls’ intellectual abilities.

The 1800’s also brought awareness for persons

with disabilities.

Horace Mann was
instrumental in the issue of humane treatment and accommodations for the insane.

were started for people with visual impairment and for people who they considered feeble
minded or insane.

In the latter part of the century a school was opened for deaf individuals.

The first public library opened up in Peterborough, New Hampshire in 1833 after the
philosophy of a free public education had been developed. (History Mag., 2001) The first
kindergarten was started in Watertown, Wisconsin.

The first state funded school for teacher
education opened in Lexington, Massachusetts and was known as a “normal” school.

In 1852,
the first mandatory attendance laws were enacted although they were hard to enforce.

National Teachers Association was founded in 1857. In 1879, the first Indian boarding school
opens in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. And the first practical fountain pen was invented in 1884. The
Department of Education was developed to establish effective school systems.

Many of the historical events of the 1800’s, while not directly related to education, affected
education a great deal.

Abraham Lincoln was elected as President of the United States; the 13

Amendment was passed abolishing slavery.

The Civil War ends and 10 years later a Civil Rights
Act is passed banning segregation in all public accommodations.

This was then ruled
unconstitutional almost seven years later.

The 15

Amendment was passed allowing all men
age 21 and older to be able to vote, including freed slaves.

Booker T. Washington, a black
educator, became the principal of a normal school in Tuskegee, Alabama. He became an
influential leader for black Americans.

The Spanish American War makes Theodore Roosevelt a
hero and developed international relations during his presidency. In1859, Charles Darwin’s
Origin of Species

was published which has been a controversial subject since then.


Public education in the south started slowly after the civil

This happened for several reasons.

The South
believed that education was a private matter not a concern
of the state.

Many areas did not have enough pupils in an
area to warrant having a school.

Only four states in the
south had public schools in the 1850’s North Carolina,
Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama (Kingwood, 2008). The
South’s religion was not as concerned about religious
indoctrination through schooling as the north. And,
Southerners feelings about slavery affected how education
would be handled.

The 20th century brought about changes in the way
children were taught.

Changes in theories of teaching, civil
rights education, the effects of wars on

the school and
changing technology all have had an impact on education
in America.

The early 1900’s brought the use of IQ testing into the


felt that finding a person’s
intelligence quotient would help educators sort pupils into
grades and help make decisions about promotions and
school transfers.


argued for the sorting of
schoolchildren into a tracking system that matched the
intellectual potential with the rate of academic progress.

In the 1920’s /1930’s, John Dewey became known as the
modern father of experiential Education.

John felt the
purpose of education was to help people become more
effective members of democratic society.

authoritarian delivery of schooling was not effective;
students need educational experiences which enable them
to be valued, equal and responsible members of society.

History of American Education, cont.


1925 the “Monkey Trial”

captures national attention as John Scopes, a
high school biology teacher is charged with a crime of teaching

He was convicted and fined $100.

This was the beginning of
many court cases between the subject of evolution and religion in the

Jean Piaget was an important theorist of education.

He developed the
theory of cognitive development, 1929, which influenced American
developmental psychology and education.

He questioned: How does
knowledge grow?

His answer was that the growth of knowledge is a
progressive construction of logically embedded structures superseding
one another by a process of inclusion of lower less powerful logical
means into higher and more powerful ones up to adulthood. Therefore,
children's logic and modes of thinking are initially entirely different from
those of adults. (JPS)

Many civil rights cases happened in the 20


As early as 1931
Alvarez vs. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove (CA) School
District had the first successful school desegregation court case
forbidding the school district from placing Mexican
American children
in a separate “Americanization” school.

In 1946, a similar case Mendez
vs. Westminster and the CA Board of Education , the U.S. District Court
in Los Angles rules that educating children of Mexican descent in
separate facilities is unconstitutional.

In 1948 there was a case that
ruled against schools allowing “release time” for students to participate
in religious education in public schools.

In 1954, Brown vs. the Board
of Education of Topeka, ruled that “separate educational facilities are
inherently unequal” (Sass).

In 1960, Ruby Bridges is the first African
American to attend an all white school.

She becomes the only student in
class as the parents removed their students from the school for a whole

In 1964 the Civil Rights Act becomes a law.

It prohibits
discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin.

History of American Education, cont.


In 1972 the Indian Education Act becomes a law to meet the needs
of the American Indian and Alaska Native students.

In this same
year cases providing rights to students with disabilities and
prohibiting discrimination based on sex in all aspects of

In 1973, the Rehabilitation Act becomes a law.

Section 504 guarantees civil rights for people with disabilities and
requires schools to provide access into buildings and participation
in programs.

504 plans are still being used today for students
with disabilities that do not qualify for special education. In 1975
the Education of All handicapped Children Act is a law.

It requires
that a free appropriate education is offered in the least restrictive
setting for all handicapped children.

In 1990 the terminology for
this act is amended from Handicapped to Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Again, in 2004, more changes
are made to this Act (IDEA) modifying the IEP process and
procedural safeguards.

The 70’s and the 80’s called for educational reform.

December 8

1975 cover story “Why Johnny Can’t Write” started
the debate about national literacy and the movement to get back
to the basic.

The 70’s brought issues of school segregation and
bilingual language. School districts started busing African
American students to predominately white schools in order to
achieve racial integration of public schools.

Testing of students
was recommended to be done in a student’s native

California tried to create a bill that would not allow
public funds to be used for illegal aliens, including

This bill was overturned.

President Reagan stated the
need for educational reform but not until 2001 was the No Child
Left Behind Act (NCLB) signed into law which holds school
accountable for student achievement levels.

History of American Education, cont.


The First Amendment is challenged in many ways during the last part of
the 20


Several court cases involving religion evolve
throughout the 80’s and 90’s as courts argue about creationism vs.
evolution and prayer in the schools.

The First Amendment is
challenged when school administrators try to censor or ban books in a
school library because they felt the content was offensive.

Computers were introduced by Apple in 1977 and technology continues
to grow and affect education today.

Microsoft introduced Microsoft
Windows 1.0 making MS
DOS obsolete in 1985.

The first smart board
(interactive white board) was introduced in 1991 and within 4 years
starts replacing the blackboard in the classroom.

In 1998, Google was
introduced as a new search engine.

Technology continues to be in the
forefront of education as the Stimulus bill of 2009 allocates $650
million for educational technology.

What can we learn from looking at the history of education? We can
look back at history and see how Americans have progressed in
education. Education is important to all people, at all ages and to all
races. When we look back at events that shaped our educational process
hopefully we will not repeat events that held education back such as the
events of the civil rights. The laws that have shaped the past will be
used in the future to determine the rights of more individuals. The new
Arizona Immigration law that was passed in May of 2010 will be
interesting to watch and how it affects children and education. It is
important to understand how history has affected education and
continues to be important in evaluating new ideas that the public,
legislation or theorist may devise.

History of American Education, cont.

Metaphysics is defined as a philosophy that examines the nature of
reality, including the relationship between mind and matter,
substance and attribute, fact and value. (Metaphysics). The earliest
writings about metaphysics were referred from Aristotle’s writings
on physics. This philosophy attempts to understand how anything

Epistemology refers to the philosophy of studying knowledge.
Distinguishing what is accurate and what is not. Relating
epistemology to education, the teacher in involved in helping
students learn, think, understand, and justify by offering
opportunities in various curriculum to cause some type of reflection
by the student. Education uses many different models to help
students become ‘autonomous
’ (
) from sensory
perception to problem solving, trial and error and natural and social
scientific inquiry. The epistemological ideal for education has been
to promote the development of

as well as to transmit
knowledge. (

Axiology is a form of value science. Dr. Steven Hartman discovered
that the concept of valuing is a mathematical and logical structure.
This structure allows scientists to measure how a person thinks or
perceives rather than what a person is thinking. Axiology can
measure the level of development or perception in one’s thinking
and the person’s ability to value.

Value patterns can change with experiences and develop with
experiences. Education has a role in helping students develop
personal values. As students grow in knowledge they also will grow
in the various values that will affect their choices, values such as
empathy, self
esteem, practical thinking, role awareness, system
judgment and self direction.


Philosophy 101


The philosophy of idealism is a view that reality exists through the
mind or spirit. Our experiences, plans of action, and thinking all
have a common purpose. This process of planning (internal
meaning) must materialize into action. (Radical Academy)

may have connections to religious thoughts in that belief in some
absolute power or God may affect a person’s attitude towards
reality. Two philosophers Josiah Royce and Borden Parker Bowne
had religious upbringing that may have affected their positions on
idealism. Brown stated “The key to reality is the thinking self that
interacts with other selves in a world where ethical achievement is
a primary goal.” (Radical Academy) The goal of education is to
develop each individual’s ability and moral values to better serve
society. (Cohen)

The philosophy of realism in based on three beliefs: that there is a
world that exists that man did not create; that this real existence
can be known by the human mind; and this knowledge is the only
reliable guide to human conduct, individual and social. (
“An authentic Realism precisely formulates these principles,
analyzes their component concepts, and examines them in the
light of the evidence.” (
) Realism is about using common
sense, but not just common sense, that would be called Naïve
a common sense theory of perception
. (Wikipedia) When
common sense is questioned then someone who is using the
philosophy of realism critically examines information before
accepting them as fact. This is also what we need to be teaching
students. We hope that they will develop good character and
common sense, but we also need to develop their minds to
question information, examine resources, get facts that support a
decision and think critically before making judgments.


John Dewey was noted for saying “Education is not preparation for
life: Education is life itself.” (Dewey) Dewey believed that children
learned by doing and recognized the value of play in a child’s
development. Education became child centered and teachers
were trained to observe students interests and help them develop
those interests as they learned. Many of these same skills are
still instilled in children today by giving students jobs in the
classroom that help students apply knowledge to real life
situations. Pragmatists believe that only things that are
experienced or observed are real. Dewey determined that
learners must adapt to each other and to their environment
(Cohen) Teachers who follow this philosophy typically use method
of hands
on problem solving, experimenting and working in

Existentialism is described as reality exists within the individual.
Some believers of this philosophy were of Christian orientation
and others believe that we are just a small part of this planet and
our salvation is not guaranteed by God. “Existence comes before
any definition of what we are. We define ourselves in relationship
to that existence by the choices we make.” (Cohen) Educators
teach to develop character and individual responsibility for

Progressive educational theory is to focus on the whole child,
rather than the content of the teacher. Teachers are to provide
experiences for the child so that they can become problem
solvers and thinkers and make meaning of their experiences. The
scientific method is used by teachers so that students can study
matter and events in a systematic way and learn the process for
understanding. Teachers using this theory are more likely to
share decision making and planning with the students.



theory is the idea students can
learn from works of the western civilization that
have lasted through many centuries. Students will
learn by analyzing works of history, literature and
principles of science. These ideas have the
potential for solving problems in any era. (Cohen)
The idea is to understand the principles that are
constant and do not change. These are the most
meaningful to students.

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