Reflection 2: American Education History

This is my first reflection posting for EDU 6120. This represents the starting point of my growth and development of knowledge of the history of American Education.

I have learned much in the realm of American education because of my studies in EDU 6120 American education: past & present.  I can now confidently say that my personal knowledge of American education goes as far back as the first inhabitants of our continent. My mindset prior was that education has to coexist with classroom but this is obviously not the case. Native Americans taught their children skills of hunting, agriculture, and gathering. In addition life skills/lessons were taught and passed down through storytelling (Urban & Wagner, 2009). Both are examples occurring outside of a classroom and because they require the process of acquiring new knowledge, each would constitute as education.  Furthermore I have learned about the many critical thinkers who contributed to American education. For example John Locke and Tabula Rasa – because of this, teachers formed recitation. Thomas Jefferson believing that all should have the opportunity for an education. The McGuffey Reader which is one of the first textbooks – lessons with foundation of moral beliefs (Urban & Wagner, 2009). This is just to name a few examples of how my knowledge has grown and I now have a better understanding of the events which took place before the civil rights movement.

The notions of Brown vs. Board of Education and the Coleman Report of 1966 were major events and well known in civil rights movements especially in the realm of equal education. What I did not know was that the fight for equal education has been occurring since the first schools were established. During the reconstruction era (1865-1869), the Freedmen’s Bureau Bill was created to provide support for freed slaves and displayed whites. The government believed that through education equality would be gained. Many issues in education have been observed previously in some way or another – some instances like equal education may have taken longer to overcome or to improve. This is very useful information because it is critical to understand where our education has been in the past in order to prevent similar issues from reemerging and to learn from the trials and tribulations.

Previously, I thought I knew more about current American education but that was definitively not the case. Prior to the class I had never heard of America 2000, A Nation at Risk, or McCleary v. Washington State. Additionally, I had heard of Head Start but knew nothing specific about the program. Head Start was not just an education program, but focused on the children’s developing intellectually, socially, and physically (Urban & Wagner, 2009). Head Start is to provide education, health, nutrition, and parent services to the low-income children and their family. Head Start is an instrumental program that is still used effective today. These examples are all newer efforts to improve American education, which I am knowledgeable about. In summary, I have learned a great deal about American education in the past and in the present and now have a more defined foundational base which will support my efforts in becoming a teacher.

Urban, W.J., & Wagoner, J.L. (2009). American education a history. New York: Routledge.

American Education: Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 was to prohibit the discrimination based upon gender or blindness from any educational institution or activities receiving federal money. Title IX was added as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in 1972. Title IX (1972) is most famously known for closing the funding gap between men’s and women’s sports in colleges and universities. It is interesting to note that the original statute of Title IX made no explicit mention of sports, yet this is what Title IX is commonly associated with. The historical context in which Title IX was enacted is based upon the Women’s civil rights movement to abolish discriminatory treatment based on sex in order to close the gender gap.

Probably the most substantial thing I learned from Title IX (1972) was the statement mentioning no individual due to blindness or visual impairment could be denied to any course of study admission. In addition, I too only associated Title IX with athletics and never took the time to think about the implications it may have had on other educational activities. It was interesting to see all the areas where there is an exception to the ruling of Title IX (1972). I never affiliated many of the activities to even fall under Title IX’s jurisdictions. For example, girl scouts or boy scouts being in the exception Title IX (1972) has upon voluntary youth service organizations.

Title IX (1972) has been instrumental in closing the gender gap especially in education. This is evident today, as there is no longer a gender gap between men and women completing college. In addition, Title IX has also supported the efforts to increase the number of women administrators in the schools (Urban & Wagner, 2009). However, despite the efforts, women are still under-represented in administrative roles. In the scheme of things, Title IX has helped the education reform in the shaping of educational equality.

Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, 20 U.S.C. sections 1681 – 1688 (1972).

Urban, W.J., & Wagoner, J.L. (2009). American education a history. New York: Routledge.

Reflection 1: American Education History

In high school and college, I learned about important events of adversity that were overcome and significant changes which were made. Many times though, the relation which these events have towards American education can easily be overlooked. My personal knowledge of American education goes back as far as the civil rights movements, any events that occurred prior to that I have either forgotten or never studied. I definitely realize that not only our society but our education system has come a long way since the times of segregation and racism. One event I remember that had a huge impact on American education was Brown vs. Board of Education. This was especially important because it deemed segregated schools to be unconstitutional. This ruling was instrumental for schools to become integrated. When we think of the Civil Rights movement we think of equal rights for all, but we can sometimes miss the additional importance it had on our education system. The changes that occurred because of the movement are still seen in the schools today.

Another important event of the rights movement was the Coleman Report in 1966 by Professor James Coleman. This report was instrumental in showing the importance of educational equality.  Coleman’s report indicated that student’s background and socioeconomic status was more important than school resources in determining educational outcomes. The report found that black schools were usually funded equally, but that black students benefited much more from racially mixed classrooms.  The research also stated that socially disadvantaged students benefited more from mixed classes. Both the Coleman Report and Brown vs. Education were influential for the integration of classrooms.

I do not recall much more about past American education, as most of my knowledge and personal experience involve more recent events. More recently is the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 which required annual standardized tests and aided disadvantaged students. Title 1 of the act focuses on the improvement of academic success for the disadvantaged. For example, schools not meeting the standards would be required to improve the school –missing the adequate yearly process for a third straight year requires schools to provide free tutoring for struggling students.  This act has provided opportunities for every student to become successful in the classroom. I have not seen or been a part of the issues facing the disadvantaged in my personal experience.  I was a part of a challenge/highly capable program in elementary and went to a private school in junior high and high school. I have had a privileged educational upbringing and because of this, I was naive at times of how important these events have impacted American education.