Does Education Change Society or Does Society Change Education
The age old question has never been answered. Do schools change society or does society change schools? The answer could vary from person to person the idea of change may also vary. Education and schools do provide the tools for social change, but do they provide the leadership changes that can facilitate change. The flip side of the coin argues that society changes schools to meet the needs for the common goods of the community. Do governmental influences mold the schools to produce workers for a growing economy? It is a complicated question and there should be answers before another generation is released to sow their conquests for the greater good.
History has the answer to all these questions if you look how the educational system of the United States grew from primitive homeschooling to the sprawling campuses that mark our nation’s present schools. There have been spotlights in the educational history where our nation’s leaders believed that education and the schools that supported it would heal societal ills and create a utopian nation. These leaders, when looking for the fix-all solution, found that they were opening up Pandora’s Box and more questions than answers poured out. The main question was, “Can sweeping change in the educational systems of America cause sweeping changes in the society that makes up the country and will those changes be good? I believe these questions arose again when President George Bush presented the No Child Left Behind Act. To this day people still argue the case for each side without a clear answer.
John Dewey, in his 1915 book, “The School and Society,” suggested that even though we look at the educational growth of the child as a parent, teacher, or citizen, we still have to think of the community and society that will be created by educating that child. One child cannot save the world but a society of children educated for the common good might make a dent. He states, “Only being true to the full growth of all individuals who make it up, can society by any chance be true to itself?” His thoughts are echoed before and since then, but the statement is sometimes a deeper question than what is presented in his work.
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