EDUC 202 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Aristocracy

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7 Feb 2017
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The Goals and Purpose of American Education
What is the purpose of American Public Education?
To serve the public need, not individuals
Political Goals
The US was not intended to be a democracy
The founding fathers intended the US to be a republic
A group of education, elected elites would run the nation in place of a king.
For a republic to be successful, it needed educated leaders
George Washington
1790 -- Proposed a national university to train the next generation of republican leaders
“Aristocracy of the Educated”
Was this a reasonable suggestion?
What could be a problem with Washington’s plan?
Thomas Jefferson
1779 -- proposed 3 years of free education to all non-slave children.
The most talented would be taken and educated at taxpayer expense
“By this means twenty of the best geniuses will be raked from the rubbish
annually and be instructed at the public expense.”
What does this tell us about the early purpose of public education
Major Political Goals
1. Teaching a common set of political beliefs
2. Learning to obey the law by obeying school rules
3. Providing an equal opportunity for all to be elected to political positions
4. Emphasizing voting as the key to political and social change
5. Learning about the workings of government
6. Educating patriotic citizens
7. Educating students to be involved in community activities
Common Political Beliefs
Common beliefs= socialization
The process by which a person learns the norms, customs, values and
ideologies of a society
So what’s the problem?
Each change to the Pledge resulted from a political change
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