EdThp115 – Class Notes (for Quiz 1).docx

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Educational Theory and Policy
Mimi Schwab

EdThp115 – Class Notes 1 Metacognition • Thinking about thinking/learning about learning/knowing about knowing • Active control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning • Knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or problem solving • Can be helpful for more efficient studying in less time • Ex. Metacognitive strategy = taking notes while reading in order to remain engaged • Basic metacognitive strategies are: o Connecting new information to former knowledge o Selecting thinking strategies deliberately o Planning, monitoring, and evaluating thinking processes Is theAmerican Education system failing? • What does the evidence show? o Empiricism- a theory of knowledge that argues knowledge comes primarily from experience and evidence o The data/empirical evidence thus far shows that the US does not perform within the highest pack  In comparison to other countries, the United States is scoring around average, and there are many outperforming us.  We spend the most per student on education, but outcomes are not great.  We are still improving, though…. Just not at the rate of some other countries. o Historically, the data/empirical evidence shows that US is growing and improving.  Schooling Expansion- the proportion of the population going to school and the number of years attained expanded rapidly over the 20 century • Ex. Mimi’s grandpa only was in school until 6 grade, but her dad got a law degree  Reading and math scores are increasing at all levels over time. o Education in the US is a state and local matter – there is lots of variation  Decentralization- lots of local control • Locally controlled, while state and federal government have increased their roles in education, US education remained highly decentralized when compared with Europe, Japan, or Russia • Result: variation in teacher pay, money spend on different schools, curriculum all based upon where you go to school;Also, the distance between the highest achieving student and the lowest achieving student is very large Universal Pre-K • Achievement gap begins before schooling • Head start program– federally financed preschool for low income kids; may not be as successful as actual preschool programs What are the founding principles ofAmerican education? Equality of Educational Opportunity • Sunday Question review: o Q: Coleman concludes that equality of educational opportunity is a means to an end. What does he mean by this?  A: Effective public schooling should lead in the direction of equal adult opportunities o Q: James Coleman was a sociologist of education that wrote extensively on the concept of equality of educational opportunity. In this critique, he argues which of the following?  A: Neither equality of inputs nor outputs is realistically achievable • Equality of inputs and outputs are unrealistic goals • Ascribed characteristic: assigned at birth, in comparison to achieved characteristic (ex. Race, gender) • SES: socioeconomic status, family background, a composite Builders of US Education • Thomas Jefferson o Success of the “experiment” relied on education o Elementary school available to “all free children, male and female” o Education creates a good democracy o Mass system at lower levels and elite system at the higher levels • Horace Mann o School as “the great equalizer.”  Creates upward mobility o The school should build support for Republican and Protestant values • John Dewey o Integration of the child into democratic society  Schools as a mini version of the democratic process – interaction with students and learning problem solving, etc. o Emphasis on individual differences What is “equality of educational opportunity?” • Ascribed characteristics of individuals (like sex, race, social class, and religion) should not affect chances of upward mobility, and only inequalities resulting from an individual’s talents and efforts can be regarded as fair and just • James Coleman o Ideal of educational equality is often attached to him b/c he did one of the major data collections on it and spent most of his career on this o The evolution of equality of educational opportunity:  1.Access • (Input of schooling) • Having school available  2. Classical curriculum • (Input of schooling) • Everyone should have the same curriculum  3. Differential curriculum • (Input of schooling) • Not everybody needed a classical curriculum b/c not everyone is going to go to college • Understanding that some kids need an education that lead them to jobs and others need education to lead them to university – next stage of life • Lead to tracking  4. Desegregated schooling • (Output of schooling)  5. Equality of results • (Output of schooling) • Regardless of what kids bring to school with them, how well do schools “level the playing field” for after school? o The inputs and outputs of schooling:  Not viable when taken to the extreme  Leads in the direction of equal adult opportunities  School’s task is to increase opportunity for all and to reduce the impact on adult life of differential environments o It is possible to view Equality of Educational Opportunity alla Coleman: that we have progressed through several stages and/or that the concept is only partially viable, but it is also possible to view US education as a work in progress and that each of the stages is simultaneously evolving Spring demonstrates that US public schools are supposed to serve the public good. Which of the following is the main argument of the chapter? • Answer: The goals of American schools are politically determined. Community – Who isAmerican education for? • Local communities determine a lot about the experience of students in school • John Adams said that: o Schools should be easily accessible to everybody – people shouldn’t have to go far o Local communities are responsible for educating kids – not just parents o Everybody is entitled to an education o Community should bear the expense of education • Schooling Expansion o Mass – includes everybody  Don’t push anybody out at a certain level o Expanding – increasingly including more years of schooling and more going to school • The organization of US education o Centralization  US is decentralized o Examinations  US lacks critical examinations o Selectivity  US is unselective – include everybody as long as possible • Even though we have success in Civics education, it may not transfer over to what it looks in politics; voting rates have not shown an increase; We may be learning civics passively since we aren’t applying it in politics The Souls of Black Folk – by: WEB Dubois • Born in North • Smart, well-educated – graduated from Harvard • This piece challenged Booker T. Washington on how black people should use education to gain access to the broader community • Many argue that w/o him, the civil rights movement wouldn’t have happened Booker T. Washington • “Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him” – Washington • Want some economic opportunities and some educational opportunities • Use education as a strategy through economic opportunities Comparison of Washington and Dubois • Washington o Go slow o Thrift
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