PS276 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Comprehensive High School, Student Engagement, Critical Thinking

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4 Aug 2016
Chapter 6: Schools
Secondary education: middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools –have
been the target or large amount of research to due its large role
Nearly all American adolescents are enrolled in school—in most developing
countries it is more common that the wealthy children attend
Rates of enrolment in secondary school are comparable for males and females
Development of achievement is profoundly affected by the adolescent’s
experiences in school (good or bad school)
oAffects their academic self-conceptions and occupational choices, shaping
their identity
oDevelopment of interpersonal relationships/social networks
The Broader Context of U.S. Secondary Education
There are considerably more young people now enrolled in school than 50 years
ago, and they also spend more days/year in school
Adolescents also remain in school for more years now than in previous ones
The Origins of Compulsory Education
oRise of secondary education was the result of social and historical trends
at the turn of the 20th century—industrialization, urbanization, immigration
oIndustrialization: the role of children and young adolescents in the
workplace changed—as productivity became more dependent on workers
on use of machinery, they needed employees more skilled than youngsters
Social reformers expressed concern about dangers of children
working in factories
Child labour laws narrowed and limited the employment of minors
Industrialization brought urbanization and immigrants
Rapidly expanding economy effects were seen in the tenements
and slums: poor housing, overcrowding, crime
The Rise of the Comprehensive High School
oPrior to the early 20th century, high school was for the elite
oComprehensive high school: educational institution that evolved during
the first half of the 20th century, offering a varied curriculum and designed
to meet the needs of a diverse population of adolescents
oClasses designed for preparation for family, leisure and work roles
School Reform: Past and Present
oSchools are potentially important tools of social intervention, because it is
where the greatest number of young people can most easily be reached
oWhen a situation would arise, schools we be enforced to offer more
courses/programs to focus on that area (ex. 1990s social problems
affecting youth –violence, AIDs, drug use—looked to school for
assistance to implement intervention)
oNo Child Left Behind: act mandating states ensure that all student
regardless of economic circumstances, achieve academic proficiency
Schools must create and enforce academic standards by annually
testing all students and reporting the results to the public
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NCLB has been criticized for: social promotion—practice of
promoting students from one grade to the next automatically,
regardless of their school performance
No one could agree with the basic idea that all students –
regardless of their background – deserve a high-quality
public education
Criticized for doing opposite of its purpose: incentives for
schools push low-achieving students out of school
Critical thinking: thinking that involves analyzing, evaluating, and
interpreting info, rather than simply memorizing it
oWhat Should Schools Teach?
Standards-based reform: policies designed to improve achievement
by holding schools and students to a predetermined set of standards
measured by achievement tests
Difficult to implement:
oEducators have not been able to agree on the body
of knowledge and skills that comprises what high
school graduates should know and be able to do
oLarge number of states students did not fully
acquire the knowledge and capabilities assessed on
standardized graduation exams
Charter schools: public schools that have been given the
autonomy to establish their own curricula and teaching
School vouchers: gov’t subsidized vouchers that can be
used for private school tuition
oEducation in the Inner Cities
The gap in achievement between black and Hispanic students and
white and Asian students, remains very wide
The concentration of poverty in many inner-city communities has
produced a population of students with an array of personal and
situational problems
Students in urban schools report less of a sense of belonging to
their school which leads to disengagement and poor achievement
Many reformers believe to fix the problems of urban education, we
must change the entire context in which inner-city children live,
not merely what goes on in their schools
The Social Organization of Schools
School and Class Size
oComprehensive high school delivered wider range of courses and services
under a single roof = schools became larger and larger
oIs bigger better? They can offer more specialized courses but a fair amount
of research says no – students engagement is weaker in larger schools and
students achieve more when they have a sense of community –school size
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