Week #7- History of Education

Throughout our reading on the history of Education of there were some new tidbits of information for me

I found it very interesting how little education many students had during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. I am not sure where I got the idea that Grade 8 was the standard for education, so I was shocked to see that many students had as little as a Grade 3 education and Grade 6 was more the “norm” for highest education.  It was also so surprising at how young and little education teachers needed.  That requirement for education for teachers carried on for a significant time.  I can’t imagine a Grade 9 student, having the ability to manage a classroom full of children some of who are only a year or two younger than they were.

Reading through the history, I also found it very interesting that many of the same complaints and issues of education are still the same concerns today.  Concerns such as the number and size of the school boards in the province, and that education isn’t keeping up with society.

The broad categories of educational philosophy were a source of some new ideas and aha moments.  The definitions of each philosophy were easy to understand and made sense.  I had heard these theories before but never fully understood them.

The educational philosophies were a source of an aha moment as well.  With the explanation it be came apparent to me that our school’s systems are still very rooted in perennialism and essentialism.  We are very much product oriented in our teaching and our assessment.  Although there is a bit of shift to progressivism and social reconstruction, those will never be fully realized until we revamp our outdated thoughts of assessment and learning.  There is more than tests and worksheets to prove learning is happening.

Another aha moment is that the age-old complaint of education isn’t keeping up.  Who or what are we trying to keep up with.  If it is other cultures, we need to realize we will never be like other countries because we don’t share the same societal views as those countries.  Our general society thinks we should be teaching our children to read in Pre-K or Kindergarten, so adopting the successful in Finland play based program here won’t be beneficial or keeping up.  We also aren’t keeping up because for most governments funding the curriculum development to update more frequently isn’t a priority.  We can’t keep up if we don’t know what is truly important in education and if we don’t fund modernizing our curriculum.

A question that comes to mind is “why it is the school/teacher’s responsibility to teach morals to the children, why is that not a parent’s job?”  I wonder this often as a parent and a future teacher.

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