Amid all the partisan bickering and rhetoric that characterizes most any subject of national interest, there exist several broad reaching education goals that bridge the ideological divides, for both lawmakers and parents. We all want better, more effective teachers. We all desire our public schools to graduate high school students with some competency in the basics - reading, writing and mathematics. We all want and expect some accountability on the part of teachers and school districts to actually deliver on education. We all want our higher education institutions to prepare their students to compete on the world stage, and more basically to be prepared to succeed in their chosen field of work. And, importantly, we want to instill the values of good citizenship and understanding of our history and culture.
With each of these common goals, though, differences in how to achieve them - as well as how they are defined - varies from minor to very major. Most notable, I think, are the differences concerning our history, culture and what defines a good citizen - and the role education plays in these areas.
In 1693, John Locke wrote a piece entitled "Some Thoughts Concerning Education", where he defined the goals in educating the 'upper class boys' of producing moral, rationally-thinking and reflective young gentlemen. In 1697, he wrote about educating the masses in "Working Schools", promoting the importance of developing a work ethic. A bifurcated approach to runescape bonds education was common for much of the following century as well.
Today, the public schools educate the vast majority of us and the k-12 curriculum varies little from Maine to New Mexico. Perhaps our modern day counterpart to John Locke's dual system would be a technical or other career school education versus a university liberal arts program. Though, for the most part, at every level of education, you would find absent much in the way of moral teachings or a focus on the importance of a work ethic.
Through the late eighteen hundreds to pre-World War II times, teaching was one of just a few career paths for women, and one of very few professional pursuits available to women. As a result, it attracted mostly the best, due to competition for those posts. When I went to college in the early seventies, those students who couldn't quite make it in any other major shifted to a major in education, as it was the easiest and had the least difficult required coursework.
As I was going through elementary school, my mom was a major support to my education. My assignments would be reviewed, my papers checked before and after submission, and tests were often prepared for together. While I know my mom was exceptional in the degree of her involvement, my friends mom's were also interested and involved. They monitored our progress, and they monitored the schools through the P.T.A. Our classes were large, multimedia meant different colors of chalk, and our school facilities were basic - yet we learned.