Current Issues in Education essay - Education

The essays in The Relevance of Education (1971) apply his theories to infant development.

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Myth 1. White working-class Americans strongly identify with the Tea Party movement. White working-class Americans (13%) are no more likely than white college-educated Americans (10%) to say they consider themselves part of the Tea Party. White working-class Americans (34%) are also about equally as likely as white college-educated Americans (31%) to say the Tea Party movement shares their values.

The role of religion in public education is not limited to America alone.

education in America is also affected to a larger extent by race, ..

The cost and price of higher education are also matters of great importance. They are legitimate and real concerns for many working class and middle class American families, especially for those that are most disadvantaged economically. Cost bears a direct relation to opportunity.

- Explains John Dewey’s visionary series of essays in Education and Experience.

From the late 1950s on Jerome Bruner became interested in schooling in the USA – and was invited to chair an influential ten day meeting of scholars and educators at Woods Hole on Cape Cod in 1959 (under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation). One result was Bruner’s landmark book The Process of Education (1960). It developed some of the key themes of that meeting and was an crucial factor in the generation of a range of educational programmes and experiments in the 1960s. Jerome Bruner subsequently joined a number of key panels and committees (including the President’s Advisory Panel of Education). In 1963, he received the Distinguished Scientific Award from the American Psychological Association, and in 1965 he served as its president.

- Explains John Dewey’s visionary series of essays in Education and Experience.


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White working-class Americans are more likely than white college-educated Americans to report that a lack of good jobs (67% vs. 52%) and a lack of opportunities for young people (56% vs. 46%) are major problems facing their communities.

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One-in-five (20%) white working-class Americans do not have health insurance. White working-class Americans who are insured are significantly less likely than white college-educated Americans to say they receive health insurance through their employer or their spouse’s employer (47% vs. 69%). More than one-third (36%) of white working-class Americans who are insured rely on government programs like Medicare and Medicaid for health insurance.

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Myth 2. White working-class Americans have abandoned traditional religiosity and a strong work ethic. White working-class Americans are more likely than Americans overall to identify as white evangelical Protestants (36% vs. 21%). They do not attend religious services less frequently than Americans overall (48% vs. 50% attend at least once a month), and do not report that religion is less important in their lives (60% vs. 59% say religion is important in their lives). White working-class Americans also work hard, averaging more hours per week than white college-educated Americans (51 vs. 46).

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Despite working more hours than white college-educated Americans (51 hours vs. 46 hours), white working-class Americans are more likely to report that they are in worse financial shape. Approximately two-thirds of white working-class Americans report being in fair (39%) or poor shape (27%) financially. By contrast, over 6-in-10 white college-educated Americans say they are in good (51%) or excellent (12%) financial shape.

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Lacking good information, it has been easy even for sophisticated Americans to be seduced by apologists who would have the public believe the problems are simply those of poor kids in central city schools. Our results point in quite the opposite direction. We find that the international rankings of the United States and the individual states are not much different for students from advantaged backgrounds than for those from disadvantaged ones. Although a higher proportion of U.S. students from better-educated families are proficient, that is equally true for similarly situated students in other countries. Compared to their counterparts abroad, however, U.S. students from advantaged homes lag severely behind.