Nanci Sandoval

Heidi Cadmus
Module 7 Activity
August 12, 2012

Purposes of Education

Purposes of Education based on Essentialism:

• Preparation of Informed Citizens for Participation in a Democracy

1. Develop civics coursework emphasizing an appreciation for cultural differences

2. Expose students to social and political events to develop awareness

• Preparing the Nation to be Competitive in a Global Context

1. The school must ensure that the most demanding courses are offered to ensure academic success

2. The use of multiple forms of assessment to diagnose specific students' educational needs

3. Offer schooling that stresses competitive values; set high academic expectations

• Providing Mastery in Basic Skills

1. Strengthened education of basic skills and core academic subjects

2. Emphasize rigorous instruction

• Learning a Single, Common Language and Culture

1. Create schools that emphasize American cultural identity

2. Maintain positive collaborative relationships with families

Purposes of Education based on Critical Theory:

• Preparation to Live Successfully in a Culturally Diverse Society

1. Provide small school structures to develop a sense of community

2. Encourage a culturally diverse curriculum

3. Create a diverse school community emphasizing collaborative teamwork
• Development of Caring and Empathetic Individuals

1. Make civic participation, such as volunteer work, part of the curriculum

2. Emphasize character development though civic service participation

3. Incorporate opportunities for student mentorship programs in curriculum

Purposes of Education based on Progressivism:

• Career Preparation

1. Equip students to learn how to earn a living and achieve personal development through their chosen


2. Provide opportunities for students to learn through internship programs in their community

• Developing Well-Rounded Individuals

1. Curriculum must be balanced with core subjects, character development, and extracurricular


2. Staff must target underprivileged students and nurture their abilities at an early age

3. Develop curriculum that focuses on social and character skills

• Preparing Individuals Who Can Find the Information They Need to Solve Problems in a

Constantly Changing World

1. Provide access to community technology centers to educate students about advanced technology

2. Offer innovative, problem solving curriculum that teaches students how to become proactive in their


As described in our text, the preceding list outlines several purposes of education and various

practices schools might emphasize. They have been grouped in terms of how they share common

philosophical or theoretical ideas. The first group, based on Essentialism, is a set of ideas that would
prepare students with the skills and knowledge necessary for life in a Democratic society. These ideas

focus primarily on preparing competent and skilled individuals to succeed in a competitive global

economy. These are schools that provide a sound education in the intellectual disciplines. The second

set of purposes of education falls under the contemporary Critical Theory, based on postmodernism,

which encourages a culturally-diverse curriculum. The focus of these types of schools would be to raise

consciousness about equity, fairness, and social justice. These are schools that offer a curriculum where

students can overturn any patterns of depression and empower themselves by changing their mentality.

The last group focuses on ideas based on Progressivism, where interest is the main stimulus for

learning. Students who attend these schools are encouraged to use activities, projects, and problem-

solving techniques as opposed to following the conventional curriculum. These schools use technology

as a tool to accomplish a purpose. Their instruction focuses on student readiness and interest, which

prepares individuals to accomplish challenges effectively.

These traditional theories in education are some of the ideas that demonstrate how schools in

society vary. Schools’ views also vary based on whether they are public or private. Educational theories

help give educators insight and understanding on their own educational philosophy and aid in the

process of knowing how to best impart knowledge. They help by informing the educator in becoming a

great influence to all students.

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