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Social Issues in Education

Modular 3

Social Issues in Education

"The educational system is part if the common life and cannot escape suffering the consequences that flow from conditions prevailing outside the school building."

-John Dewey


What are the aims of education today?


In 1994 President Clinton signed into law
the Goals 2000: Educate America Act.

By the year 2000,the following goals were to be accomplished:

The Congress declares that the National Education Goals are the following:


(A) By the year 2000, all children in America will start school ready to learn.
(B) The objectives for this goal are that--

(i) all children will have access to high-quality and developmentally appropriate preschool programs that help prepare children for school;
(ii) every parent in the United States will be a child's first teacher and devote time each day to helping such parent's preschool child learn, and parents will have access to the training and support parents need; and
(iii) children will receive the nutrition, physical activity experiences, and health care needed to arrive at school with healthy minds and bodies, and to maintain the mental alertness necessary to be prepared to learn, and the number of low-birthweight babies will be significantly reduced through enhanced prenatal health systems.


(A) By the year 2000, the high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90 percent.
(B) The objectives for this goal are that--

(i) the Nation must dramatically reduce its school dropout rate, and 75 percent of the students who do drop out will successfully complete a high school degree or its equivalent; and
(ii) the gap in high school graduation rates between American students from minority backgrounds and their non-minority counterparts will be eliminated.


(A) By the year 2000, all students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter including English, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography, and every school in America will ensure that all students learn to use their minds well, so they may be prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment in our Nation's modern economy.
(B) The objectives for this goal are that--

(i) the academic performance of all students at the elementary and secondary level will increase significantly in every quartile, and the distribution of minority students in each quartile will more closely reflect the student population as a whole;
(ii) the percentage of all students who demonstrate the ability to reason, solve problems, apply knowledge, and write and communicate effectively will increase substantially;
(iii) all students will be involved in activities that promote and demonstrate good citizenship, good health, community service, and personal responsibility;
(iv) all students will have access to physical education and health education to ensure they are healthy and fit;
(v) the percentage of all students who are competent in more than one language will substantially increase; and
(vi) all students will be knowledgeable about the diverse cultural heritage of this Nation and about the world community.


(A) By the year 2000, the Nation's teaching force will have access to programs for the continued improvement of their professional skills and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to instruct and prepare all American students for the next century.
(B) The objectives for this goal are that--

(i) all teachers will have access to preservice teacher education and continuing professional development activities that will provide such teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to teach to an increasingly diverse student population with a variety of educational, social, and health needs;
(ii) all teachers will have continuing opportunities to acquire additional knowledge and skills needed to teach challenging subject matter and to use emerging new methods, forms of assessment, and technologies;
(iii) States and school districts will create integrated strategies to attract, recruit, prepare, retrain, and support the continued professional development of teachers, administrators, and other educators, so that there is a highly talented work force of professional educators to teach challenging subject matter; and
(iv) partnerships will be established, whenever possible, among local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, parents, and local labor, business, and professional associations to provide and support programs for the professional development of educators.


(A) By the year 2000, United States students will be first in the world in mathematics and science achievement.
(B) The objectives for this goal are that--

(i) mathematics and science education, including the metric system of measurement, will be strengthened throughout the system, especially in the early grades;
(ii) the number of teachers with a substantive background in mathematics and science, including the metric system of measurement, will increase by 50 percent; and
(iii) the number of United States undergraduate and graduate students, especially women and minorities, who complete degrees in mathematics, science, and engineering will increase significantly.


A) By the year 2000, every adult American will be literate and will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
(B) The objectives for this goal are that--

(i) every major American business will be involved in strengthening the connection between education and work;
(ii) all workers will have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills, from basic to highly technical, needed to adapt to emerging new technologies, work methods, and markets through public and private educational, vocational, technical, workplace, or other programs;
(iii) the number of quality programs, including those at libraries, that are designed to serve more effectively the needs of the growing number of part-time and midcareer students will increase substantially;
(iv) the proportion of the qualified students, especially minorities, who enter college, who complete at least two years, and who complete their degree programs will increase substantially;
(v) the proportion of college graduates who demonstrate an advanced ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and solve problems will increase substantially; and
(vi) schools, in implementing comprehensive parent involvement programs, will offer more adult literacy, parent training and life-long learning opportunities to improve the ties between home and school, and enhance parents' work and home lives.


(A) By the year 2000, every school in the United States will be free of drugs, violence, and the unauthorized presence of firearms and alcohol and will offer a disciplined environment conducive to learning.
(B) The objectives for this goal are that--

(i) every school will implement a firm and fair policy on use, possession, and distribution of drugs and alcohol;
(ii) parents, businesses, governmental and community organizations will work together to ensure the rights of students to study in a safe and secure environment that is free of drugs and crime, and that schools provide a healthy environment and are a safe haven for all children;
(iii) every local educational agency will develop and implement a policy to ensure that all schools are free of violence and the unauthorized presence of weapons;
(iv) every local educational agency will develop a sequential, comprehensive kindergarten through twelfth grade drug and alcohol prevention education program;
(v) drug and alcohol curriculum should be taught as an integral part of sequential, comprehensive health education;
(vi) community-based teams should be organized to provide students and teachers with needed support; and
(vii) every school should work to eliminate sexual harassment.


(A) By the year 2000, every school will promote partnerships that will increase parental involvement and participation in promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children.
(B) The objectives for this Goal are that--

(i) every State will develop policies to assist local schools and local educational agencies to establish programs for increasing partnerships that respond to the varying needs of parents and the home, including parents of children who are disadvantaged or bilingual, or parents of children with disabilities;
(ii) every school will actively engage parents and families in a partnership which supports the academic work of children at home and shared educational decisionmaking at school; and
(iii) parents and families will help to ensure that schools are adequately supported and will hold schools and teachers to high standards of accountabilit


The purpose of schools is to educate. In 1994 President Clinton signed into law The Goals 2000 Educate America Act, a set of eight national goals. By the year 2000, these goals were to be accomplished. These goals were not met. In February of 1999 the National Education Goals Panel acknowledged this. They renamed the National Goals as "America's Education Goals". Educators are striving to meet these goals today.

Activity 1 for 3.1 (Label your paper this way, or you will not get credit)

1. What is the purpose of schools?
2. Do you think that the Goals 2000 can eventually be reached? Are they realistic?
3. Goals 2000 was developed in 1989, and revised in 1996. Thirty-eight "resource people" were invited and only one was a teacher. How do you feel about that?

Prosocial values

-Prosocial values
The public feels that along with teaching academics, schools should teach values, such as honesty, patriotism, fairness, and civility.

Schools are places where young people are socialized. Students learn about diversity.

For most people, the primary purpose of schools is to impart to students the academic knowledge and skills to prepare them for college or work. Schools teach academic content.

-Personal Growth
To enable the student to be all that they can be. Emphasis on personal growth puts the student first and society second.

-Social Change
Schools provide students with the skills to improve society, and how to deal with a rapid social change. An example of this is teaching through service learning.

-Equal Opportunity
Evidence exists that certain groups in the United States society are denied equality of opportunity economically, socially and educationally. The goal of providing equal educational opportunity for all has long been distinguished in the United States.

The following was taken for the Broward County Schools website:

"Character Education"

We know that families have the primary responsibility for teaching character, and we are not trying to replace the role of the family in a child's life. Our school system, like many others across the country, is responding to the community's renewed interest in developing positive character traits in our young people.

After extensive public involvement, the School Board of Broward County, Florida has adopted eight character traits that will be infused throughout our curriculum and student activities: Responsibility (October), Citizenship (November), Kindness (December), Respect (January), Honesty (February), Self-control (March), Tolerance (April) and Cooperation (May).

Just look at today's culture and it's obvious that one of the best ways to influence a child's behavior is through an adult role model. That is a key part of this new initiative - having respected adults model good character. When students, staff and community members model these traits, it is easier to provide quality education in a safe and secure learning environment.

If you would like to request a copy of the suggested activity sheets developed for each Character Trait,

Activity 2 Modular 3.1 (Label your assignment correctly)

1. Come up with three values that you are in favor of teaching in school. How will they be taught?

2. Are these values taught in your classroom? How? Could they be taught? Elaborate on your answer.


Aims of education-what society believes the broad, general purpose of education should be-for example, socialization, achievement, personal growth, and social improvement.

Goals 2000: Educate America Act-a comprehensive funding program to help schools achieve a set of eight national goals emphasizing student achievement, effective learning environments, professional development for teachers, and parental involvement.

Prosocial values-values such as honesty, patriotism, fairness, and civility that promote the well being of a society.

Service learning-an approach to teaching in which students participate in community-based service activities then reflect on the meaning of those experiences.



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