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Effects of Class Differences to the Educational System

Autor:   •  October 11, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,283 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,391 Views

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This paper's main aim is to develop a focus on the status of education in America. The focus here will be the effect to which the class differences prevalent in the contemporary society bring to the educational system. To guide the paper, the educational program as outlined by Horace Mann will be the point of reference. In determining the effects of class the paper will involve Gregory Mantsios through his work ‘Class in America: Myths and Realities' and Studz Terkel through the paper, ‘Stephen Cruz'.

First, it is imperative to understand how Mann outlines the education system/program. Horace Mann was a self educated man who advocated for the availability of education to all - he advocated for a universal education. Evidently, Mann believed that through strictly upholding the moral law then the perfection of humanity and the society at large could be achieved. It is this belief that guided most of Mann's educational policies. In his view education was the key to creation of a morally upright and responsible society as the elite citizens would be empowered to determine the ethical demands of natural law. Mann on rising to become the Secretary of Education saw to the increase of the funding to public schools, the improvement of teacher-support and preparatory systems and the deliverance of compassionate discipline to the students. Further, he advocated for the teaching of ethical values in schools and challenged the presence of a guided education system with bias to Christianity. He made a religious compromise that led to changes in the education system. In essence, the idea of teaching of morality rather than a specific religion not only led to criticism but also led to the expansion in the education system since it was now available to a wide and more diverse populace.

The main tenets of Mann's educational program were designed to allow the citizens from all walks of life an access to education. The route to alleviating poverty as he puts across was to avail the most important tool to the society and this was education. In this, he advocated for increased attendance to school from students whose parents were poor. To Mann, universal education is essential and it should be free from the influence of social class, which entails giving the right quality of education to all citizens in the society.

In his article, ‘Class in America', Mantsios enlightens us to the stir that is in the educational system presently. In this article he gives several myths and realities that face the American society today. Mantsios gives the first myth as the United States being a classless society and that class distinctions are highly irrelevant in the contemporary USA and the economic distinctions present are of no significance. He further presents the reality that in the American society the differences are enormous and


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