Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Learning Journal Entry B
There is so much we can glean from studying the history of education. The major chronological theme was accessibility. The first struggle was in allowing people from all economic backgrounds access to education. Initially, education was only for the wealthy. The Land Ordinance of 1785 specified that lands were to be divided up into townships for schools. Soon after, in 1789, Massachusetts passed the first law which allowed taxes to be used for building schools, hiring teachers and educating all the people of its districts. School became mandatory for children of a certain age in 1852 and this changed the entire educational dynamic in America.
Women became the next to receive equal consideration in education. Normal schools opened first in Massachusetts and allowed both young men and women admittance. High schools became public and all were allowed an equal shot at education, well, almost everyone. It took a long time for blacks to finally be allowed to integrate in the public high schools. Jim Crow laws and the "separate but equal" doctrine was finally killed in the Brown v. Board of Education case. This eliminated segregation in public schools. Many urban areas continue to struggle against district discrimination in schools with a majority of black or Hispanic populations.
Another area where accessibility was addressed was of disabled students. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the rights of persons with handicaps in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Section 504 protects the rights not only of individuals with visible disabilities but also those with disabilities that may not be apparent. This has allowed children with less physical or mental advantages as others to receive equity in their education. Access to education has come extremely far throughout the history of American schools.
The other areas of significant advancement such as technology and cognitive studies, have made huge contributions in how education is taught. The availability of learning resources and materials has come remarkably far in the last hundred years. The internet has been the most significant advancement in this regard. Psychological studies conducted as to how we learn and how our learning thrives have changed the faces of classrooms throughout the years as we become more and more focused on teaching to each student. It gives me hope that in my own lifetime and in my own classroom, the technology, methods, and advancements will continue to improve.