There are two things
1. Let us use this thread to center a discussion on the reading from David Tyack entitled “Constructing Difference.” You can take the discussion in any direction, like the article’s relevance to the present, elements of the work that resonate or clash with your opinion, current events that illustrate Tyack’s thesis in modern contexts, etc, etc.
two paragraphs answer/
in APA style
2. The article by Tyack has made me reflect on the why behind some of the actions I took as a student growing up in the public education system. As a child, I was aware of what made a student “successful” which meant saying the pledge of allegiance every day, following the directions of the teacher, correctly regurgitating information on the tests and attaining an A. As I can recall, lessons in most of my classes were mostly rote and of only one perspective. Now that I am older and have 5 years of classroom teaching experience, I have had the opportunity to look at the reasons for why I was educated in the way I did. Understanding the context in which our educational system was purposed which was mainly to create patriotic students who would assimilate to an American culture. In the mid 20’s during the WW1 era that there was a lot of pressure to maintain conformity due to the high stakes nature of war. In 1923, 35 states enacted laws that made English the only language you can instruct in, in the U.S (Tyack, 1993). Even the Ku Klux Klan in Oregon was trying to ensure all students attended public school (Tyack, 1993). This idea of conformity and rote learning was one of the leading reasons I was disenfranchised with school during my childhood even though I succeeded academically on paper. It wasn’t until college that I really had professors that pushed me to analyze and look at events through different perspectives. It now makes sense that teaching students a rote conformist style of education is a tool mainly used for control. For example, in the article in mentioned how Mexicans would not want to engage in menial jobs if they were properly educated, because they realized they could accomplish much more. This idea led to schools tracking students based on their perception of their capabilities which meant students of color would thereby be placed in a lower track or lower achieving classes. We know the theories that used race and head size as a rationale to confirm intelligence were absolutely false and that intelligence is not based on race at all. Education has a negative connotation in my opinion largely due to some people in history using it as a tool to control or coerce people into thinking they are not capable because of the way they look. This sways far from the intended purpose of creating citizens that will be able to analyze and think critically in a variety of academic disciplines, so they can be contributing members to our democracy. Part of thinking critically is being able to empathize and see the world through the lens of different people and cultures. This is why I agree with Rachel Dubois, the progressive educator from the 30’s who promoted multicultural education. This is even more essential to a country with a large population and so many different cultures. This article has helped me understand my past experiences in education with rote learning and assimilation. As an educator, it is essential to develop students ability to collaborate and use their critical thinking skills. We should not only celebrate differences but also analyze situations from different perspectives instead of assume everyone should cater to a one size fits all education.
Tyack, D.B (1993). Constructing Difference: Historical Reflections on Schooling and Social Diversity.
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