Fundamental Ideals Of Education Essay

2267 words - 10 pages

Thomas Jefferson once believed in the pursuit of happiness, but is today’s educational system taking away that pursuit from some of its students? It appears like it is especially for minority children living in urban areas, such as New York City. The inequality in the educational system has a long history, racing back to early centuries against poor, urban, immigrant children. After years of reform and improvement even in today’s society the distinction between the education that a poor child receives and the education that a child from a middle class family is clearly drawn. Horace Mann, a pioneer of the educational system once stated that education "knows no distinction of ...view middle of the document...

According to Tozer, Senese & Viola (2009), urbanization was “accompanied by a market and growing gap between rich and poor” (p.59) as the rich got richer the poor became poorer. This gap can be seen when comparing the type of education, jobs, and address between the impoverished and the wealthy middle class families. With urbanization, the poor and new immigrants were secluded into separate areas.
The population of urban eastern areas also grew with the increase of Irish immigrants, especially in urban areas such as Boston, MA. This population because of the cultural and religious differences compared to the rest of the American population didn’t have the same opportunities. Similar to minorities today, the population of Irish immigrants was poor and segregated into low-income urban areas. Tozer et al. (2009) argue that education was the “obvious answer” (p. 59) in order to create a unified society where minorities such as the Irish were included. The mission in educating the new Irish immigrants was to assure that they would follow the same values and have similar reasoning skills as Americans did (Tozer et al., 2009, p. 59). The only way of making sure that such values and reasoning were acquired was through education, by teaching them the philosophy that American’s had at that time. Education allowed Irish immigrants to become what they believed to be respectable citizens (Tozer et al., 2009, p. 61).
As the populations of immigrants increased, so did the size and diversity of classrooms. A diverse student body meant that students were not starting at the same level, special poor immigrant or urban children, the reading and writing skills ranged from student to student. A solution the Massachusetts board of education utilized was the Lancastrian System or the “Monitorial system” (Osgood, 1997, p. 379). Urban areas has large population this directly affect the size of the classrooms. Through this system the head teacher, commonly known as the master, was in charge of hundreds students and assisted by monitors in order to manage the large population of students (Osgood, 1997, p. 379). Osgood argues that the Lancastrian System was only a “practical, low-cost approach to teaching large numbers of previously unschooled children” (Osgood, 1997, p.379); even in the 19th century education was a sort last resort when it came to where money should be spent. In urban areas such as Boston and New York implemented the Lancastrian System.
The Lancastrian system eventually came to its downfall (Osgood, p. 379) because according to Osgood, “it failed to prove itself a reliable means of controlling costs and imparting instruction” (Osgood, p. 379). This system was financially rewarding, and the inability of one master reaching hundredths of students’ specific need also proves that the size of a classroom plays a significant role on the performance of its students. The Lancastrian System was not providing an appropriate learning environment for students,...

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