The Heart of Schooling
Education in the United States dates back to the early 1600’s, during the colonial era. These first schools focused mainly on literacy, so that the students would be able to read the bible. As the school systems developed, the primary focus of schooling became reading, writing, and arithmetic. Secondary schooling was optional and in the beginning was usually dominated by males. Many thought that is was unnecessary for women to attend college at the time, because it was normal for males to work while women stayed at home and cared for the residence and children. In the past, education was meant to provide a basic foundation of knowledge for children and young adults. Today, it has the same purpose but involves so much more than just teaching facts to children. Schooling today has a larger purpose that teachers are responsible for fulfilling and, in turn, this can continue or transform the existing order.
So, what is the purpose of schooling the United States? Schooling should provide knowledge to those who want to receive it. This knowledge should be readily available for everyone no matter what race, gender, or ideology. All education should be affordable and attainable in convenient ways, but there are also other things that schools should focus on. A good education should not just include facts about history, math, and science, but also things that each student can apply to their lives.
John Miller states that we live in a fragmented world that needs to be balanced in the educational setting, “Holistic education attempts to bring education into alignment with the fundamental realities of nature.” (Miller, 2007) There is a need for balance between the problems outside and inside the classroom. This balance may come from things such as inclusion and connection from student to student or student to teacher. It is the educator’s, as well as the school’s, job to strive for this balance as best it can.