American public education has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past several hundred years. This transformation not only includes technology and appearance, but diversity and policies as well. However, an age-old question is still being pondered today. What is the purpose of American public education? Although you may have your own answer for this question; not everyone may agree with you. This is where the problem resides. How can one purpose be suitable for everybody? The point of this paper is to informatively examine and explain the purpose of American public education through different perspectives.
One noteworthy viewpoint is that the purpose of public education should be to uphold and protect the stability of democracy. Diane Ravitch, an educational historian, clearly explains this idea in her article titled “Education and Democracy: The United States of America as a Historical Case Study.” Ravitch expresses that public education is the key to the lock that represents democracy, and that schools must educate children to protect its existence. In fact, Ravitch states that “the best protection for a democratic society remains well-educated citizens” (2008, p. 56). The purpose for public education to sustain democracy is definitely not a new idea, nor was it introduced by Ravitch. In reality, many influential people such as Thomas Jefferson and Noah Webster believed that education played a major role in a democracy. This is because a democracy is a type of government that relies heavily on its citizens, and so it’s very important that these citizens are educated and ready to handle any contribution for the progression of the state. This type of perspective...
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Alaska Department of Education & Early Development. (2010). About EED. Retrieved from http://www.eed.state.ak.us/about.html
Brighouse, H. (2008). Education for a flourishing life. In G. Fenstermacher, D. Coulter, & J. R. Wiens (Eds.), The National Society for the Study of Education: Vol. 107. Why do we educate? Voices from the conversation (pp. 58-71). doi:10.1002/9781444307214.ch4
U.S. Department of Education. (n.d.). What we do. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/what-we-do.html
Ravitch, D. (2008). Education and democracy: The United States of America as a historical case study. In G. Fenstermacher, D. Coulter, & J. R. Wiens (Eds.), The National Society for the Study of Education: Vol. 107. Why do we educate? Voices from the conversation (pp. 42-57). doi:10.1002/9781444307214.ch3
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