Kenitra - The American educational system responded thoroughly and effectively to the 1995 UNESCO report’s recommendations that highlighted three main goals that most effectively identified agents for learning: “Learning to know, learning to work and learning to co-exist.”
Kenitra – The American educational system responded thoroughly and effectively to the 1995 UNESCO report’s recommendations that highlighted three main goals that most effectively identified agents for learning: “Learning to know, learning to work and learning to co-exist.”
America was also receptive to the 2000 World Education Report The Right to Education: Towards Education for all Throughout Life that states that, “every person – child, youth and adult – shall be able to benefit from educational opportunities designed to meet their basic learning needs…to be able to survive, to develop their full capacities, to live and work in dignity, to participate fully in development, to improve the quality of their lives, to make informed decisions, and to continue learning.”
Their response fits in with an academic philosophy that envisions the ultimate goal of learning as converting the American learner into, “an educated liberal adult who has the skills and the knowledge needed to compete and who knows his or her rights and responsibilities.”
To reach these objectives, American educational reform concentrated on three major domains: the value of decentralization, the flexibility and suppleness and most importantly the diversification of the educational product so it can be relevant to both individuals and society at large.
The American schooling system’s absolute belief in a sustainable and comprehensive educational reform makes it a source of productivity; it critically considers the changing social, political, cultural and economic structures in the nation. It also highly values individual contribution, be it from teachers, students, administration, parents, community members, civil society activists or businessmen. It’s possible for everyone to have a role and to share responsibility for the success or failure of their schooling system.
The system is constantly subjected to moderation and modification so that it can respond more effectively to American students’ need for a high-quality academic formula as well as the constantly changing market demands in both the United States and the world. This explains the government’s significantly effective awareness of minute detail in a massively complex structure. American professor and novelist David Foster Wallace believes this awareness to be, “What is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over.” Of course, we should keep doing so! Teaching and learning are not merely technical academic practices. Teaching and learning are experiences where we should work on the best possible combination of what is purely professional and what is personal, and most importantly,of what is essentially clear and what is hidden…
For the United States, “To compete for the prosperity and welfare of their citizens in a knowledge-driven global economy,” it should invest heavily in academic research. Chad Holiday, the Chairman of the Board of Bank of America, explains in a National Research Council report on research universities and the future of America that, “One of the things that’s important for any economy, for any society, is constant renewal. And one of the engines of renewal, the prime engine of renewal and of our economy, is our national research institutions.”
Research that is highly intensive and academic covers every aspect of the schooling structure: the school’s mission, vision, climate and curricula as well as it’s philosophy of learning, teaching styles, learning styles, special education, motivation and rewards, work ethics, codes of conduct, accountability, instruction, management, supervision, staff training, staff development, human resources, parental engagement, community involvement, partnership, communication, measures of assessment, outcomes and extra-curricular activities among others.
Theoretically and practically, the field of education is interdisciplinary in nature as are its constituents. It is interconnected to fields of economics, geopolitics, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history, journalism and media among others. Of course, this is in no way unique to education because all fields at the highest-level of professionalism will intersect with another domain. What matters most is our ability to account for this interdisciplinary nature and interconnections in planning and forming our educational systems.
The United States has struggled since the nineteen-sixties to remodel its educational philosophy and reform its schooling disciplines. Their main purpose should be to ensure quality, productivity and growth in a way that guarantees global leadership.
American policymakers are struggling to overcome the fear and concern raised by many academic reports, such as David Pierpont Gardner’s A Nation at Risk: the Need for Educational Reform, on the decline of the value and effectiveness of the American schooling system and its alarmingly limited competitiveness.
Fear and concern that have marked many of Barack Obama’s State of the Union addresses have been previously expressed throughout his presidency. In 2011, Obama introduced, “The controversial proposal to require that children stay in school until they turn 18 or graduate.” In the same year, amid protests by Wisconsin teachers, the president, “Demanded respect for teachers by invoking South Korea, where teachers are known as nation builders.” In 2012 Obama again chose to evoke a comparison of the American education system to a successful model in a foreign country in order to highlight its insufficiencies. He said, “The US should look to countries like Germany, [who] focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges.” With such a huge problem, what can we do to fix it? And how should we do it?
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