Implication of Changing Social Values of American Education


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Implication of Changing Social Values of American Education

As education does not occur in a vacuum, it is affected by the problems that afflict the society outside the confines on school. These problems in turn are manifested in students’ behavior, as they are a reflection of their upbringing. The decline in the standard of education can be attributed to the curriculum core focus on cognitive learning. Though this is not inherently detrimental, the sidelining of other aspects such as ethical, social, and physical growth has had negative repercussions. The social issues do not selectively affect students rather they also determine the teachers’ attitudes. As society is dynamic, its accompanying issues also change. In order to adapt to the ever-changing social climate, the education system must broaden its scope to focus on the events occurring in society. The current issues that are relevant to the education system are vast ranging from exacerbated indiscipline, socioeconomic inequities, race, ethnicity, and poor parenting. It follows that dealing with societal problems will help remedy the declining education standards in the United States of America.

Students are being exposed to increasingly violent society. They imitate the behavior hence their aggressive demeanor. Due to the increased terrorist threats, people have acquired firearms, which have led to an increase in crime. Similarly, there has been an increase in incidents of indiscipline in schools. These cases often degenerate into violence as that is the way society has taught them to resolve problems (Bentley, 2012). Students in kindergarten can access their parents’ guns and come with them to school. Violence is no longer the reserve of inner-city schools as it is rampant even in small town schools in Oregon to Kentucky. School administrations have put in place measures to stymie this undesirable behavior. Public schools have adopted the use of uniform to standardize the students. Gangs usually have clothes and markings that identify their affiliations. When the students do not perceive their comrades as enemies, they have no cause to fight. Similarly, uniforms hide socio-economic disparities, as they are cheaper than designer wear or standard school clothes. Violence has been claimed to sprout from insecurity and the perpetrators are often strangers. As such, campuses require every individual within their premises to wear identification tags. When the menace stems from the students that is possession of firearms, metal detectors in tandem with random searches help prevent any negative outcome. A more effective strategy is incorporation of conflict resolution and anger management into the curriculum.

The social economic disparities, racial discrimination prevalent society has tangible consequences to the quality of education students receive. Naturally, the wealthy acknowledge education as a wise investment. Their children go to the best schools with private tutors on the side. Children coming from poor backgrounds do not have this luxury. The government, the custodian of parity, funds institutions unequally corresponding to the value of the surrounding real estate (Shor, 2012). Therefore, families that can already afford private schools are accorded access to the best public schools. Conversely, underprivileged students have deficits from the onset of their education, which affect their performance. The poor communities, which are predominantly non-white, live in deplorable neighborhoods. Consequently, their schools are underfinanced. Teachers are also propagators of discrimination as they focus on students capable on giving rewards. Unlike 50 years ago, discrimination based on race is not overt rather it is institutionalized. In order to resolve this social issue, a number of strategies have been implemented. A busing programme that ferries students away from their neighborhood in a bid to desegregate education has been enacted. Students are to be taught in their first language to simplify comprehension. The analogies used in explanation of complex concepts should be derived from generalities as opposed to specializing on events of a particular social class. Technology advancements should be leveraged to share resources to various schools reducing disparities. Owing to the diversity inherent in the US, a multicultural approach to education must be adopted.

The poor upbringing of children adversely affects their performance. In the past, the society had a high regard for family values. The said values have been ever declining owing to the increased rate of divorces (Knight, 2013). Majority of students grow up in broken families as such they are emotionally unstable. Parental responsibility has decreased as few of these guardiants subscribe to religions that require them to uphold this mandate. Even when both parents are present, they are both working, as home making is no longer valued. There is an increase in teenage pregnancies. It follows that the mothers are not mature enough to instill the necessary values into their new family. Children who lack role models or have passive guardians grow up to be dysfunctional. Their learning capability is skewed. When they reach their teenage years, pent up frustrations are unleashed by engaging in rebellious activities such as drugs. It follows that teachers should bridge the gap by being role models to their students and taking a personal interest in their lives. Counseling sessions are recommended to assist the students. A nation wide debate on family values ought to be initiated.



Bentley, T. (2012). Learning beyond the classroom: Education for a changing world. Routledge.Print.

Knight, D. (2013). Essays in Parenting and Education. Booktango. Print.

Shor, I. (2012). Empowering education: Critical teaching for social change. University of Chicago Press. Print.


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