Educating the Youth About Civic Responsibility’s – What Happened?

The different ways to determine the resistance of today’s youth to engage in civil service compared with youth of the past. The youth of the past primarily followed what their family members did. The youth of today is comprised of different attitudes and goals that don’t mirror the same ideology of the past. Political engagement has fallen and voting involvement has been on a sharp decline. The blame is towards older adults who have failed in their responsibility to transmit workable civic norms, to provide practical contexts in which young people can develop civic knowledge, dispositions and skills. The involvement of the youth tin civic engagement would allow them to have their voice heard over the older voices who may not share the same interests.

Political engagement helps develop a feeling of involvement in one’s society. A skill that can be developed to work with others towards goods that can only be obtained or created through collective action, and the powers of sympathetic understanding needed to build bridges. The classroom becomes the arena where the introduction to civil engagement becomes important. The National Assessment of Educational Progress which determines the civic knowledge of young adults. Unfortunately, the youth scored way below the normal standards. Bringing attention to the formal education administered in schools needs to include more civil knowledge. The study also determined the social studies and history teachers who teach civics classes are not properly prepared tot each these courses.

How do you promote the acquisition of civil skills? Galston suggests make public speaking a requirement. Student government participation is invaluable and program involvement in civic organizations. The next is the promotion of civic virtues. This leads to making them feel like citizens of their school community and believer in equal opportunity. Civic engagement offers the chance to all ethnic groups to develop a link between their culture and the government, creating a better understanding.

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Educational Innovation and Economic Stimulus

The U.S. Department of Education’s 2010 fiscal year budget of $47.6 billion includes an allocation of $517 million dedicated to the Teacher Incentive Fund which rewards principals, teachers, and other school personnel who raise student achievement, close achievement gaps and work hard to staff schools.

School districts across the country will be competing for the billions of dollars on the line. They will showcase their great schools, exemplary teachers and innovative ideas. There’s no doubt that the stimulus money will be a boon for school reform. For years, school districts have shown that they have innovative ideas, but without proper funding those ideas never come to fruition.

Innovation and change should be energized with both an incentive and reward to replenish resources of ingenuity, commitment, and creativity. Only in public education is going the extra mile a donation expected of the dedicated few.

It is empowering to be recognized for turning gang infested schools from the strong hold of the socially impaired to havens where students can remediate themselves to academic achievement. Yes, placards and pats on the back feel good; but, they don’t buy anything. Why are educators the only missionaries who trek the roadways of the under-achievers –prodding them to the higher places with maybe a brief notation in the annual assessment of their deeds and misdeeds in the educational workplace?

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Obama Education Speech Sparks Controversy

On September 8 2009, President Obama gave a motivational speech to school children. His basic message was to encourage kids to stay in school, study hard and never give up on achieving their goals.

So why has this speech stirred up controversy?

In all likelihood, political conservatives simply wish to disregard and criticize all that Obama does. This is basic politics.

But we need to look past the politics and study what this message is all about – because it is an important one.

Work Hard to Get Somewhere

The basic message that Obama wants to get across is that if you want to be successful, earn good money and have a fulfilling life, then doing well in school and then taking on higher education is the way to go. This also contributes to the American economy and to innovation in the country and the world.

One 11 year old summed it up very well. She took a positive message from the Obama educational speech. This is what Claire O’Donnell had to say (sourced from the BBC):

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Divergent Philosophies Of Founding Fathers On Education

“EDUCATION MEANS DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE…” Its specific purpose was controversial then as it is clouded now. Everyone agreed, in general, that it would so some good. When the Colony of Massachusetts enacted the Compulsory Education Law in 1642, it was to prevent the young from degenerating into savagery. In other words, it was to preserve civilization and to prepare for the unexpected (Perkinson, 1991). Two hundreds fifty years later, American sociologist Edward Ross concurred that education was an expensive form of police, (Joel Spring, 1989).

The configuration of education had changed as the nation proclaimed its independence in 1776. Political figures and slave owners converged to draw and impose a blueprint supported by the economic and political infrastructures at that time. That is why Ira Shor and Paolo Freire (1987) complained that schools are set up to market official ideas and not to develop critical thinking. In fact, the Bill of General Diffusion of Knowledge introduced by Jefferson in 1779 proposed a three-year free education for all children wherein the most talented (the presumed future leaders) would be selected for further education at public expense (Spring, 1989).

Horace Mann, who has been hailed by many as the father of American education, objected to Jefferson’s idea for fear of creating and nurturing an aristocracy to the demise of the rest of society. Instead, Mann thought of a “Common School for All” that would teach the basic principles of a Republican form of government (Spring, 1989). Unfortunately, Mann’s dream that was more democratic than Jefferson’s was never materialized due to colliding societal interests, namely religion, slavery, and class.

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HAITI – Creole, Literacy, and Education

The question as to which language or languages to use in educating the children of Haiti and in adult literacy programs, which are organized by both government and voluntary organizations in Haiti, has generated a lot of debate among educationists and the Haitian public at large. Two languages are spoken in Haiti, Creole and French. Creole is the most universally spoken language in Haiti, accounting for over ninety percent of native monolingual speakers; whereas French language has for the past two centuries enjoyed the pride of place as the country’s sole medium of official government and business transactions as well as the language of education. To understand the position of the various parties to this debate, we have to go back to the evolution of language and education in Haiti since its independence from France on January 1, 1804.

Post Independence Haiti Haiti transformed itself from a slave colony of France to a full fledged self-governing and independent entity through sustained armed struggle and war between the French slave owners and their enslaved African fellow human beings. The revolutionary war was long, bitter, but sustained by the grim determination of the enslaved Africans to break the yoke of French enslavement from their necks or otherwise die in the attempt. When the white French were finally expelled from Haiti, their language remained as the means of official communication in all government and business transactions. The place of preeminence and influence vacated by the departing French was taken over by their mulatto offspring, who then occupied the elite upper class of the emergent Haitian society.

The unique position of the half-French and half-African mulattoes, as heirs to their departing French fathers, gave them the economic and political clout to call the shots in all aspects of Haitian public and educational life. This they did by entrenching the continued use of the French language in all official government business, as well as making French the only language of educational instruction. The vast majority of Haitians could neither speak nor write in French. This majority was consisted mostly of the Afro-Haitians, who were uneducated, and thus could not in any way contributed to the national discourse; whereas they constituted over ninety percent of the total Haitian population. The Afro-Haitians spoke only Creole, which until recently, was not recognized as an official language in Haiti.

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