Democracy and Education in the United States
This course examines the historical development of public education in the US. After briefly studying the philosophical underpinnings of U.S. education policy, the course will study three critical junctures in U.S. education policy development: 1. Colonial era; 2. Passage of compulsory school attendance legislation, late 19th early 20th century; 3. Post 1965 (ESEA) and the school reform movement. The course will ask the following questions: What are the goals of public education in a democracy? Is it necessary that citizens be equally educated for a political system to remain democratic? How is equality evaluated and maintained in a federal system as vast and diverse as the US? How do the different political cultures in the U.S., if we agree different political cultures exist, respond to a system of universal, publically financed education?