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The Role of Education in the Development of the Country

USA education essay

June 8, 2018

It is widely acknowledged that education plays an indispensable role in the life of every person. Apparently, this particular acknowledgement can be explained by the assumption that educated people tend to be self-reliable and possess a certain level of independence. However, it is not limited to the contribution to personal achievements and growth, as education is a factor that mainly determines and improves people’s role in the society. Interestingly, a tremendous amount of research is dedicated to the matter of education’s impact on the development of the country in its broad meaning. It is reasonable to consider education in the context of its implications for the development of the country. Specifically, while revealing tangible relations with science and its products, education fully mirrors the state of the economy, democracy, health issues, stability, and social development. Thus, the peculiarities of American education profoundly determine and foster the development of the United States due to the power that education possesses in terms of its circle of influence.

Influence of Education  on the Development of the United States

It is crucial to admit that there exist different perspectives on the perception of the relationships between education and the development of the country. Hereby, some of them show the negative side of the matter, concentrating on the marketization of education and the loss of educational meaning for the sake of the individual and intellectual development. However, the notion of education and its influence on the development of the United States may be seen in the light of positive outcomes that are generated with the help of education and are manifested in economic stability, the improvement in health rates and the increasing development of the IT sphere.

Evidently, the direct purpose of education and its main objective is to insure employment assistance that would lead to the acquisition of a sufficient amount of resources imperative for a living. However, this view is relevant from the perspective of an ordinary person who is interested in their future and wants to live a better life. Before explaining the main links that exist within the frames of education and the country’s development, it is important to shed light on the peculiarities of American education, its main weaknesses and accomplishments. Seemingly, education in the context of development as such originates from the social development of children. The research shows that preschool age is a compelling factor in social development. However, schools are also contributors to the formation of critical thinking.

Quality of education is one of the key concepts that should be discussed in the research concerning its influence on the development of the country. Taking into account the United States, one should focus on secondary and higher education and delineate its main features in with regard to the development of individuals and their intellectual abilities. It is undoubtedly reasonable to take a stance on the fact that quality of education is central in the economic growth, stability and democracy. There is a heated debate concerning the status of the American school. The matter is that it has an obvious influence on the people’s conception of the world, convictions, and further actions. As compulsory education starts at school, it is important to consider its indispensable role in the children’s development. The American school became an object of the modern research due to various problems that affect it. Although schools may preserve the educational function, they stimulate a particular code of behavior or social role; thus, they preclude critical thinking and self-determination of children. To put it plainly, the main drawbacks of school education lies in imposing a regime that destroys children’s self-determination and critical thinking.

Concerning the current state of education in America, it is affected by various problems. Michael Moore and John Taylor Gatto study these issues and disapprove of American education in terms of its endless failures and intentions to trigger the particular consequences. Michael Moore, who is rather notable for harsh criticism, does not disguise his attitude toward schools and schooling in general. In fact, he describes the current state of American education as a menace to modern society, which he calls an idiot nation. Thus, it concerns the fact that education bureaucrats and political leaders do nothing in order to improve the process of studying, causing the general decline of the educational system.

Another evident problem concerns marketing, as schools have become its main target. In fact, it means that big companies sponsor educational materials in exchange for the consumption of their products, which usually cause different health problems. Companies also conduct market research in the classrooms during school hours and provide children with different types of advertising instead of allowing them to focus on studying.

Children, as they go to school, have their own expectations concerning the environment that stimulates thought and speech. Nevertheless, they are forced into the educational routines that cause boredom and kill inspiration. Therefore, even teachers have become the experts in prolixity, as they are also the products of the same mandatory school programs that annoy their students. Recently, the question of whether there is a way out has become burning. Teachers should bring reality to the classroom and encourage children toward discovering in the processes that are not dull but interesting and fascinating.

Children learn to submerge their individualities

According to Mencken H. L., an influential American journalist, the aim of schools in the US is to reduce as much individuality as possible and form a standardized society. John Taylor Gatto also pays special attention to the educational downside of schools. Apparently, he makes a distinction between education and schooling; thus, the latter one tends to have non-educational purpose and is not considered education at all. As a matter of fact, Gatto compares schooling to the military state of Prussia and claims that the educational system has been intentionally designed to produce mediocre intellects and hamstring the inner life of students. Moreover, children seem to be divided by subject, age-grading, as well as different ranking tests. According to Gatto, the real aim of modern schooling is to preserve some functions such as adaptive, diagnostic, integrating, differentiating, selective, directive, and propaedeutic one. In turn, they relate to the development of fixed habits of reaction to authority, making children as alike as possible, determining social role of the students, sorting them by role, and training them. Therefore, it is the obvious aim of compulsory education or schooling.

Gatto argues that compulsory schooling can effectively prevent students from becoming independent thinkers. Nonetheless, he provides a sober look at the point, which means that the author is impartial with regard to the deteriorating processes in American education and believes that all people are to be blamed. In some cases, he is hesitant about his own speculations concerning the root of the problem, but he believes that schools coin their long-term and cellblock position. On the contrary, Michael Moore blames the authorities. There is also a popular thought or general idea about the worthlessness of the compulsory public school education because of the many conflicts that exist there. It is not a secret that some famous people such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Benjamin Franklin as well as some of the popular writers, namely Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad, and Will Durant, never graduated from school.

Although American education fails in certain fields, there are some advantages concerning the fact that it is praised and accepted by other countries:

  • Firstly, the U.S. education has the trademark of freedom that means that it provides students with an opportunity to make decisions about what courses to attend or choices to make. In such a manner, students follow their own ways of learning the material.
  • Secondly, many private schools provide children with quality education and comfortable conditions for studying. Finally, the obvious advantage of American education relates to the standardized testing that is fair evaluation of the students’ knowledge.

Bearing in mind the previous points, one should take into account the fact that schooling in the United States precludes critical thinking and may even ruin people’s ability to become independent thinkers. Therefore, this matter in education’s relation to the development of the country is controversial to some extent due to the fact that schools present the rudimentary stages in the development of the country. Although these initial stages do not preserve the highest level of importance, they affect the public spirit of the country that strongly relates to the country’s development. Lack of critical thinking and optimism at schools usually bring the economies to the crisis. If we look at the economic-financial crisis from a long-term perspective, we are surely driven to the conclusion that it has resulted from a decline in both the fecundity and the morality of the human element in economics. The above-mentioned Ormell’s speculations stimulate the reader to think about the issues of public spirit and its influence on the country.

There is no doubt about the assumption that higher education in American universities is of utmost importance because of its visible and direct links with the development of the country. Education in the United States is the prevailing factor that determines the status of medicine and technological advances characterized by a high level of distribution and application. In fact, these particular American accomplishments are the products of education that contribute to the development of the country. The quality of medicine is a vivid example of the educational attainment that affects economic growth and leads to the improved health. In this context, it is necessary to mention the informatization processes that indirectly act on the development of the United States.

The matter is that teachers use a tremendous variety of technological advances to educate students. However, the turning point in this particular issue concerns the fact that the high level of technology is attributed to the achievements of education. The most significant aspect in this context is the fact that American universities use a tremendous amount of resources that are beneficial for the development of education itself. Therefore, it is obvious that the main advantage of American education is the exposure to knowledge-sharing processes. According to Paunica, “Knowledge sharing is a challenging and important concept in higher learning institutions, and a significant ingredient for mutual learning and intellectual development of students” (415). With regard to knowledge-sharing, one may find the development of the competitive advantages that increase the belief in the assumption that the development of the country is actually influenced by the capacity of educational institutions to maintain the competitive environment.

However, the above-mentioned points are relevant when it comes to discussing internal peculiarities of education that have an indirect impact on the development of the country. It is reasonable to focus on the financial aspects of the interconnection that exists between education and the development of the country. For example, Rob Bencini considers this matter in the light of historical peculiarities of the United States. The author suggests that the fees that exist within the frames of higher education play indispensable role in the economy. The trend that certified the influence of education on the development of the country was “the rapidly escalating cost of college education”. Thus, Bencini reaches the conclusion that education is one of the main factors that mobilize economy.

It is a hackneyed truth that nowadays education’s central aim is to stimulate the economic progress. Education is considered to be a tool that would improve economic performance of the country. Interestingly, this matter is a double-edged sword due to the fact that education possesses positive as well as negative sides in general. Hereby, these sides may be explained respectively by taking into account the education’s long-term orientation on the economic stability and the disdain for individual intellectual abilities. Thus, one may encounter the disregard of personal achievements and development for the sake of the country’s economy. Nowadays the educational expansion is viewed by policymakers as the way to provide ample returns for the economy of the country. According to Gilead, “For individuals, the potential benefits lie in general quality of life and in the economic returns of sustained, satisfying employment”. Even though the notions of economic progress and education are interconnected, both of them possess different objectives, meanings, and directions for human capital in the context of education.

The tangible links between the economic growth and education may be discussed on the basis of the marketization of education that has already been mentioned above in the context of schooling. Natale and Dorna lay emphasis on this particular matter in the light of a contemporary face of education. The matter is that marketization is concerned with the reduction of colleges and universities to business that contributes to the economic growth of the United States. The authors of the article try to get a response to the following:

A question central to the education debate […] is whether education is still a public good or whether it contributes to the development of society as opposed to the development of individuals. Today education is viewed as a marketable commodity.

The controversial issue presented in the above-mentioned lines concerns the entire transformation of the function of higher education in the United States. Thus, it is due to the visions that the leaders of institutions possess concerning the corporate meaning of higher education.

The positive outcomes with regard to the development of the economy that education in the United States preserves concern the educational maintenance of the international cooperation of the United States with Asian and European countries in general. Different educational programs that aim for the integration of students all over the world insure the cooperation between the countries and form certain relationships. Thus, education is still considered as one of the tools that insure the development of the economy. However, the still missing and crucial point in the controversy of education and country development relates to the education’s influence and meaning in medical research. According to Friedman et al., with the help of medical education quality and quantity, people attain the improved societal health. The authors admit that “Adequate quality and relevance have been identified as important outcomes for not only education but also health care”. Therefore, the quality of medical education in the United States is one of the main factors that foster the country’s development. The reason is that improved health is directly connected with the educational value that originates from methods of teaching, pedagogies, and curricula, among others.

It is also important to mention the education’s influence on the American culture. In this context, it seems wise to enlarge upon the special educational issues that raise the public spirit, thereby insuring diversity in the American society. The topicality of this issue in the context of the country’s development is in the care that education provides for the disabled students. Apparently, this care of teaching certainly means that education is affecting individuals that form the culture itself. It is widely acknowledged that special education faces an insurmountable degree of challenges due to the fact that the number of students with disabilities is growing every day. Seemingly, teachers who cope with special education issues are in charge of employing special methodologies that would provide the disabled students with the sufficient amount of opportunities to process the information. It can be easily assumed that special education issues are closely connected with the elaboration of new teaching methods and techniques that insure the effective outcomes of learning from the perspective of the disabled people.

Special education has gained an increasing amount of attention from the governments worldwide due to the fact that it handles students that have deviations from the normal standards of living. Earlier, educational curriculum failed to provide disabled students with special education, excluding them from public education and placing them in segregated environments, thereby creating challenges for the parents of the disabled. Afterward, ethical and educational issues were addressed simultaneously by the elaboration of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that was characterized by the status of a legislation that provided disabled students with non-restrictive environments in public school settings. Interestingly, in the United States of America, the development of special education was characterized by the transition from social reforms to technical management in the context of specific legislation issues. Nowadays special education may be defined as a type of improved education that meets the unique needs of children with disabilities.

Apart from special education issues, it is crucial to shed light on the reflection of democracy in American education. It is not a secret that American education provides students with freedom of choice in their studies. The matter is that education peculiar to this country is displayed in a tremendous variety of options that will insure future employment of the student. Not surprisingly, by managing to fulfill this particular task, education in the United States insures the understanding of democracy and its manifestation in the daily life of every person.

To summarize the foregoing, there are different perspectives on the issues of educational impact on the development of the country. This essay reviews the credible literature in order to delineate the direct and indirect influence of teaching methods and pedagogies on the development of the United States. It is undoubtedly true that this particular matter is controversial due to the fact that economic progress and education are at the crossroads of objectives. Although economic progress is based on education, the main objective of education is not to insure the aforementioned progress but to guarantee the individual development for every person and insure future employment. Unfortunately, nowadays education is on the verge of transformation as its objectives have shifted due to the marketization and its business nature. Still, education in the United States has the positive outcomes to the culture that manifest themselves in the care for disabled students.

Works Cited

Bencini, Rob. “Educating the Future: The End of Mediocrity.” Engaged Reader: Issues & Conversations for Composition (Ed. Csu). Cincinnati: Van-Griner Publishing. 189-196. Print.

Friedman, Stacey R., Lawrence C. Loh, and William P. Burdick. “Educator Perceptions of the Relationship between Education Innovations and Improved Health.” Medical Teacher 35.4 (2013): 1060-1067. Print.

Gatto, John Taylor. “Against School.” Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 2013. 153-161. Print.

Gilead, Tal. “Education and the Logic of Economic Progress.” Journal of Philosophy of Education 46.1 (2012): 113-131.Print.

Moore, Michael. “Idiot Nation.” Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 2013. 132-153. Print.

Natale, Samuel M. and Caroline Doran. “Marketization of Education: An Ethical Dilemma.” Engaged Reader: Issues & Conversations For Composition (Ed. Csu). Cincinnati: Van-Griner Publishing. 143-158. Print.

Ormell, Chris. “The Economy and Education.” Prospero 18.3 (2012): 14-24.

Paunica, Mihal. “The Role of Higher Education in a Dynamic Knowledge-Driven Economy.” Economics, Management & Financial Markets 6.1 (2011): 421-426.