Major Changes Throughout The History Of Education
Today’s classroom is more student-friendly than were the elementary and high schools of the past.
We tend to think of change over time as making things worse, and to idealize the past as better and simpler. That was not always the case. However, many people perceive things this way.
Instead of taking this view, we should consider the many positive changes that have occurred over the past six decades that have led to great advances in education in the United States.
One major change that must be mentioned is desegregation. Segregation in schools, or putting black students in separate schools from white students, was made illegal by the Supreme Court ruling in the Brown V. Board of Education case in 1954. Now all students, regardless of race, have the same rights and can attend the same schools.
We’ve also made progress with regards to gender inequality. It sounds bizarre to picture the American high school from the previous half-century with girls learning ‘domestic’ tasks in Home Ec and boys learning woodworking or auto shop.
Girls used to be discouraged academically and discouraged from taking higher level math and science. Teachers and administrators would go so far as to tell them that they could not handle difficult coursework. We don’t treat girls this way anymore.
We also finally acknowledge that there are different learning styles. There are different ways that people learn; not everyone learns equally well from the same type of instruction. This sounds like common sense, but for a long time we did not recognize this.
Teachers now also make a more competitive wage. It used to mean a lifetime of scanty paychecks if you wanted to teach. Now, we recognize that teachers are hardworking professionals who deserve a livable wage.