PART 1

When trying to decide which Educational Goal is more prevalent in schools today, I had a very difficult time. Am I more passionate about the success of my students to achieve their dreams or about the effect that the success of my students has on society?  It’s a very fine line and extremely hard for me to pick a side… However, if I am staying true to myself and to the type of educator I want to be, I would have to say that Social Efficiency needs to be a main priority in our educational system.

I believe that Democratic Equality and Social Mobility are important components of American society and should be considered in our Educational system but I also think that ensuring Social Efficiency in our society calls for a great deal of involvement from our schools. This involvement is why I feel that Social Efficiency takes priority. In order to function as a Society that ensures Democratic Equality and allows Social Mobility, we need to find the best way to operate with Social Efficiency. I look at Democratic Equality and Social Mobility as the ultimate goal in American Society and Social Efficiency is what gets us there. This is where the educational system comes in– The idea is that (through Social Efficiency) schools supply “…workers with skills that will enhance their productivity and therefor promote economic growth. This logic… argues that support for education is not just a matter of moral or political correctness but a matter of good economic sense” (Labaree 11).

When I was in AmeriCorps NCCC, I learned a lot about adjusting to the needs of the community around me. It wasn’t necessarily tasks that challenged me mentally or were things that I would normally participate in but I felt nothing but pride in my accomplishments because they connected me with my community. I think that it’s important to incorporate that idea into our curriculum. As educators, we can develop a plan of work for the students that ensures student’s understanding of society’s needs, or one that gets them more involved in their community. I think having passion is important and I think it’s lucky to have a profession that you’re passionate about in today’s society. However, I think it’s more important to consider the needs of our community before the needs of individuals. As a structure, we should focus on society. As individuals, the students decide how they will impact society. As educators, the goal is to provide the students with the knowledge they need to be successful in today’s world.

“While the goal of democratic equality promotes schools that prepare students for the full range of political and social roles in the community, the social efficiency goal promotes a structure of schooling that limits these possibilities in the name of economic necessity…” (Labaree 13) but I think it’s important to remember that “from the social efficiency perspective, society counts on schools to provide the human capital it needs to enhance productivity in all phases of economic life, which means that schools must assure that everyone engages in serious learning” (Labaree 13). This is why I feel that Social Efficiency is key to developing a society that ensures democratic equality and allows social mobility– It will give students the motivation to play a positive role in society and make them feel like they’re contribute to something meaningful.

 

PART 2

I don’t think that PCBE should be the base of our educational system. I think it should be something that is factored in when necessary. Our book even says that PCBE should not be  “imposed on teachers” and that it, even done properly, “will not necessarily reach everyone” (127). PCBE should be something that teachers use to expand to the curriculum in place. Educators need to understand that this aspect is included in the job description. That way, everyone gets a unique educational experience but they’re also equipped with the (standard) knowledge to be successful in today’s society.

This means that PCBE should not hinder our academic achievement. Rather, it should improve it. It should also not have an effect on standardized testing. By standard we should think of it more as a foundation. Yes, your students should know these things that they’re being tested on. Everyone should have this basic and standard knowledge. But it doesn’t stop there! It’s up the educators to build from that foundation. This is where PCBE comes in; teachers should feel obligated to give their students the foundation and build off of it using PCBE. “Mastery of the ability to read, write, and speak, to use mathematics, and to have in one’s possession the cultural knowledge required to become employed and be viewed as competent are without question essential outcomes of schooling. But these outcomes should be viewed as a baseline rather than apex of educational goals” (100).

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