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What is EDUCATION REFORM? What does EDUCATION REFORM mean? EDUCATION REFORM meaning – EDUCATION REFORM definition – EDUCATION REFORM explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
Education reform is the name given to the goal of changing public education. Historically, reforms have taken different forms because the motivations of reformers have differed. However, since the 1980s, education reform has been focused on changing the existing system from one focused on inputs to one focused on outputs (i.e., student achievement). In the United States, education reform acknowledges and encourages public education as the primary source of K-12 education for American youth. Education reformers desire to make public education into a market (in the form of an input-output system), where accountability creates high-stakes from curriculum standards tied to standardized tests. As a result of this input-output system, equality has been conceptualized as an end point, which is often evidenced by an achievement gap among diverse populations. This conceptualization of education reform is based on the market-logic of competition. As a consequence, competition creates inequality which has continued to drive the market-logic of equality at an end point by reproduce the achievement gap among diverse youth. Overall, education reform has and continues to be used as a substitute for needed economic reforms in the United States.
The one constant for all forms of education reform includes the idea that small changes in education will have large social returns in citizen health, wealth and well-being. For example, a stated motivation has been to reduce cost to students and society. From ancient times until the 1800s, one goal was to reduce the expense of a classical education. Ideally, classical education is undertaken with a highly educated full-time (extremely expensive) personal tutor. Historically, this was available only to the most wealthy. Encyclopedias, public libraries and grammar schools are examples of innovations intended to lower the cost of a classical education.
Related reforms attempted to develop similar classical results by concentrating on “why”, and “which” questions neglected by classical education. Abstract, introspective answers to these questions can theoretically compress large amounts of facts into relatively few principles. This path was taken by some Transcendentalist educators, such as Amos Bronson Alcott. In the early modern age, Victorian schools were reformed to teach commercially useful topics, such as modern languages and mathematics, rather than classical subjects, such as Latin and Greek.
Many reformers focused on reforming society by reforming education on more scientific, humanistic, pragmatic or democratic principles. John Dewey and Anton Makarenko are prominent examples of such reformers. Some reformers incorporated several motivations, e.g. Maria Montessori, who both “educated for peace” (a social goal), and to “meet the needs of the child” (A humanistic goal). In historic Prussia, an important motivation for the invention of Kindergarten was to foster national unity by teaching a national language while children were young enough that learning a language was easy.
Reform has taken many forms and directions. Throughout history and the present day, the meaning and methods of education have changed through debates over what content or experiences result in an educated individual or an educated society. Changes may be implemented by individual educators and/or by broad-based school organization and/or by curriculum changes with performance evaluations.