Exploring the Conditions & Purposes of Public Schools: Are Schools Simply Used to Create a Well-Trained or Well-Educated Workforce?

Decent Essays

What is the purpose of schools? Some would say the purpose of schools is to create a well trained workforce, others to prepare students to become democratic citizens. This essay will examine not only the current conditions of public schools, but also what their primary purpose should be.

After having read several articles on the inequalities of schools I would have to say, using Jean Anyon's terms, that the "affluent-professional" and "executive elite" truly benefit most from public schooling. In terms of social class, it's the talented tenth of society which is involved in discovery, hands on experimentation, and higher concept learning. These upper-crust schools are the ones which push intellectual reasoning, problem solving, and …show more content…

The conflict theory is another way to describe how schools are organized. The conflict theory stresses that the needs of the elite come before the needs of society. Although different groups vie for control of the educational system, and it is the elites who use the system for their own needs rather than society's. The conflict theory states the employers/elites value loyalty, compliance, and docility, over cognitive skills and credentials. Low quality schools teach curriculum which prepares students for low status jobs, and high quality schools teach curriculum which prepares students for high status jobs. The central argument here is that schools serve the needs of the capitalists/elites of society (Hurn, 62-72).

As previously mentioned, the schools, which are controlled by and serve the elites, practice teaching low quality curriculum to low income students in order to prepare them for low status, cognitively deficit jobs, and teach high quality curriculum to high income students in order to prepare them for high status, cognitive jobs. Given this information, I would have to say that unfortunately the purpose of public education today is to create a well-trained rather than well-educated workforce. Those in the highest stratosphere of society are educated in order to use reasoning and logic to adjust to changes to society and the workplace. Meanwhile the rest of society is trained for lower status jobs which leave them dependent on

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