In the 1890s, American high schools were preparing students for the industrial economy. That is, they were teaching students how to do manual labor and how to be good employees. The American educational system does not adequately prepare children for adult roles in the new information economy. The system is designed to produce compliant students who can sit for hours at a time and regurgitate information that has been fed to them (Spring, 2019). This type of education is not conducive to the creative and innovative thinking that is necessary for the modern workplace.
In addition, the American educational system is extremely expensive and leaves many children behind. Students from low-income families are often unable to afford the cost of college education, while those from wealthy families can afford to attend the best universities. This creates a level of inequality that is not sustainable in a democracy (Boyles, 2018). The current American educational system has similarly failed in a number of ways in preparing children for their adult roles in the new information economy. One major way is by not teaching them the skills they need to be successful in this economy.
For example, many jobs in the new information economy require strong analytical and problem-solving skills, yet these are not typically emphasized in the American educational system. Additionally, the American educational system often does not provide adequate resources or support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, further perpetuating inequality in society and limiting opportunities for success later on in life (Flores, 2017). Finally, children are not taught how to effectively use technology in most schools, yet basic technology literacy is becoming increasingly important in today’s workplaces.
Boyles, D. (2018). American education and corporations: The free market goes to school. Routledge.
Flores, R. L. (2017). The rising gap between rich and poor: A look at the persistence of educational disparities in the United States and why we should worry. Cogent Social Sciences, 3(1), 1323698. Web.
Spring, J. (2019). American education. Routledge.