Education 355 – 001
February 1, 2011
School in American Culture
By: Margaret Mead
In Margaret Mead’s article she discussed three different types of schools. The schools were categorized to her as, little red school, the academy, and the city school.
The little red school which she says still exists today but only in backward and forgotten areas of the country. Mead went in to discuss that the little red school was a symbol of stable, democratic, slow changing, real American world. Usually in this school the grades were mixed. What I did not like about this type of schooling, was the curriculum. It was community controlled, therefore whatever the community said it had to go. I do not believe the students had a say in their education. The little red school had the same standard for being home and being in school. If you were to get licks (hits) at home that meant you were to get some at school.
The next school is the academy. This school was for the privileged children. So to compare this school to today, this was what we now call private school. Only the children of parents who can afford were sent here, just like Mead stated in her text. The academy was more on a Eurocentric curriculum. These students were initiated into the mysteries of their heritage from Europe, Latin and Greek; this explains why focused on Eurocentric. The teacher in the academy was mostly men over women. The text states that this symbolized the relationship to Europe, rather than the new America where men were so busy building a new world that the “finer things of life” had to be left to women. I found that statement to be sexist. Being a male myself, why could not a man handle a situation that pertained to the “finer things of life”? My whole overview of that is whatever a man can do a woman can do and whatever a woman can do a man can do.
The last school was the city school. The city schools can be compared to our public schools today. They were full of immigrant children. It was owned by the public officials, business men and college professors. The base of the curriculum was for them to despise their parents’ values. This made the children ancestor less, children of the future and cut off from the past. Unlike in the little red school and the academy learning in the city schools was harsher. I feel learning about your past, makes you a better person for the future, which these students in the city schools was stripped from.