February 8, 2011
The One Best System
By: David Tyack
After reading Tyack’s “The One Best System” I was able to get a sense of how was the school system was during the 1800’s. The first part of the book is titled “The One Best System in Microcosm: Community and Consolidation in Rural Education. Tyack went into discussing the school as a community and the community as a school. They thought of the school system as self-interest and service guided transformation of educational system. While I was reading, it stated that “during the nineteenth century the country school belonged to the community in more than a legal sense: it was frequently the focus for people’s lives outside the home”. The capital in Prairie View, Kansas was a small white painted building which was not only used for schooling purposes but as their center for social, dramatic, political, and religious of a pioneer community. The school was a civic center for the community. During my reading it said teachers knew to whom they were accountable, the school trustees who hired them, the parents and other taxpayers, the children whose respect and perhaps even affection they needed to win. A twist I found when I was reading was when the principal in Klamath Falls, Oregon lost a fight with an unruly student; the principal was out on probation by the board, not the student.
Comparing the curriculum from then to today’s current inner city schools, the curriculum are for the most part the same, it is whatever textbooks lay at hand. Throughout my reading this one sentence stood with me, “what was basically wrong with rural education was that rural folk wanted to run their schools and didn’t know what was good for them in the complex new society”. From this line I felt the rural folk did not want change but at the same time they did, they were not sure on how they should go about it. They did not realize either their own needs or the possibilities of rural education. NEA known as National Education Association Committee of Twelve on Rural Schools in the 1890’s, they agreed on consolidation of county superintendents, taking the schools out of politics, professionally-trained teachers, and connecting the curriculum with everyday life of the community. These same issues the twelve agreed on remind me of an idea basis for what we now know as public education.