An Essay on the American Education System and Cultural Literacy

Introduction

Bruner was one of the most renowned and influential psychologists of the 20th century. He was one of the influential figures whose name became linked with the phrase “cognitive revolution.” In the field of education, his effect continues to be felt. His work, “The Process of Education,” has received great acclaim and has been the most well-liked in its field. It has been recognised as a classic.

In the recent past, he has been sceptical of the cognitive revolution and has studied the development of a cultural psychology that heavily considers contributors’ historical and social contexts. These views were elaborated upon in his 1996 book, The Culture of Education, with reference to schooling and education in general. Bruner has had a profound effect on our perception of the educational process and the development of curricular theory. We examine this work and derive some key lessons for informal academicians and those concerned with the practise of lifelong learning.

It is undeniable that education is a component of the process of socialisation of youth into society’s norms. In reality, schooling may not be proportional to a culture’s other means of preparing young people for the responsibilities of adulthood. It has become increasingly clear to the author that education is not limited to typical school concerns such as curriculum or examinations. What we decide to accomplish at school only makes sense when seen in the context of what the society hopes to achieve through its investment in young people’s education. We have now reached the conclusion that how one perceives education depends on how one perceives culture and its explicit and implicit goals.

The Education Process Book by Jerome Bruner

The book by Jerome Burner has served as a touchstone and is among the most fundamental works. It has influenced the mentality of many Americans. It has altered the perspectives of a number of educators and intellectuals, who are now persuaded and convinced. Its perspective of children as dynamic problem-solvers who are quite willing to seek out unusual topics, which was at odds with the prevalent educational philosophy of the time, is shared by many. This amazing and wonderful idea of knowledge has given rise to four essential elements.

Number one is the “role of structure in learning and how it might be utilised as the cornerstone of instruction.” The adopted strategy should be pragmatic. The most significant aspect of the classic issue of transfer is the teaching and inculcation of structure, not the retention of facts and procedures. If the initial learning is to provide a foundation for later learning, it must begin with a broad overview so that the links between things encountered earlier and later are as clear as feasible. The second ingredient that is also extremely significant is “learning readiness.” The author contends that schools have wasted a great deal of time by delaying the instruction of crucial domains because they are deemed ridiculous. We began with the premise that every subject can be taught effectively and with intellectual rigour to any child at any stage of development. This concept is fundamental to the spiral curriculum concept. As a curriculum evolves, it should revisit these fundamental concepts and build upon them until the learner has mastered the whole formal apparatus associated with them. (the educational process). 13.)

The second most important theme of this work is intuitive and analytical reasoning. The author described intuition as “the intellectual skill of arriving at plausible but provisional formulations without undergoing the analytical stages by which such formulations would be determined to be either valid or invalid conclusions” (13). He believes it is greatly undervalued and even overlooked while being the most essential component of creative thought. The author observes that professionals in various fields appear to “jump intuitively into a judgement or a solution to a problem” (62)—a topic that Donald Schon investigated years later and evaluated how instructors and schools may cultivate intuition. The phrase “motives for learning” follows. Here, the author argues that interest in the material to be taught is the most effective motivator for learning, as opposed to grades or future competitive advantages.

Jerome Bruner is not simply the most influential educational theorist of our time, but also a highly-motivated student and educator. His contagious curiosity inspires those who are not completely exhausted. All ages and professions are encouraged to participate. In this classic work, Bruner divides the educational process into four fundamental components: structure, preparation for learning, intuitive thought, and learning motivations. These are the book’s key chapter headings.

Bruner demonstrates that when we comprehend the structure of a topic, it enables us to establish affinities with a number of other things that have no connection to the comprehended contents. He explains this by describing how understanding the structural idea of tropism in the field of biology impedes comprehension of many other concepts. When we understand the structure of a subject, he says, we may relate numerous things that would otherwise appear unrelated. “The swarming of locusts, where temperature determines the swarm density in which locusts are forced to ravel, the species maintenance of insects at different altitudes on the side of a mountain, where crossbreeding is prevented by the tendency of each species to travel in its preferred oxygen zone, and numerous other biological phenomena can be understood in light of tropisms” (Jerome Bruner, 7).

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The more fundamental a concept is, the broader and more potent its reach and effects will be. He applies this canon to the expansion of the curriculum and the most effective methods for teaching various subjects across grade levels. The section of the book that addresses preparedness for learning provides guidance for the sensitive journey of children. Twelve-year-olds have little difficulty playing games involving complex mathematics, but they cannot follow a conventional explanation of identical mathematical canons. To push for such regulations leads to the capacity to provide accurate but incorrect responses. Mathematics is relevant to accurate answers, while computation is relevant to accurate answers. The latter may be confused with the former.

In a word, this is a historical text with significant curricular development value. Possibly no guide on this subject would be complete without discussing and referencing this amazing effort. It reveals the precise ferment in modern educational thought in this nation known as the United States. It obliterates obsolete methods and offers a remarkable and lively discussion of educational theory’s scope. It also describes the research, its potential ramifications, and the methods used to conduct it. The author employs a poetic style that appeals to everyone. It is exhaustively researched and logically argued. The little art of reasoning possessed by scientists is really laudable. Jerome has created a highly precise, satisfying, and innovative piece of writing. It is without a doubt an outstanding book on learning theory, readiness, and structure, as well as intuitive and analytic cognition. We are obliged to the author, who exerted great effort to indoctrinate us with concepts needed for the upbringing and initiation of youth into society. To establish his scholarship, he has assumed this historic task and succeeded with flying colours.

What Every American Needs to Know About Cultural Literacy, by E.D. Hirsch

In this essay, the author recommends that all Americans keep a few common points of reference in mind so that when they communicate, they are able to exchange ideas with ease. The book’s author has provided a list of basics to be consumed. In this persuasive statement, Hirsch argues that children in the United States are being deprived of the fundamental abundance of knowledge that would enable them to function in the contemporary world.

The book contains hundreds of essential facts that must be studied and learned. The majority of Americans lack the necessary knowledge to preserve the wonderful way of life they inherited from their forefathers. They are familiar with the historical figures of their generational era, but not those who contributed to and shaped the world as it is today. According to this metric, they are illiterate because they must be aware of the Peloponnesian war, about which they know little.

Cultural literacy is the fundamental knowledge we need to communicate in our culture, and it is a current necessity. In its absence, we cannot evaluate the reviewer’s comments or a forecaster’s assertion that the atmosphere is a politician’s weakness. To be culturally literate is to have the fundamental knowledge required to succeed in the contemporary environment.

It is up to the readers to comprehend the authors’ “systems of associations.” It is a tragedy of modern times that pupils have no interest in ancient literature and such things, and that they have no connection to antiquity. This is not ordinary ignorance, and it has the ability to endanger our nation’s existence as a free one.

The necessity for ordinary people to understand enough science to understand environmental and political debates is one of the author’s primary arguments. “Their education should have supplied them with the general facts and principles necessary to comprehend the parameters of the debate, how a satellite operates, what a laser can and cannot do, and under what conditions such a system would be likely to fail,” he says of the voting public.

He neglects to highlight the historical, social, and political aspects that enter the discussion, yet his thesis still holds true. The preceding example exemplifies the illiteracy of the average American voter and serves as a barometer of their ignorance. The majority of them are still unaware of what transpired, as they have been kept in the dark by an equally stupid press that knows nothing about the constitution. It is their greater foolishness that they do not seek knowledge, which is the greater bad aspect.

The importance of cultural literacy for maintaining a connection to one’s heritage is the point that the author emphasises the most. It should be a recurring topic in all lectures and courses that future generations learn more about the lives and times of previous generations so that they are not ignorant of the values followed by those people. This is essential for the continuation of history. Future generations must acquire knowledge of cultural history.

Conclusion

The basic responsibility of the American education system is to develop a population that is decent, well-informed, and prepared to participate in the socialisation process. They should also be morally upright. If they are morally upright, they will be able to make crucial judgments for the greater good of society, which will result in a chain reaction that benefits the entire community. Students must be inculcated with the necessary qualities of decency and tolerance to function in society. He compares the art of instruction to that of the theatre. In the final half of the book, he emphasises the role of teachers in his road plan for educational reform. While the objective is for the pupils to learn, the instructor must explain, stimulate, cajole, inspire, criticise, demand, and love. He or she must frequently be a ham and enjoy being one (153). Teachers must be intelligent enough to innovate, should not be dogmatic in their approach, and should consider the needs of both individuals and the class as a whole. T

here should be no grounds for discriminating against them. Such attitudes should be discouraged among the pupils. They should have a lively sense of humour so that pupils remain interested and are not bored to death while gaining the most from courses that will benefit them in the future. Teachers and students must agree on the class’s objectives and techniques for achieving these objectives. Making a commitment in this sense is difficult. However, every effort should be made to create an agreement that clearly outlines the class and educational objectives. In addition, he believes that if this agreement is struck, people attempting to satisfy their hunger for education will suffer catastrophic consequences. “A school will be empty if consensus cannot be reached on the aims and means that advance real intellectual work, no matter how unpleasant” (160).

Instead of depending on the standard system of rewards and punishments, the author believes that the key to motivation is to provide meaningful, hopeful incentives and to encourage student engagement. He also discusses the characteristics of instructors and those who virtually love their vocation and carry out their responsibilities with integrity.

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