1st Edition

Redefining U.S. Education A Systematic Approach to Teaching

By William F. Roth, Ian M. Roth Copyright 2016

    A growing number of educators are beginning to believe that as we move into a different kind of world with different possibilities, the traditional approach to teaching is no longer the most productive. They are beginning to understand that if we are to continue progressing as a nation, we need to place more emphasis on the development of each student’s unique potential. This book presents a new model for education that achieves this goal through the effective use of technology.

    Redefining U.S. Education: A Systematic Approach to Teaching first looks at the evolution of the U.S. public education system, explaining how we got here and where we are in terms of our system’s strengths and weaknesses. The book explores the philosophical and theoretical roots of the U.S. system developed in Europe centuries ago. It introduces the major dilemma of whether emphasis should be on ensuring that all students reach a defined level of expertise or on encouraging individual students to develop their full potential.

    In an effort to draw from the experiences of two other major societies, the book also looks at the education systems in Europe and Japan. It examines Europe’s Bologna Process, identifying its advantages and shortcomings as an attempt at standardization. It then travels to Japan, a country that represents the epitome in terms of standardization. It discusses the damage that this over-emphasis on standardization has done to Japanese society, and especially to the Japanese education system.

    The authors then present an exciting new paradigm of teaching that incorporates computer technology into education. This new paradigm allows students to use computer programs to progress at their own rate in subjects they enjoy and excel at while, concurrently, ensuring that they still get the basics they need to function successfully in society. The book details the key logistics of the new paradigm, including the way classes are run, the way subjects are taught, and the way students are graded.

    Growth versus Development
    A More Balanced Perspective?
    Evolution of Society’s Shaping Ethic
    Academia Is Slow to Catch on

    The Historic Evolution of Education in Europe: A Brief Synopsis
    Only for the Chosen
    Theoretical Roots of Modern Education
    Opposing Schools of Thought Begin a Never-Ending Battle
    A Dilemma Faced by Educators
    Rationalizations That Don’t Work
    Good Intentions Lead to Naught

    Education in the United States during the Colonial Period
    Breaking with European Tradition
    How Students Learned
    Getting the Framework into Place
    Others Who Helped Shape the Colonial Education System

    Education in the United States during the Early 1800s
    The Scattershot Approach
    Educating the Poor
    Horace Mann Makes the Common School System a Serious Player
    Dealing with the Flood of Immigrants
    Frederick Froebel Give Us Kindergarten

    Education in the United States during the Late 1800s
    A Broadening of Emphasis
    The Education Sector Gets a Voice
    Change Comes Slow

    Influences during the Industrial Revolution
    The Industrial Revolution Reshapes the U.S. Education System
    Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management Spills Over into the Classroom
    Opposition Arises to the Mechanistic Approach
    Rationalizations for Educating Students to be Robots
    The Battle between Mechanists and Humanists

    Education in the United States during the Early 1900s
    Psychologists Get Involved in Shaping Education Policy
    Three Different Mindsets
    Mechanistic Thinking Remains Dominant
    Introducing the Concept of Tracts
    Slowly But Surely, Efforts to Educate the Nation Progress
    The Hierarchy in Place, Efforts Shift to Shaping Curriculum

    Education in the United States to the Mid-1900s
    Tumultuous Shifts in the Education System
    The Problem of Measurement
    A Bump in the Road to Progress
    Teachers Unionize
    The National Education Association Becomes a Force
    A Battle for Survival
    A Slow Recovery
    Again, How to Deal with the Poor

    Segregation, Deculturalization, Assimilation, a Sad Chapter in the History of U.S. Public Education
    The Lingering Legacy of Slavery in the United States
    Deculturalization and Assimilation as Alternatives
    The Battle to Eliminate Segregation
    Following the Lead of the Black Community

    The New Kid on the Block
    From Humble Beginnings
    The Radio Takes Center Stage
    And, Then, Television Hits the Scene
    The Computer Makes a New Education Paradigm Possible

    Education in the United States during the Mid- to Late 1900s
    Still Trying to Figure Out the Best Approach
    The Problem with Private Schools, the Bubble World
    Increased Government Involvement and Funding
    Academia’s Failings in Terms of the U.S.’s Ability to Compete Globally
    The Students Get Involved
    Those Who are Dissatisfied Strike Out on Their Own

    Education in the United States during the Late 1900s
    The Mechanistic Faction Refuses to Budge
    The Modern-Day Problem with the Mechanistic Argument
    The Human Relations School Types Continue Chipping Away
    Government Efforts to Make School Systems Accountable
    Developing State-Wide Achievement Standards and Work-Study Programs
    Three Movements That Made a Difference

    Education in the United States during the Early 2000s
    No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Ensuing Confusion
    The Advent of the Student Aptitude Test
    Why a Universal Test Taken by All Students Is Necessary
    Grades Don’t Tell the Story
    No Perfect Solution, But…
    European Nations Provide Models the United States Can Learn from

    Europe: Leading the Way or Behind?
    Designing the Best Model
    The Bologna Process’ Focus on Standardization
    The Bologna Process and Program Design
    The Bologna Process and Rewarding Student Accomplishment
    Strata of Qualifications Frameworks
    Shaping Curriculum through Tuning
    Top-Down versus Bottom-Up Standardization
    The Bologna Process and Transferability of Evaluation
    The Bologna Process and the Social Dimension

    To Join or Not to Join? That is the Question
    Spread of the Bologna Process
    Downsides of the Bologna Process
    Research in European Universities
    Tuition Free Education and Its Problems
    How Private School Education in European Countries Is Financed
    The Move toward Decentralization

    Standardization as a Threat: The Japanese Experience
    Japan’s Individuality Crisis
    A History of "Honne" Bowing to "Tatemae"
    The Perils of Importing Progress
    The Samuraization of Workers and Students
    A Lost Opportunity
    Japan Goes to War in the Marketplace
    Does Excessive Regimentation Support a Hidden Curriculum in the Classroom?
    Competition Out of Control

    Japan’s Inability to Modernize Its Education System
    The Toll Taken By Excessive Standardization
    Those Who Suffer the Most
    More Disturbing Evidence
    The Nation as a Whole Suffers
    The Major Obstruction to Change
    The Inability to Get beyond Dependency Theory and Its Consequences
    Is Cultural Reform Possible?

    Things That Need Further Improvement in the United States
    Developing Standards for Academic Achievement at the Highest Level
    Improving the Performance of Teachers as Well
    Teachers as Students
    Teacher Empowerment as the Biggest Challenge
    Measurement That Makes Sense
    Once Again, Standardization versus Reflective Thinking
    Why neither Charter Schools nor Vouchers nor Private Schools Provide the Answer
    Tracking, More Harm Than Good?
    The Limitations of IQ Tests

    The Impossible Becomes Possible
    Historical Progress of the U.S. Education System
    Still Seeking the Best Approach
    Updating the Attitude of Teachers
    The Current Challenge
    Putting the Pieces in Place
    Self-Management as the Key to Learning
    Our Traditional Grading System Made Obsolete

    Dealing with the Logistics of the New Paradigm
    Meeting the Initial Challenge
    Encouraging and Measuring Progress
    Breaking Down Traditional Boundaries
    Including University-Level Work in the Loop
    Time to Move on toward New World Education



    William F. Roth, MSW, PhD, is currently a professor at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania where he teaches courses in strategic planning, organization design, ethics, and management theory. Previously, he taught for 16 years at DeSales University, where he held the McCabe Endowed Chair for Business and Society. Dr. Roth earned his PhD at The Wharton School, his master’s in social work at the University of Pennsylvania, and his bachelor’s in economic geography at Dartmouth College. As a consultant, Dr. Roth has worked on design and regional planning projects in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mexico, and several locations in the United States. Previously, he spent 5 years with the poverty program and the civil rights movement in the Deep South.

    Ian M. Roth, MS, graduated from Vassar College with his BA in philosophy. He then earned his MS in global and international education from Drexel University, where his dissertation addressed using learning technology to teach multiculturalism in Japanese primary schools. Ian has been living in Japan since college and has taught there at the primary, secondary, and university levels. He has published a number of articles in Japanese journals and has recently submitted several to U.S. journals. Currently, he is studying for his PhD in Organizational Systems at Saybrook University.