Exploring Education: An introduction to the foundations of education, by Sadovnik, Cookson, and Semel (1994), provides a comprehensive view of education, with exploration and application of principles. The American view of education is reported; American educational values are presented in relation to the American experience.
Americans have faith in education. They view the school as a symbol of the American dream and a provider of equality and opportunity. With education, one has a chance to eliminate ignorance and prejudice and increase social mobility. The school is a place to nurture and develop children. Disagreements between people and educational policies can be viewed as passionate disputes.
Educational crisis is not a new situation. The 1970s brought a crisis which included the inequalities of education, oppressive authoritarianism, and thwarted personal development of students. The 1980s had a new emphasis on excellence and literacy, attributed to the decline of standards and authority. The educational system can be viewed as having insurmountable problems, or teachers can be viewed as having the power to influence change in a positive way.
The foundations of education are viewed as the history, philosophy, politics, and sociology of education. The history of education offers a view of how schools are a product of many factors, and present problems are inherited and influenced by past triumphs and defeats. The philosophy of education allows for an interdisciplinary approach showing different theoretical foundations; this allows one to examine what ought to be. The politics of education allow one to become aware of how group interactions are important for understanding schools and the ability of teachers to make changes. The sociology of education is viewed as providing tools for understanding how the schools interact with society. It is concluded that with the knowledge of what is, one can then d...