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Surprising Facts about Education 50 Years Ago
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Over the last 50 years, education has experienced some changes. It may be not so much like we would have expected, but in surprising ways, a lot of things have become different. A lot more people have joined schools, many schools have been opened around the country, teaching techniques have changed and there are more teachers than there was 50 years ago. Technology has really played a big part in making modern education more interesting for students. Parents have also come to be
involved with their children’s education
. Women have also gone ahead and become more accomplished. We will examine some facts about education 50 years ago that might surprise you.
Students Had More Respect for Teachers
One survey done by Marybeth Harrison shows that respect for the teachers from students has
dropped from 79% to 31%
in the last 50 years. Parents nowadays believe/take sides of their kids more than they believe what teachers tell them. This is very different from before where parents used to listen to the tutors more. Students also were less likely to get bored by their teachers during studies due to the admiration they had for them. Why do you think students might get bored with their teachers?
Unlike today, parents were less interested in their children’s education. Today they play an active role in their kids’ education, i.e., by being available, restricting the use of TV and mobiles gadgets during study time, etc.
The Education System
Teachers strived to give students instructions for assignments. Even the lessons taught were different from what’s being taught today. Students were required to memorize what they had learned and recited it in front of the classroom to see what they had learned. It was mandatory for students to wear a uniform in earlier school days, different from these days where most schools don’t require a uniform. School uniform was meant to make the students feel equal in classrooms.
Schools also did not offer transport since the few schools available were built 4 to 5 miles from where the students lived. That distance was considered close enough to walk. The schools also did not offer lunch to students. Every student had to carry their own food and water from home, unlike today where schools make lunch for students.
Very Few Women Were Educated
Girls and women in earlier years were only taught how to read but not how to write. Their confidence levels were low as a result. Today, women are more educated which has made them more
confident to tackle the world head-on
. They are fighting for gender equality and human rights as well as pay equality. This would make sense since they have gone ahead and studied better, don’t you think? According to Pew Social Trends, 38% more women have a degree compared to 31% men. This is high compared to 50 years ago where the number of women with college degrees compared to men was lower. It is very evident, especially between the ages of 25 and 35 years. As a result, women have gone ahead and secured leading roles in big corporations. In the present day, we have women running for presidential elections from small countries to superpower nations.
Religion Was a Daily Routine
Christianity which was the major religion of the student’s population in schools was brought about by most schools being run by the churches. Every day, the students would read something from the Bible and have a word of prayer before starting the day. The Bible in early education was used as a primary text. Frederick A. Packard, an educator, says in his book ‘The daily public school in the United States’ that the Bible was used as a devotional or a reading book.
Today, however, schools have removed that as a day to day part of their system due to fear of discrimination and conflicts in school. This is also hard for public schools since 50 years later; schools have kids from all walks of life and religions, e.g. Muslims, Hindus, Christians, etc. The diversity leads to letting the main purpose of schools be education only.
Fewer Education Institutions
Public Schools were fewer hence most parents preferred to have private tutors at home to teach their kids. As learning was not compulsory, this was only for those who were interested and could afford it. The available teachers would live with the student’s family – this was called boarding around. Here, teachers would move from one house to the other doing private tutoring. Today, schools are many and more progressive, and higher learning institutions have come up enabling people to attain higher education.
About 50 years ago, students were more responsible; they assisted their teachers. Tutors would give the elder students instructions to teach the younger ones who did not understand everything easily. This is so different from today where students depend more on teachers. Back then, teachers were fewer compared to today; the same teacher would teach all eight grades. Today, teachers are specialized with the grade at which they teach hence bringing about professionalism. There are also many teachers to help each student. In present-day education, students are responsible for completing their own assignments, joining school clubs, socializing, and a whole host of other school activities.
The changes that education has undergone in the past 50 years or so makes it seem like it’s getting easier for the student. But at the same time, students are getting more responsible, and getting a good education is within reach of many. More schools and higher level educational institutions have been developed, and with the help of technology, people are now even learning online. It might seem like education has not changed that much, but from the above read, it is pretty evident.
Imagine you’re a student 50 years ago, what present-day features of education would you really miss? Tell us in the comments section below.
About our guest blogger: Jake Lester is an experienced essay writer that is currently writing for
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