Liberalism and Conservatism in Contemporary Education Essay

Pages: 2 (926 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Evolution

Liberalism and Conservatism in Contemporary Education

As with all beliefs, there is not one single way to define liberalism and conservatism, and, while at seemingly polar opposites on some things, they are in complete agreement on others. In general, the two views can be traced by to John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. Locke believed humans were born good, and through actualization of their minds could achieve great things for society. Hobbes believed humans were born flawed, and required strict control in order to behave properly. Locke pushed human views to the future with optimism, Hobbes to the past with what worked before. In policy, Conservatives tend to believe that traditional moral values and a strong national defense, coupled with personal responsibility, free markets, and individualism make an organization strong. Liberals emphasize the need for government to act on behalf of the people, with the protection of civil and human rights being the duty of the State to attempt to alleviate. For educators, a seminal difference is that conservatives tend to believe that it is up to the individual to be successful or not -- they know, in fact, not everyone has the same gifts, and assume there will be a hierarchy of sorts. Liberals tend to believe that everyone needs the same quality education, regardless of ability, and the government should step in and do all it can to help everyone improve their lives (See (Zafirovski, 2008).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Liberalism and Conservatism in Contemporary Education as Assignment

The Dilemma of Darwinism - The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) strongly supports the idea that evolution is a major concept in science education and a major unifying theory. To not teach evolution will mean that students are deficient and unable to achieve the basic level of needed scientific education. Further, the NSTA opposes Districts in which teachers are required to include non-scientific theory into the normal classroom format. For contemporary educators, the debate intensified in the late-1960s, with a shift in the higher Courts' views on more controversial subjects (National Science Association, 2010). In 1968 the Supreme Court rule that States may not ban the teaching of an evolutionary theory (Epperson v Arkansas), then again in 1987 with Edwards v. Aguillard, a Louisiana law making it a requirement to teach creationism as set scientific theory alongside evolution (Edwards v Aguillard, 1987, (Epperson v Arkansas, 1968). While the Courts seem to favor the separation of Church and State, there have been a number of challenges to the foundations of teaching science without using Darwinist theory. Current Justices debate the issue in the scholarly press, the media and scholarly press abound, and the conservative bloc is rife to change the curicculum in favor of their views. For an educator, this is a seminal topic, one that could have, depending on the direction of the Court, extreme rammifactions… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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