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Industrialization and Its Impacts on Education

Due to the many hardships faced by the working class of the early industrial era, education was rarely considered anything but an unachievable luxury. Education during those times was of course not at all like what we see today. In the earlier part of nineteenth century, nuns or priests ran most schools, that is if a community even decided to establish one. It was not even until 1833, which is almost two centuries ago, that a law, though not enforced, was established making it important that all French communities have public schools for boys. The girls, anyhow, were not expected to attend any kind of schooling until the 1880’s!

As nations industrialize, its laborers become more specialized. In a pre-industrial nation, several citizens work from the home or at group level. Anyhow as societies become more urbanized, a big percentage of people go work outside the home (both men and women). A large percentage of these workers are low-skilled laborers, but the development of the economy needs a particular number of specialists in areas like engineering and finance. In order to provide a large enough number of highly qualified professionals, a large segment of the population must be educated. In the US, the school system inspired students to follow directions and submit to authority, which is also one of the qualifications needed for workers in a mass-productive economy. The US education system, similar to the political and cultural systems, is rooted on the Protestant work ethics; students who work hard and don’t cause problems are rewarded.

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In fact the most basic transformations in the United States in the nineteenth-century were mostly economic and social: It was a period of industrial advancement and urbanization. This period brought the Industrial Revolution to the United States, a process that had triggered decades earlier in England. There were significant connection between industrialization and the development of schools in America. Economic development helped a great extent to the expansion and advancement of education; as income increased and the economy became more complex, everyone started giving higher value to schooling. Industry also provided significant models for the developing school system. Similar to the most forward-thinking citizens of those times, school leaders were impressed by the power and efficiency of early factories, and they were full of praise for the virtues of a disciplined and orderly taskforce.

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Industrialization triggered sweeping social transformations, and this too tremendously affected the development of schooling. Educators worried about the waves of immigrants that industrial growth attracted to American cities, and they formulated new educational schemes to prepare students for interchanging task roles and for citizenship. The social purposes and functions of education, and its historical origins and development are based around the basic processes of society. Society has shaped the characteristic forms and processes of education; as education has shaped the basic forms and processes of society. The history of American public system is strongly integrated with the social context of which schools form a se. In short the interrelationship between the school and the wider social, cultural and economic forces are brought about by pressuring the students with the responsibility of transforming society in which they live. In short the functional theorists view the increase of schooling during the period after World War II, whether at the elementary, secondary, or higher education level, as achieving the need for developing more professional competence among the students so that they will be happily employed in the new tasks being created due to the flourishing of industrialization and modernization. Industrialization thus had a huge impact on education and the way it was transmitted. With the invention of printing, books became available to a surprisingly huge number of individuals. This led to an entire cultural transformation. More and more people had access to information, literacy spread; people got introduced to new thoughts and were no longer blocked by narrow ideas of individual beliefs.

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