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Compulsory Education Act

Education is the key to preserving a working society. Education majors often have to write research papers on the history of education and why compulsory education act's exist. The information below is important in considering topics on compulsory education.

It has been an agreed-upon societal good, and in the United States is compulsory. Compulsory means that it has been mandated by law. In the United States, every individual must receive an education for a certain period of time. It is a legal expression that ensures that this most fundamental and crucial part of societal indoctrination is completed. According to the Compulsory Education Law Organization, education is:

  • Mandated by law
  • Noted to be a "societal good"
  • Recognized as crucial for all citizens

The importance of education is stressed in countless books, articles and other forms of the mass media. Education is an especially hot topic in the United States because statistics indicate American students are falling far behind their foreign peers. However, a focus on American education is not enough to ensure that American students perform well. A number of leading psychologists argue that how a person learns is just as important as the information presented in the lesson plan. For this reason, it is extremely important that educators understand how learning takes place as well as the information being taught.

History of Compulsory Education

Compulsory Education Act

Horace Mann (1796-1859) was one of the first American educators to recognize the importance of education and institute numerous educational reforms. Mann believed that in order to ensure children grew up to become participating and responsible citizens in the republic that universal public education was necessary and vital. In 1852, Massachusetts passed the Compulsory Attendance Act, requiring children to attend school. Many other states, recognizing that universal public education was a societal good, followed suit. By 1900, a majority of states in America had laws on the books to make education compulsory. In modern America, every state has a law on its books mandating education.

Education is compulsory through legal acts throughout the United States. Have Civil Rights arguments propagated a system in which both mainstream education and special needs education are unable to meet educational minimums? The answer to this question may not be revealed for several more years. As inclusive education continues to become a lynch pin of public school systems, only statistical research will reveal if inclusive programs are as effective as their proponents maintain. In the mean time, the debate over whether it is ethical to place children with special needs in mainstream classrooms that may be ineffective at dealing with these needs, (and further serve as a detriment to mainstream students), is a dilemma that also has no easy answers. Teaching kids that children with disabilities are no different than anyone else is a valuable lesson that every child should learn. However, diminishing educational opportunities in lieu of teaching moral turpitude may not be the correct way of teaching this lesson.

Purpose of Compulsory Education

Compulsory education acts in America have been established in order to preserve the basic education of the citizenry. There is a purpose for education. Without education, an illiterate and ignorant society would descend into chaos. In order for each individual to fully participate, some basic common education must be taught.

Learning is defined as “a relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs through experience”. Learning involves change. Once a new skill is learned by way of repeated practice the knowledge usually stays with the person for the remainder of his or her life. For example, an adult who learned to ride a bicycle as a child but who has not ridden in decades will be able to get on a bicycle and ride as if he or she did so frequently. In order words, learning is permanent and based on past experiences.

Psychologists associate experiences with basic learning processes. Individuals respond to the things that happen to them, which equates to experience, which leads to learning.

Related Research Paper Topics

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