Successes and Failures in Curricular Reform essay

United States educational curriculum has faced many ups and downs since time immemorial. The pioneers of reforms in the system had positive aspects that they thought education would boost. In particular, Thomas Jefferson had strong beliefs that democracy and independence would impact on or rather act as the youth’s main road towards survival. As a minister in Europe, the experiences he had encountered influenced his thinking in trying to compare systems abroad and United States.

In deed, the unique political atmosphere and social setting revealed the importance of creating a public education program. The icon understood the importance of knowledge although in his time, there was no public education system. Learning would instill power, safety, happiness, innovation and development. He campaigned for a public university/college that would recruit every other student for the purposes of learning. Due to economical imbalance, there were limited academic opportunities for the poor; only wealthy families’ children accessed the level required to join universities.

As a result, only the rich would qualify for leadership position. In turn, this threatens America’s democratic rights and freedom. Competence, skills, talents and knowledge would all then go to waste as imperialism took over power. In his view, a mix of rich and poor persons with competence would present good leadership. The idea was not readily accepted though, others believed that the educated and hence the wealthy had the mandate to rule on common’s people behalf.

Even after clear explanation of advantages that would result in institutionalizing a public education, like replacement wealth based leadership to a merit reflective one. Alexander Hamilton opposed the public system arrangement. Setting up public universities would facilitate democracy and equality, key for development. Although the bills for the latter were not voted in, further efforts at least achieved the establishment of elementary schools and later on, a university in Virgin.

Other strategies laid in the establishment of public educational system that wanted religion and education separated. A Yale report (2008) also showed undying need to create a more diverse curriculum in higher education, although it had earlier gone in defense for conservation of traditional learning and teaching methods, where a set of identified topics in classical language, scientific nature and literature were offered to every student. The system had been followed for a long time and the male students were the main beneficiaries while the female students had gone unconsidered.

Every institution seemed to follow Harvard or Michigan who were embarking on an elective approach constituent of diversified curriculum with modern and social science and humanistic courses. The urge to initiate new changes into the curriculum was facilitated by activism for intellectual culture while basing success and excellence on merit, competence, skills and knowledge. All major players after protesting at the end agreed that United States education needed improvement almost admitting that the system was imperfect (Assessment, 2008). Determination and hope that the defects spotted in the system would be eradicated remained high.

Changes to be made in different stages and time would meet the community’s variancing demands. These gains, in education would enable capability and effectiveness in the country’s advancement, opulence, population and refinement in United States as they had done in Europe: most of the recommendations had been borrowed from the continent especially in United Kingdom and neighboring countries. Opposition of the process alleged that leadership was to be given to the educated and this would see only the wealthier on top official positions regardless of whether they were competent and conversant or not.

America could as a result scramble if something was not done swiftly. (Rudolf, 1990, pp. 9-23) Early educational champions noticed that the world was fast changing and to fit in, reforms were highly needed. Women at this point got a consideration in the bid to create independency and self-reliance. As seen, education was the route to power and supremacy. Although this was ill-fated at the beginning, people over time became positive and welcomed the whole idea. The rise of education for women in higher education saw the need to initiate Black colleges and universities.

The practitioners treat them both as special programs in the sense that women were literally disadvantaged over men, while Black population faced racism and separation. This would cut violence between the native white population and their counterpart borne of slave workers in the country’s plantation. Rivalry had grown drastically to levels that depicted more of hatred and superiority complex. Educational institutes were either rated all white or all black with a minimal percentage of the colors.

Few courses and total omission in core curricular forced students to explore other grounds composed of more human worth, empathy and dignity and in context of persistence of diversity (Thelin, 2008, chapter 2). This could have been the reason that campaigned for talent nurturing which later led to establishment of music conservatories. Today’s legendary music industry started its growth then. Other students decided to focus on sporting than theoretical concepts of education. Participation in football, basketball and athletics saw agencies and sport bodies erupt.

Though it took time to experience change, redundancy to accept new ideas could have negatively impacted on the efforts in trial or experiment. Higher education also pushed for professionalism to cater for the demands that were arising; as a result institutions had to review their faculties. Confrontations by students with different perceptions also led to more emphasis on wide range on languages, law, politics, technology and science (AAC, 2008). The changes achieved had so much impact on the America society. This brought out women empowerment, establishment of black education that several regimes had ignored or basically assumed.

At that lifetime, some leaders debated over their legality as citizens. In conclusion, the strategies towards reforming the educational curriculum have and continue to face setbacks due to different traditions, cultures and beliefs. Islamic extremism has led to institutions of their faith established because their religion does not allow the free mixing of male and female students. Jefferson might have seen this coming when he suggested separation of religion and education. Main scholars and politicians launched oppositions on recommendations presented with reasons that relatively had conflict of interest and showed fear to accept change.

By acknowledging this change, students on their part contributed to its success which later on saw faculties incline towards them. The reforms in the curriculum can be said to have partly succeeded and failed at the same time. Success can be seen in women and black community education, introduction of new courses, faculties and disciplines. Failure comes in efforts towards integrating black, white and color students in the same elementary and high schools. Colleges and universities have the issue tamed but, not completely administered.


Assessment (2008) Yale report 1828: retrieved from the World Wide Web at