The purpose of education in historical and contemporary times is threefold. One, an educated citizenry is important for democratic processes. Secondly, it enables assimilation into the American culture, and thirdly, it allows the establishment of a stable workforce that acts as the backbone of the economy.
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Other than the films that give us a glimpse of how things were, empirical research that looks into ancient history in relation to education is limited.
Historical influences on higher education institutions are felt to date. Pursuing education in college was a rare phenomenon prior to colonial times. Harvard, started in 1636, was the first American college to train the sons of the colonialists to prepare them for ministerial, legislative and public office positions.
Students who felt that they were not up for taking high public offices, went to practical schools or apprenticeships (Duniway para 1). Nowadays, there are different groups of students from different ethnicities and races, and they are all taught together.
In addition, there is much investment into the education system in comparison with colonial times. However historical influence on modern higher education institution is evident because the attainment of college/university education credentials by students in the United States is still low (Hunt Jr. para 5-6).
In Texas, the situation is aggravated; hence, the reason for studying this state. One major change in the education system has been the integration of students from different cultural and ethnic background into one class.
However, there seems to be a gap in the identification of student needs based on race, and this justifies the disparities in education attainment. Unlike in the modern times when tertiary education is emphasized, students pursued education based on their capabilities.
This study will target Texas State with a bias towards Houston because it is the city with the largest population.
Currently, pursuance of education at tertiary institutions mainly depends on one’s financial backgrounds. Despite the investment put in to encourage school attendance after secondary level, poor students continue to miss out. In the contemporary knowledge-based economy, educated individuals at higher levels are paramount.
In comparison with historical America, most children learned how to read and write at home because the woman stayed back in the house to take care of her husband and children. As a result, home education was common. However, this is different because industrialization has led to raised standards of living.
Subsequently, the woman has to work, and the child mainly learns how to read and write at school (Peterson para 15). In addition, education in colonial America helped students to gain the basic skills required to get along in society.
In my current study that is likely to have confounding factors associated with historical and cultural influence on higher education institutions, I will engage the target population in focus discussion groups and seminars. These workshop seminars and focus discussion groups will trigger the appreciation of different cultures.
While coding student characteristics, the engagement of the subjects in FGDs will help to understand the characteristics of students in relation to the different cultures but which fall within a particular trait.
Higher education is considered the engine of the economy and democracy. The American system has been molded to encourage students to pursue their education after 8th grade, 12th grade or high school diploma. Despite the friendly circumstances, attainment of education credentials at tertiary level is low.
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In Houston and Texas, the situation is worse compared to the nation. Poor completion rates have remained constant, and there is need to establish the factors associated with such stagnation. Hence, the purpose of this study that aims to look at student characteristics as potential factors.
Duniway, Bob. A Brief History of Higher Education in America. Winning the College Game, 2008. Web.
Hunt Jr., James. Educational Leadership for the 21st Century. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, 2006. Web.
Peterson, Robert. Education in Colonial America. Foundation for Economic Education, 1983. Web.