chapter  10
33 Pages

The Education System and the Environment

A Symbiotic Relationship?

This chapter focuses on the institutional environment of schools: family and home, religious groups, financing and the economy, political and legal systems, and the community. Population changes, technological advances, fads, and national or international social movements are macro-level examples of environmental factors that influence the educational system. Parents affect children's educational achievement and aspirations in several major ways. Parents with higher levels of education are more likely to be involved in their children's schooling and educational choices, compared to students whose parents had less than a high school education, and only 19 percent of the latter group of parents volunteered. Governments have direct involvement in education, whether through influencing content and values taught, funding for special programs, or setting policy. The many influences from the educational system's environment bring about some similarities between schools, but they also make each school unique because of different contributions and pressures from that school's unique environment.