Education Reflection Paper
The below paper discusses issues prevalent in our current education system and the social and economic consequences of its current structuring. Some of the main points highlighted are the present structure of education system and the difference in the way working class and middle class students experience schooling.
Education System Inequality
Despite the fact that US had very reticent gains in recent times, it also won't be wrong to say that the students have been scoring significantly low as compared to other nations. The reason behind this is the education system and its present structuring which needs a major change. However, there are some other areas, in the current education system, which are still imperfectly understood but affect to greater extent as a whole.
An Invisible Inequality
Undoubtedly, family is the first educational institution for any person. Our current educational system is structured in such a way that it reproduces different social classes amongst different classes of the society. An ethnographic data set of white children and black children, approximately 10 years old, shows the differences in social class among the two classes. The childrearing approaches of white and black employed class and unwealthy parents emphasize the "accomplishment of natural growth." These parents believe that as long as they provide love, food, and safety, their children will grow and thrive. They do not focus on developing their children's special talents. As compared to the middle-class children, working-class and poor children participate in few organized activities and have more free time and deeper, richer ties within their extended families. Working-class and poor parents issue many more directives to their children and, in some households, place more emphasis on physical discipline than do the middle-class parents.
The job of race in children's everyday lives was less powerful than I had expected. The middle-class black children's parents were alert to the potential effects of institutional discrimination on their children. Middleclass black parents also took steps to help their children develop a positive racial identity. Still, in terms of how children spend their time, the way parents use language and discipline at home, the nature of the families' social connections, and the strategies used for intervening in institutions, white and black middle-class parents engaged in very similar, often identical, practices with their children.
Another study "Social Class and the hidden curriculum of Work" by Jean Anyon, discusses the various characteristics of the environment of various schools that might contribute to an explanation for the differences between different social classes. With the data collected from five prominent school types in US, it's easy to believe that the number of resources like teaching material, availability of teachers and the teaching methods show a constant increase as the social class of the community increases. This in-turn develops the same kind of potential in the students, hence maintaining the same gap between the two different classes.
The primary concern is not the immediate causes of the classroom activities of children. Rather, it is the deep sociological understanding students are developing. The working class children are more inclined to develop a potential conflict with the capital. Their present education system is preparing them for mechanical routine sufficient enough to earn them a future wage, which affects and suppresses the human capacity of planning and creativity. In blunt terms they are developing the skills and abilities of resistance.
Contrary to the above, the middle class school students are developing a different potential relationship in terms of capital, authority and work. Their school work is appropriate for a white collar job in the supportive institutes of the United States society.
In professional or business schools, children develop an impending relationship to capital which is expressive and involves high extent of negotiation. The education system for these schools develops various types of linguistic and intellectual skills to become a renowned artist or technical expert in the society.
Similar way, every category reproduces a particular social class among the students imparting them particular skills and lacking in some others. Differing curricular and pupil evaluation practices emphasize different behavioral skills in each social setting. These differences not only contribute to the development of the children in social class of certain type, but thereby also help to reproduce the system of classes in the society. It's just few areas that have been studied so far and many other lacking areas are there in the present education system which need to be restructured for a better future and for minimizing this gap between the societies.
Purpose of Education
I believe that the main purpose of education is fulfilled to some extent, but not in the correct way how it should be. The actual purpose of the education system should be to prepare the students for their upcoming future, covering all the aspects and subject, not restricted to the availability of resources or the social class they belong to.
To achieve this, we need to analyze the differences in the content of the classes which points the student towards different levels in the social and economic hierarchy. For example, it has been observed from various researches and surveys that students in high track English classes were exposed to content that we might call "high-status" knowledge in that it would eventually be required knowledge for those going on to colleges and universities. These students are further expected to learn higher level vocabulary skills. While in low track English classes, students rarely experienced these skills and were not expected to gain this knowledge.
So it is perhaps not surprising, given the differences what students learn from our designed education systems, the differences in the intellectual processes of different classes are very much substantial.
Author InfoResearching Student Education