Reflections on Articles written by Tyack (1974), Lewis and Wigen (1997), Gruenwald (2003), and Apple (1996)
In my fifth week of class, I read the following articles/chapters:
In the second article, Toward a Critical Metageography in “The Myth of continents: A Critique of Metageography”, it is a good question to ask if the concept and understanding behind metageography can still be used and implemented in defining current social, political, and economic structures. The global mindset of today may articulate that metageography could still contribute significant ideas that could be used to create better decisions, implement relevant actions, and develop better collaboration and understanding, particularly in shaping actions that could contribute the progress of the entire world. Though metageograhy may pose benefits to the continuous growth and development of countries around the world, there are many changes that need to be made to support the relevance of using metageography concepts in today’s social, economic, and political structures (Lewis & Wigen, 1997). There are ten principles of critical metageography that have been identified, which included: the commitment to combating cartographic ethnocentrism, the importance of combating geographical determinism, typological honesty, the mastery of the metageographical cannon, sociospatial precision, definitional integrity, neutral nomenclature, historical specificity, contextual specificity, and creative cartographic vision (ibid). These principles have produced different views that are subjected to critical examinations, especially with the essential role of metageography in defining the permanent classification of different countries. These different classifications impacted the: extent of relationship patterns among countries, distribution of human and economic resources, worldly perspectives on religions and religious practices, environmental conditions and social responsibilities, reliability and relevance of information in textbooks and other knowledge-based resources, conformity on political and economic eventualities, categorization and division of the world into macroregions, and crosscutting and overlapping of regionalisms (ibid).
In the third article, Foundations of Place: A Multidisciplinary Framework for Place-Conscious Education, it is highly detrimental that the manner the American education should deliver and implement teaching and learning with students should be based on the relevance and appropriateness on the concept of place. Place-consciousness plays a significant role in identifying how the world works, how our lives fit into the places and spaces that we live and occupy, how particular places and particular attributes are developed, and how we shape our identification as humans and the possibilities that we create within our constructed realities (Gruenwald, 2003). The understanding of place should not be limited or ascertained as merely as a point of direction, a location to visit, or a geographical identification that is navigated in a map (ibid). The recognition and awareness of place, beyond its mere identification as a location, provides meaningful opportunities for contemporary American schools and institutions with more applicable understanding of students’ cultural backgrounds, principles, and ideologies (ibid). The American education system is often overwhelmed and micromanaged with unrealistic and stressful factors that influence school communities’ behaviors, characteristics, and actions. Likewise, the American education system forgets to create connections and meaningful relationships among its stakeholders because of the lack of and limited understanding of place-consciousness. In doing so, it is necessary that the American education system should develop great emphasis on the importance of cultural awareness in the establishment of place-consciousness, particularly with the evolving population of students (ibid). The American education system should not be satisfied and not conform to the decisions that are based on contemporary issues that plague our perception of place. Instead, critical investigations of place and space must be included to teach the importance of diversity of places and cultures, as well as the interrelationships that exist between people and places in the global economy (ibid). As Gruenwald (2003) stated, “place-consciousness depends on what teachers and students are actually expected and empowered to do” (p. 644). In doing so, assessment of student performance should not be focused on results on state mandated examinations. Effective accountability should be based on the assessment of the places that we, and others, live that translates to the kind of education that is provided and the pedagogical impact of places in and outside school (Gruenwald, p. 644).
In the fourth article, Power, Meaning and Identity: Critical sociology of education in the United States, Michael Apple (1996) discussed the impact of sociology of education in the homogeneity that continue to exist in the American educational structure, including the influence of class politics, course differentiation, diversity, curricular organization, regulations in the use of textbooks and other course materials, contradictory pressures, and the like. The implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 emphasized the desire for uniformity not only for student accountability through rigorous assessments, but more so with reinforcing the existence of conservative structures that exist in the American educational system (Apple, 1996). The desire for excellence by the American education system through the concept of restructuring seemed to have developed more complications and challenges on student, teacher, and school performance. It is evident, even in today's time, how more segregated and separated people are based on their gender, class, race, ethnicity, political, and economic groups. There continues to be evidence of prioritization on the academic and professional success for "White" students and adults than "Hispanics", "Blacks", and "Asians". There exist higher complexities in the American education system in determining appropriate goals and objectives to deliver authentic and meaningful teaching and learning experiences. Schools are supposed to not only provide knowledge and skills among students, but more so, liberate students from stark poverty, violence, oppression, discrimination, and inequalities. Unfortunately, schools have become instruments of segregation, dependence on conservative and micro-managed structures, conformity, to name a few. If the American education system truly desires to educate and prepare students to a brighter and greater future, it is important that changes be made to ensure that relevance, connections, consciousness, and human kindness be part of their learning process. As Giroux (2012) have mentioned, it is time for students, teachers, parents, and local communities to make a stand on social and educational reconstruction. Critical discourse should take place.
In my fourth week of class, I read the following articles/chapters:
In the second article, Epistemology and Educational Research: The Influence of Recent Approaches to Knowledge, it is important that teachers immerse themselves in “reflective-teaching” and “reflection-in-action” (Green, 1994, p. 425). Teachers often forget or have surrendered with the idea that students from poverty should not be given the same opportunities compared to the wealthier and more affluent students. Teachers should understand that many students from low socio-economic structures and minority groups are powerless than those students who have more advantages in wealth, prominence, authority, and other resources. Students, who are from poverty and are discriminated based on the color of their skin, should be provided with rigorous curriculum and with more relevant and appropriate teaching and learning experiences. As students are categorized and branded based on their cultural and racial backgrounds, they are also distinguished based on their attributes as males, who represent universality and mediacy, or as females, who represent particularity and immediacy, in society (Green, 1994, p. 429). In doing so, students thrive to belong or to be a part of something larger and more meaningful, as well as being part of a greater structure where their individual contributions matter (Green, 1994). In supporting the desire of students to become significant and be empowered through appropriate and relevant knowledge and skills, it is necessary that the current educational system recognize the role of diversity, the awareness of genuine care towards individual needs, and the implementation of authentic forms of assessments based on real-world situations.
In the third article, Who’s Colonizing Who? The Knowledge Society Thesis and the Global Changes in Higher Education, “globalization” and “knowledge society” are two ideas that are being relatively compared with regard to its influence in changing the social, economic, cultural, and political structures in society (Forstorp, 2007). "Globalization" or the "age of globalization" is identified with the concepts of modernity, progress, and collaboration with different nations (ibid). Though these concepts may seem positive in the light of societal and economic development, many do not understand that globalization includes the process of “deterritorializaton” and “reterritorialization” of nations. Both processes are based on the in-depth power that nations may have being "knowledge-based societies" (ibid). In doing so, different nations have made it as a priority to build a highly educated workforce, establish a competitive edge from fellow nations, and develop the intellectual strength of its population (ibid). Furthermore, "knowledge society" has become a widespread idea that many people may not be fully familiar with, particularly with the philosophies of information-literacy as demonstrated in the development of technology, educational methodologies and practices, professional learning communities, global collaboration and communication, and the like (ibid). For this reason, many progressive countries, such as the United States, aim to implement changes in their educational system as a tool to: reinforce its authority, control, and power in the global community; and, provide its people with higher educational levels, as information-literacy continue to be the focus of every nation’s economic and political advancement.
In my third week of class, I read the following articles/chapters:
In the second article, Social Class, School Knowledge, and the Hidden Curriculum: Retheorizing Reproduciton, the inequalities among students continue to be explored by Jean Anyon (1980). According to Anyon (1980), the American educational system fails to offer equal and equitable opportunities for all students, particularly for students who are extremely poor. It is evident that the American educational system has a social class system in place, which directly categorizes and labels students as belonging to the working class, middle class, affluent professional, and executive class (ibid). In doing so, the school knowledge and learning experiences of the students from these different social classes are discriminatory (ibid). Education is supposed to serve as the “leveling effect” among social classes, where middle class opportunities and incomes are provided for working class and middle class students (ibid, p. 44). However, this is not the case and the separation between the rich and poor continue to widen (ibid, p. 44). According to Linda Darling-Hammond (2010), “concentrated poverty is shorthand for a constellation of inequalities that shape schooling (p. 37).”
In the third article, Understanding Cultural Diversity and Learning, it is important for the American education system to recognize and understand the cultural diversities of students, for this may provide significant contributions that will be beneficial to successful learning experiences (Ogbu, 1992). Ogbu (1992) explained that appropriate recognition and understanding of the cultural diversities of marginalized students will open new insights to their culture, reduce prejudice and stereotyping, and promote intercultural understanding (p. 174). However, the risk in opening to the cultural diversities of these students may lead to opening problems that may not be remedied with cultural infusion (ibid). Ogbu (1992) identified different types of minorities, namely: the autonomous minorities who are primarily in a numerical sense; the voluntary minorities who desire to cross cultures, languages, and identities; and, the involuntary minorities who have difficulty in crossing cultures, languages, and identities (ibid, pp. 176-177). These differences among minorities are influential factors in determining the success of their school knowledge and learning experiences, and in future decisions of their personal and professional lives (ibid).
In the fourth article, Keeping Track, Part 1: The Policy and Practice of Curriculum Inequality, Jeannie Oakes (1986) discussed tracking as a major effect of and contributor to inequality in education. Tracking divides students into separate classes based on students’ academic performance (i.e. high achievers, low achievers) (Oakes, 1986). Many American schools assumed that tracking promotes student achievement (ibid, p. 13). However, tracking has led to wider and more exaggerated separation among students who do well and those who do not do well at all (ibid, p. 14). Likewise, tracking encourages greater segregation among those who are identified to be college bound and become successful leaders of society, and those who will end up with lesser educational and professional opportunities (ibid, pp. 14-15). Furthermore, students can clearly recognize and understand the segregation among their peers, which can lead students to act according to the manner they are tracked and labeled by the American education system (ibid). Furthermore, the American education system developed a structure in which it generates and produces students according to their social classifications (ibid). In doing so, the act of supporting the social class system enables the propagation of economic inequalities and the prominence of higher authoritative power (ibid).
Educational Leader. Advocate of Equality and Equity in Education. Photographer. Graphic Designer. Web Developer. Digital Artist. Technology is my medium for creative and artistic expression.