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).
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