The American Education System’s Multicultural Perplexity
The responsibility of the American education system is the instill into children the knowledge and necessary skills to be a productive portion of the society. Numerous studies have shown that high school drop outs are much more likely to have a criminal record than those who have received their diploma. I think that the success of a society as a whole is dependent on the core education of the individuals who make up that society. If you can’t provide for your family you will do whatever it takes to get the things you need. This is why it is imperative to create a base of individuals who are capable of sustaining a legitimate living.
The school systems are supposed to be the institutions responsible for this education, but are they impartial in their methods? I went to a relatively small school in northeast Pennsylvania which had a predominantly low to middle class Caucasian population. There were hardly any minorities in the school system, and as a result the minorities there did not receive a culturally diverse education. It was much easier for the teacher to teach to the majority in the methods that the majority could understand. These minorities had to assimilate to our practices our fail. This hardly solves the problem of educating students so they can provide for their future families. Of course the minorities in the school are not going to be as adept at learning Caucasian doctrines.
According to Penn State University’s Curriculum & Instruction manual (pg. 183) school has always been fundamentally about making the individual fit the group. But shouldn’t the fundamentals be about the advancement of the society through the individual prosperity?
I interviewed my fianc, David Carter, because he went through two different school systems in his education. From kindergarten through mid-seventh grade he went to a school which had an African American population near 40 percent, Beaver Falls, and from mid-seventh through graduation he went to a school which was around 3 percent minorities, Quaker Valley. Both of these schools are in the Pittsburgh area and are within 45 minutes drive of one another. The Beaver Falls School District was in a very poor neighborhood, and at this time David was being raised in low income housing (a.
k.a. ‘the projects’). He says that the teachers at Beaver Falls seemed to be frustrated with the students quite often and this affected their performance as teachers. Beaver Falls is not considered a good school system if you are shopping for a house. Quaker Valley, on the other hand, is in a middle class to upper middle class area and is considered a very good school district.
It actually was a Blue Ribbon School for the 1992-93 school year David graduated in. This means that it was considered to be one of the top 500 schools in America. David lived in a middle class neighborhood at this time, and he said that the teachers of Quaker Valley were highly motivated and exceptional leaders in the classroom. Assuming that the curriculum was the same for both schools, what was the difference in the aptitude of the two school districts?
How can some people assume that the higher level of minorities in the school district reflects a lower level if intelligence in the school? I think that Beaver Falls, and Quaker Valley, should be placing an emphasis on differing schooling styles. If you establish multiple styles of education then you can get an actual evaluation of the student’s performance. Not only will some students excel in different areas, but students who are good at one style may not be as prominent in a diverse method.
Students who are truly gifted will be able to excel at any system which is a tribute to the minorities who do well in a Caucasian system. In a more diverse system these students could be exposed as incredibly intelligent people where they are just good students in the current system.
Teachers have a responsibility to understand their pupils and how their culture affects their learning style. And quite too often this is not the case as teachers get bored with their students because they do .