Schools and Education Over the Last Several Term Paper

  • Length: 15 pages
  • Sources: 5
  • Subject: Teaching
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #36633796

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Schools and Education

Over the last several years, the field of education has been facing tremendous challenges. This is because of shifts in how they address a host of issues and there are changing demographics of students. These are all signs of broader social implications which are having an effect on individual performance and their ability to adapt with a variety of situations. (Rury, 2013)

Evidence of this can be seen with observations from Rury (2013) who said, "We live in a time of considerable social and political turmoil, marked by economic uncertainty that has directly touched the lives of millions of Americans. Deep divisions and critical problems, as a range of issues are debated fervently, extending from economic policy, to poverty and inequality. If there is anything everyone seems to agree upon it the growing importance of education for the future. Without expanding our present knowledge and abilities, it is unlikely that our society will meet the challenges that lay ahead. Today we publically object to discrimination and celebrate the principles of equality. To one extent each consequence is a process of vast social change. This is not something that simply economic. Certain segments of society have benefited from the new emphasis on human capital, while others have been left behind. The widening gulf between those families who have success in school and those who have not could eventually pose a major dilemma for everyone. The differences in educational accomplishments of children from a variety of backgrounds have been identified as key factors in social inequalities." (Rury, 2013, pp. 1, 2, 244)

This is illustrating how those who are from less affluent environments will face more challenges when learning new ideas in schools. This is because they do not have the social structures which will help them at home and in school to comprehend new concepts that are presented to them. When this happens, there is a higher probability that they will have poorer performance academically from these frustrations. (Rury, 2013)

To fully understand how this is affecting the quality of education requires examining the way schools and broader social structures will impact individual beliefs and ideas. This will be accomplished by the examining the various texts of the course and how they are influencing these areas. During this process, there will be an emphasis on: the author's purpose for writing their texts, major arguments that are presented, conducting an analysis of these concepts and the way they fulfill our own objectives. Together, these different elements will highlight the impact schools will have on broader social structures, institutions and the process itself. (Rury, 2013)

In Learning the Hard Way, Morris (2012) is discussing how the gender gap inside American schools is leading to critical challenges in the performance of girls vs. boys. What was determined is that males have lower chances of performing well academically and being able to attend college. This was accomplished with Morris looking at two studies that were conducted in low income rural and urban schools. In each case, he found that these gaps had similar findings as one another (with girls performing noticeably higher than the boys). (Morris 2012)

Both studies that were focused on are looking at different variables that could have an influence on why these disparities were occurring. The most notable include: respect, the challenges of being one gender vs. The other, male negative stereotypes associated with academic achievement, the anxieties that rural students will face in the process, other male profiles (i.e. The class clown), a propensity to be more aggressive and how females are utilizing this as a form of upward mobility / educational resistance. These contributions help to enhance our understanding of specific social factors that could impact academic performance and the way they influence individual behavior. This provides a better understanding of why potential gaps are occurring and their long-term impact on different genders of students. (Morris 2012)

This helps to build upon our prior knowledge of the American school system by demonstrating the how this is one of many different factors that will have an impact on student achievement in contrast with broader social structures. In this case, the views that males will have of each other will affect their ability to learn. The way that this is occurring is through them living up to various standards of their peers in order to be accepted. Whereas females; will utilize academic achievement to gain recognition and improve their social standing among peers. These factors are indicating how the American school system has a number of variables that will affect student performance (based upon various structures inside the institution). (Morris 2012)

The main arguments from Morris are that many educators fail to understand these issues. Instead, most individuals are looking at other factors which can impact student performance. This is problematic, as it is leading to a shift in perceptions with most individuals not realizing what is happening. Over the course of time, this will lead to dramatic transformations in the way students are interacting with each other and their perceptions about education. (Morris 2012)

From a social perspective, this is problematic as most teachers are focusing on meeting various national performance standards vs. spending more time in addressing the root causes of these problems. If they were able to alter their views, this will lead to a greater understanding of these challenges and increase the chances of them intervening. When this happens, the odds improve that they will more effectively reach out to them and address these disparities inside the classroom. (Morris 2012)

For the most part, we support these arguments. This is based upon the belief that there are social factors which are influencing learning among the different genders. What Morris did is to take these ideas and conduct a study of his own. When this happened, we had a better understanding of specific social variables that will influence the perceptions of academic performance among the different genders inside both urban and rural schools. Our early challenges with academia help to provide better insights as to how these issues exist and the lasting impact they are having on students. (Morris 2012) (Hendrix, 2013)

The primary purposes of Morris' writings were to comprehend and build upon social factors impacting student achievement. This was accomplished by conducting a study of his own and analyzing the way this is influencing these perceptions. In this aspect, the strengths of the text are that he was able to objectively identify specific reasons as to why females will perform better than males. This is providing precise insight which can be used to understand the overall challenges and the way that they are influencing others. (Morris 2012)

However, what was not addressed is that the sample size of the study was very small. This is because only two schools were examined. The information that was provided is illustrating specific insights. Yet, these could be anomalies that were identified. When this happens, there is the possibility that specific trends and other factors might have been missed. It is at this point that the findings may overlook other variables which are impacting student performance. (Morris 2012)

Moreover, actuaries did not focus on the role of the teachers in this process. They play an important part in the students' lives by helping them to understand the value of education and discouraging certain behaviors which are hurting themselves. This kind of examination could have shed light on the role that their preoccupation with testing is having on quality. At the same time, it failed to comprehend how specific tactics and the atmosphere of the school are contributing to these issues. This is the point that these conclusions will have missed other variables which are impacting student perceptions. When this happened, there is a possibility that some of the results of the study are flawed. (Morris 2012)

In Education and Social Change, Rury (2013) is carefully examining the history of education and the role that different social factors are playing on the process. This accomplished by looking at how this has evolved throughout the course of American history by focusing on a number of time periods. The most notable include: colonial America, the way the modern educational system evolved, the roles of gender / ethnicity / race, various reforms that were enacted, how education / social change will influence student attitudes and globalizations impact. These different elements are designed to provide everyone with an overview of the changes that occurred and the way the educational system evolved to adjust with these challenges. (Rury 2013)

However, there are other influences that are studied by Rury which had an effect on the development of the educational system (i.e. social factors). What he determined is that there was a system of inequality that was targeted mainly at minorities for the benefit of white males early on. As time went by, transformations in social attitudes directly resulted in everyone altering their views about education and the role of different stakeholders in the…

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