Essay On Critiques Of The “Cultural Deprivation” Approach

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Family, Children, Education, Students, English, Poverty, Language, School

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/02/15

The readings we had about culture and learning were quite insightful, they provoke one to think critically on how the two aspects i.e. culture and leaning correlate. The three articles we read provided me with basic knowledge on various factors that influence the results or performance of children in different schools who are from different cultures as well as different socio-economic backgrounds. The articles critiques the reasons or explanations provided by different researchers and scholars as to why children who are considered to be from poor background or those who live in poverty stricken neighborhoods and ghettos perform poorly in schools.
According to the article titled Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez (1982), whereby a family struggles to learn English language because they have just moved from a place where their native language was Spanish to a place where the language being used is English (Rodriguez, 1982). The writer clearly explains how we always strive very hard to fit into other people’s culture. The parents are forced to learn English as well because their children are attending a school where they are taught in English. This is occasioned by the need of teaching their children English after school. As time goes, the children become fluent English speakers while parents especially their father is having problems speaking English. In my opinion, learning to speak another language is a good idea, but one needs to keep his/her native language, as much as we change, we should always maintain our cultures.
The writer further tells us that it got to a point where he could fluently speak English that he could no longer communicate in his native language which was Spanish. This became a problem communicating when his Spanish speaking relatives came visiting them, as such the writer would always feel embarrassed (Rodriguez, 1982). This should not have been the case if his parents had not allowed the use of English language at home. To me, they should have just allowed their children to be taught English in school but speak or communicate with their parents at home using Spanish. I am of the opinion that one should not completely abandon his/her original or native language. The fact that the children were provided with a good environment to learn English, both at home and school, made the writer to quickly learn English, this shows that children can learn much faster and easily with the support from their parents. However, parents should not allow what their children are taught in school to dictate how they communicate with them at home. This will help reduce cases of silence at home like for the family of the writer where they were speaking two different languages with their parents i.e. as the children learned more English, communicating with their parents became a problem.
In the second and third article, titled Academic Ignorance and Black Intelligence by William Labov and Miseducating Teachers about the poor by Randy and others, I agree with their arguments that oppose the account that children in ghetto schools perform poorly because of lack of stimulation to speak in the environment they live during their early stages of life and poverty (Randy et al., 2008). As a result, they cannot express themselves in school well verbally thus performing poorly, to me, if this was the case then they could only be failing in subjects to do with reading, but then that is not the case here. Ghetto children perform poorly even in subjects that need calculations or rather arithmetic’s. So there is a much bigger problem behind the poor performance that needs to be looked into and addressed rather than overly relying on the verbal deprivation concept that has been proved to be wrong (Solomons et al., 2010). Furthermore, children living in poverty often communicate, they talk a lot with their peers, I agree with Labov’s argument that the environment under which the child was interviewed in a New York City school to determine his verbal capacity was totally different from what the child was used to, i.e. the ghetto environment (William, 1972). Therefore, the child could not speak like he/she could have spoke in an environment which he/she feels comfortable with. Hence, results from such interview surveys should not be used to explain why children from poor backgrounds perform poorly in school. Instead, schools should consider creating good learning environment where children from poor backgrounds can adapt easily and not setting standards to children based on what middle and working class families do at home with their children.
Schools should also take into consideration cultures of different groups from which the children come while developing teaching programs and not only consider standard English if they want to realize good performance from ghetto schools. They should focus mainly on the skills and competence of those children and improve on them instead of blaming their culture for poor performance in school and trying to change their culture in school to match cultures of children from middle and working class families (Solomons et al., 2010). The school’s culture is to blame for the poor performance, not the culture of people where the children come from. The writers have also brought out clearly the fact that language only cannot be used as a basis for improvement, categorizing students based on language alone is not going to be effective in the long run because each individual student has different specific issues that make him/her perform poor. Thus, teachers should not generalize that their problem in schools is language.

Works Cited

Randy Bomer, Joel E. Dworin, Laura May, and Peggy Semingson.Miseducating Teachers about the Poor: A Critical Analysis of Ruby Payne’s Claims about Poverty (2008): n. pag. Web.
Richard Rodriguez. Hunger of Memory. The education of Richard Rodriguez (182): n. pag. Web.
William Labov. Academic Ignorance and Black Intelligence  (1972): n. pag. Web.
John Solomos, and Patricia Hill Collins, eds. The Sage handbook of race and ethnic studies. SAGE Publications, 2010.

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"Essay On Critiques Of The “Cultural Deprivation” Approach," Free Essay Examples -, 15-Feb-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-May-2024].
Essay On Critiques Of The “Cultural Deprivation” Approach. Free Essay Examples - Published Feb 15, 2021. Accessed May 27, 2024.

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