Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Education, Students, Culture, Children, Family, Sociology, Economics, School

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/19

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Education should is supposed to be an equalizing for all society members. Education should be the springboard to achieving anything by anyone regardless of their cultural, racial, or regional background. Things like gender difference, language variability, sexual orientation, religion, and physical ability should not be an impediment to accessing education and utilizing it to launch one’s flight into any possible success that one aspire for. The common belief among the general American public is that social status and economic success are to be earned through a meritocratic process that rewards individual ability, determination, and hard work regardless of the person’s background. Education has been viewed as a meritocratic system for preparing children for adult responsibilities and roles. However, the reality is that education in the United States is far from being a fair and meritocratic system. Despite several decades of reform in schools, the envisaged fairness for all, excellence and equality have not yet been realized.
It is, therefore, necessary that children from all pockets of society are prepared and socialized equally to take up adult work roles. Equal opportunity to learn attitudes and skills that are appropriate or which match up to the great diversity of work roles should be given to all children (Wilcox 271). Any iota of differential socialization of children more so by basing this socialization on their socio-economic backgrounds, hampers the possibility of every child being prepared adequately to take up the adult work roles. Moreover, a school should be an institution that is responsible for socialization of children, and it should be in tandem with the needs of various cultures. Currently, the schools have departed radically from addressing the needs of cultures available in US (Wilcox 271). The common conception is that schools should be responsible for transmitting culture to students. However, the notion in American schools is that schools are responsible for reforming culture. As transmitters of culture, schools have to be at the forefront in ensuring that students are adequately prepared to take up adult roles in the workplace. The transmission of culture to students enables them to have an equal opportunity in education (Wilcox 271). The current constitution of American schools as reformers of culture limits the student from having an equal chance at education.
Furthermore, teachers have a fundamental role in ensuring that all children have an equal opportunity at education. They are significantly involved in the issuance of tests to students and the eventual grading. Therefore, it is expected that teachers will be remarkably impartial in the delivery of knowledge to students. However, this is not the case; it is impossible for teachers, being cultural beings that operate in a cultural context, to impart knowledge neutrally. There has been wide-spread evidence that American teachers form expectations and label children’s individual ability on the basis of the child’s socio-economic background, ethnicity, and sex (Wilcox 272). These biased perceptions influence the teachers to socialize children differentially for adult work roles. The guiding thread in this unfair socialization is the relating of a teacher’s perception of adult work roles and the socio-economic status of the children’s’ parents. This biased socialization is the beginning of unequal opportunities for education. Children grow up having wrong perceptions about the adult work roles that they can take up. It is unfair to form expectations of children’s individual ability on the basis of their sex, ethnic backgrounds or socio-economic situations. Such a perception is myopic in nature and fails to recognize that a person’s ability is not dependent on such factors. This biased socialization of young impressionable minds can breed varied success rates across the population spectrum, hence different social and economic statuses among people.
Cultural capital is also one of the elements that lead to schools lacking fairness. Cultural capital is defined as cultural signals of high status that are used in social and cultural selection (Lamont and Lareau 153). This concept examines how both education and culture are used in social reproduction. The concept is used to account for reproduction of inequality in education, and the family background influences educational attainment and school experience. Cultural capital is formed in the family and the quantity or type acquired depends on the class background of the individual. Some schools will most likely value some forms of cultural capital more than others, and this becomes the beginning of unfairness in school accessibility which affects overall education attainment. The social origin of a person affects their educational outcomes, and this can be aptly explained by the cultural capital concept (Lamont and Lareau 154). The cultural capital concept can be used to explain the existence of economic inequalities. Both the education system and family socialization are responsible for stratification of society into distinct strata. The two relationships that exist between classes are the power and symbolic relationships. The argument concerning relation of the cultural capital concept and school starts by acknowledging that schools cannot be presumed to be neutral institutions. However, schools reflect the experiences of the class that is dominant. Children from this dominant class will make their entry to school while in possession of essential cultural and social cues. For students coming from lower class households or working class backgrounds, they most often do not possess the cultural or social cues. Therefore, these children have to attain the skills and knowledge that will enable them to negotiate the experience of acquiring education when they enter a school (Lamont and Lareau, p. 155). These children will take time to acquire the linguistic, cultural, and social competencies through education. These competencies are naturally inherent in upper-middle income and middle-class children, and children from the lower class cannot achieve the natural familiarity the kids from wealthy backgrounds have with these competencies. Therefore, children from lower class get penalized academically due to the lack of the social privileges that are freely acquired by children from well-endowed economic backgrounds (Lamont and Lareau 155). The possession of social, cultural, and linguistic competencies or lack thereof among children from different socio-economic backgrounds can be used to explain the unfairness in the education system.
Furthermore, schools in industrial societies that are complex like that of the US offer different types of curriculum knowledge and educational experience to a student who emanates from different social classes (Anyon 174). For example, skills and knowledge that lead to social power like managerial, legal, and medical are availed to social groups that are advantaged, but the same are withheld from those perceived to be coming from the working classes. Elsewhere, curriculum considered to impart practical skills like clerical knowledge and manual skills is offered to students from the working class (Anyon 174). Schools in communities that are wealthy prepare their students for top crust jobs. There are widespread differences in the philosophies of education and teaching methods in schools depending on whether they serve rich or poor communities (Anyon 174). Therefore, the economic background of an individual dictates the philosophy of education and the type of career that the student is prepared for. The trickledown effect of this is the different opportunities and pathways that students will be introduced to on their way to social and economic success.
Another issue of note is the impact of school reform programs in ensuring fairness in education accessibility and eventual excellent academic attainment. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program was considered the answer to education improvement for students living in poverty as well as students of color, students with disabilities, and low-English-proficient students (Darling-Hammond 642). This program has not been successful because NCLB accountability provisions create incentives that are counterproductive and encourage higher push-out and drop-out rates for students who are low-achieving. This is so much pronounced among students who are learning English as the second language. Moreover, the counter incentives create obstacles that hamper staffing, and also discourage assessments that cultivate broad thinking among learners. These education reform outcomes are not so encouraging. They paint a gloomy picture for students from minority groups. Essentially, the NCLB education program has failed to deliver on the mandate that it was first established to pursue. This leads to unfairness in the accessibility of education opportunities which ultimately result in varied social and economic attainments of people.
There is immense possibility for schools to be equitable and excellent. This can be achieved through comprehensive education reform programs. The education reform programs will only be beneficial if they are in tandem with the needs of minority groups; the most disadvantaged group in education accessibility. School reforms should also pursue ways of accelerating dramatic and rapid improvements in school performance (Kuo 389). Moreover, the biased and ill-informed perceptions teachers create about students derail the production of equitable education and act as a barrier to ensuring the right socialization of students.

Works Cited

Anyon, Jean. "Social class and the hidden curriculum of work." Journal of education (1980): 67-92.
Darling-Hammond, Linda. "No Child Left Behind and high school reform." Harvard Educational Review 76.4 (2006): 642-667.
Kuo, Victor. "Transforming American high schools: Possibilities for the next phase of high school reform." Peabody Journal of Education 85.3 (2010): 389-401.
Lamont, Michele, and Annette Lareau. "Cultural capital: Allusions, gaps and glissandos in recent theoretical developments." Sociological theory 6.2 (1988): 153-168.
Wilcox, Kathleen. "Differential socialization in the classroom: Implications for equal opportunity." Doing the ethnography of schooling (1982): 268-309.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 19) Essay On Education. Retrieved June 19, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/essay-on-education/
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Essay On Education. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/essay-on-education/. Published Dec 19, 2020. Accessed June 19, 2021.
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