Good Example Of Essay On The Relevance Of 20th Century Conflict To Inform 21st Century Foreign Policy In America’s Pivot To Asia
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1. Academic subject: History:
The history of schooling and the reproduction of inequality among minority groups
Communications technology and the evolution of information access over ten years: Leaps, bounds and bust
2. Social issue: Poverty in the US
Societal understanding/sympathy of black poverty compared to white poverty
The wealth gap and its implications for the American economy and the middle class
3. Scientific subject: Stem Cell Research
Potential of stem cell research to advance regenerative medicine in aging adults
Religion and stem cell research: Reconciling differences for the betterment of society
Stem cell research and cord blood: Business or Science?
4. Cultural background: Role of International Students on University Campuses
Perceptions of domestic students of international students on campus
Perceptions of international students of domestic students
Perceptions of international students of each other (from differing cultural backgrounds)
The American education system needs to become differentiated to appeal to wider diversity in its population. The existing curriculum, couched in Eurocentric ideas, is outdated and de-contextualized from the lives of many American children and youth.
An important figure in identifying the purpose of schooling was noted sociologist, Emile Durkheim. He noted that, “Society can survive only if there exists among its members a significant degree of homogeneity; education perpetuates and reinforces this homogeneity by fixing in the child, from the beginning, the essential similarities collective life demands” (1956, p.70). The assumption to this statement is that society is fixed and that the role of education is to ensure that society stays along a certain path. Instilling in the classroom the values and ideas of the dominant society aim to maintain the status quo. Despite the dated ideas of Durkheim, much of this mentality remains evident in the school system in the US today. Giroux and Penna argue that schools are extensions of a hegemonic ideology that functions to reproduce economic, cultural and social inequalities (Giroux & Penna, 1981: 214).
A growing movement aims to invert these inequalities by addressing them head on. Otherwise referred to as critical pedagogy, the aim is to utilize the school curriculum as a means to foster societal change. Giroux describes critical pedagogy as, “the importance of linking pedagogy to social change, connecting critical learning to the experiences and histories that students brought to the classroom, and engaging the space of schooling as a site of contestation, resistance, and possibility” (2003: 6).
Critical pedagogy is starkly contrasted to the model of homogeneity and consensus building espoused by Durkheim. The goal of education in this context is to educate in individuals a critical consciousness, engagement through experience, and ultimately action that will enable liberation and freedom.
If one considers the wide achievement gap between African American children and other groups (The National Center for Education Statistics, 2014), there is a need to make efforts to address inequalities in society. The historical construction of the school setting and how it has marginalized minority groups should be part of any history lesson. Involving students to re-formulate a curriculum where their interests and backgrounds are central is one pathway among many that will be considered in this paper.
The intended audience for this research is society as a whole. By law every person is required to go to school. Creating a better understanding of what past and current students experience in schools is essential. The position I take in this research is advocate. In particular it is a call to the Department of Education to consider curricular reform.
Durkheim, E. (1956). Education and Sociology. Glencoe Ill: Free Press.
Giroux, H. A. & Penna, A. N. (1981). Social education in the classroom: The dynamics of the hidden curriculum. In H. Giroux, A. N. Penna & W. F. Pinar (Eds.). Curriculum and Instruction (209-232). Berkley: McCutchin.
Giroux, H. A. (2003). Public pedagogy and the politics of resistance: Notes on a critical theory of educational struggle. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 35 (1), 5-16.
The National Center for Education Statistics (2014). The National Assessment of Educational Progress. Retrieved from: http://nces.ed.gov/
Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.
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