Term Paper: Attitudes and Values of High

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[. . .] They were participating in classroom discussions, going back over work they could not grasp, taking time to figure out schoolwork, and submitting homework on time. Moreover, most of these students are aware of entrance requirements for various colleges; they attended college presentations at their high schools. It was further learned that Hispanic immigrant students typically enrolled in lower level and basic math courses compared with European-American students who may be said to show greater discernment a propos the significance of mathematics.

As mentioned before, the results of studies sometimes throw skewed or contradictory light upon the topic in question. A survey prepared by Public Agenda, for instance, showed that higher education is seen as the means to the American dream by the American public; and African-American and Hispanic parents place a higher value on college education than do parents of European-American students. Naturally, these parents are the first school their children have attended, suggesting that Hispanic and African-American students may be keener on attaining good education. Nonetheless, the participation rate in higher education among the 18 to 24-year-olds is lowest for Hispanics, followed by African-Americans. Whites have double the participation rate as Hispanics (The National Center, 2000). It must be stressed that the lower is the socioeconomic status of a family, the lower are the chances of buying college education. In this matter again, individuals belonging to races that are susceptible to discrimination (as has been thought) had been complaining of denial of their rights. This situation has been remedied to a great extent by now since we can sense silence at this end.

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education carried out a study with Hispanic high school students. In this he saw enormous variety among the Hispanics -- a generic term because there are many types of Hispanics. Also, the research divided the high school students among three classes: "college-prep' students (typically coming from middle-class families) who are poised for an easy transition to higher education immediately after graduation; 'non-college-bound' students, often from working-class families, who display little chance of going to college in the near future; and the 'college-maybes,' students who share many of the same obstacles as the non-college-bound students, but who appear to have more of the academic preparation needed to go on to college directly after graduation. (The National Center, 2003)"

Hispanic families of the college-prep students in the above study, are like other upscale families around the country, in particular the upper middle class families of the nation. Research has shown that Hispanics endeavor to find two-year institutions for themselves. They want to ease the transition into college and also stay close to home, based on the present study. It implies that perhaps the Hispanics do not feel at home in the whole of the United States, they feel like foreigners in transition.

Families of the non-college-bound students in this research were less educated, and the high schools students in this group seemed to lack academic skills, work habits, and a sense of direction, ambition and focus required to get into college. A number of female students in this group were mothers, quite a few male high school students had had problems in the past with the criminal justice system. They were "troubled students" with no concrete plans for the future whatsoever. Conversely, they were very much informed of the reality that going to college is a means to success. In fact, whilst interviews were being conducted as part of this study, various participants among the non-college-bound students appeared "extremely bright." This factor left itself conclusive: "massive intervention -- both academic and social -- would be required for them (these students) to launch a successful college career any time soon. (The National Center, 2003)"

The college-maybes belonged to families that were not very educated; however, the college-maybes were students that had prepared themselves better for college. These students were doing well in school, making it hopeful for them to carry on with their education. Then again, these students were indecisive and unstable to a degree. They are important from the policy perspective though because changes in Hispanic higher education participation rates will be first reflected through these college-maybes alone (The National Center, 2003).

We have established how social class affects one's education just as race appears to, principally in our country. Besides, it has been documented that there are very man ambitious students among most races resident of the United States of America. What is interesting here to point out is that Harvard Graduate School of Education have reported: immigrant students attach greater significance to their schooling and school authorities than do their nonimmigrant counterparts. This research was carried out using the following four groups of subjects: (1) non-Latino whites; (2) second generation US.-born Latinos; (3) newly arrived Mexican immigrants; and (4) youth in Guanatajuato, a Mexican town with high levels of emigration to our country (Harvard Gazette Archives, 1998).

Mexican immigrants have been found to hold cultural attitudes and values that appear highly conducive to a productive life in the U.S., and "U.S.-born youth reveal more dystopic attitudes toward school and school authorities." Research also revealed that while white students felt bored at school and displayed an ambivalent attitude toward their schooling, immigrant students seemed gratified and appreciative. The latter also showed a more positive attitude toward school and school authorities. Furthermore, this group was a hopeful, optimistic one that believed in success as a consequence of hard work. Research showed that the second-generation youths (no more fresh immigrants) were not as enthusiastic as their ancestors may have been upon entering the United States. The energy and faith of the immigrant students was missing in the second-generation youths.

Immigrant students take pride in school and schoolwork more than the Mexican- or U.S.-born students do. There is very little probability that the immigrant students would view their school authorities negatively. Also based on research, it has been found that these students have a strong commitment to learning English because they believe it is essential for their future success (Harvard Gazette Archives).

From the outlook of plain humanity, it can be presumed that all humans want improvement in their lives. For this reason, it is understandable that not only do immigrant students, but all Americans view college as the key to a better life. To say that all Americans view college as the road to success is not to mean that there is everything wonderful about this story. Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study of the behaviors, attitudes and values of secondary school students. What does it find? Well, they have reports on how much high school students use ecstasy, other illegal drugs, how much they smoke and drink. Yes, this is a common problem among the teenagers of today. One report of Monitoring the Future says, however, that party animals rarely exist after college (Monitoring the Future, 2003). This should be good news for those wishing to see loved ones out of drug experimentation and the like. As mentioned before, high school age is a very suggestible one and great care must be taken by students to guard their self-respect even in the friendliest of circumstances. Date rapes and other crisis related to sexual harassment are not uncommon among teenagers. Unwanted pregnancies are an old story by now. Many mistakes can be caused by irresponsible behavior, and it may be sometimes difficult to turn back the clock.

Other destructive activities of high school students? They are not eating healthy foods based on research findings. Junk food is increasing youth obesity that has reached its record level in California. So, the Public Health Institute of California commissioned a study to research the prevalence of fast food shops on California's high school campuses, and student access to healthy foods at school. It was found through this research that high school students like fast foods, and fast food sellers were all around the areas of the schools. Fast foods were being sold as a la carte items, and the main items available on sale were pizza, cookies, chips and burritos. The most common fast food brands in the school areas were Taco Bell, Subway and Dominos Pizza. Plus, fast food and beverage advertising is allowed on campus by the majority of schools, it was discovered (Samuels, 2000).

Eating unhealthy is not as harmful as the abuse of drugs in the common man's mind. Just as high school students and people of all ages in this day and age get lectures on why to avoid smoking or consumption of alcohol in addition to the spread of AIDS, high school students now are given necessary training by some schools about how to eat healthy. There are programs such as California Project LEAN's Food on the Run Program with a campaign called The Simple Solution to the Energy Problem. This was aimed at reaching, educating and motivating high school students to make better nutritional choices. Into the bargain, the provision… [END OF PREVIEW]

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