Term Paper: Educational Psychology the Value of Diversity

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Educational Psychology

The value of diversity is frequently intoned by the public and the educational system, and yet this intonation rarely goes very deep into the challenges that diversity creates. This is not to say that successes are not evident on many levels but the individual development that takes place is often a monumental struggle to developing a sense of self that is congruent enough to demonstrate success but not so streamlined that it creates a sense of selling out of ones race.

The case study of Johnnie Betts is a perfect example of the development of self that is created by diversity and the conflicts it can create. Betts is now a successful high school student living in California with his maternal Uncle and his family. Though Betts is very close to his family, including his mother and grandmother in St. Louis he was stifled by an inability to function through his education, due to the climate of education in St. Luis, and the fact that there was little if any social support for education, as there were little perceived options if you succeeded or not. (Case Study 167) According to many experts the social strength of families is sometimes perceived as divergent as secondary caregivers are so frequently utilized to care for children when times are hard, yet the strength of this extended network must be enforced and recognized rather than denigrated. (Harry, Klingner & Hart, 2005, p. 101)Therefore the pressure in St. Louis, among his peers was to shirk school responsibility and get involved in gang culture. He provides countless examples of the negative and dominant educational culture in St. Louis, and many negative examples of strict and even violent teachers and situations. (Case Study 167-168)

Betts has made several moves back and forth between St. Louis and California but for the time being he is committed to succeeding in California, as the school climate allows him to be successful and not "sell out" his culture by identifying himself with a postured persona that signifies a strong black man and switching between this and his academic success, without extreme censure. (169-170) Bett's switching between attitudes and personas could be characterized as unhealthy, and yet the true self of the African-American student must be balanced between their experiences in their own communities, and their need to form socially acceptable personal characteristics that "sell" those who make hard decisions about their future, such as educators and in some cases parents and/or alternative caregivers. With Betts this is particularly evident with his dress and also his linguistic switching. (Case Study 165-167) in one text the discussion of language and identity is a serious one for African-American Students and an important factor in development of identity and cultural pride. (Smitherman, 2000, p. 38)

The foundation of Betts' education has been surrounded with a disconnected goal from those that are given to children of other races with regard to education and success.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Educational Psychology the Value of Diversity.  (2007, September 23).  Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/educational-psychology-value-diversity/15499

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"Educational Psychology the Value of Diversity."  Essaytown.com.  September 23, 2007.  Accessed June 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/educational-psychology-value-diversity/15499.