Term Paper: Role of Education in Society

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[. . .] A mismatch between learning styles and teaching styles can result in confusion, frustration, and underachievement for minority students. Programs geared toward integration of multiple teaching styles as well as additional educational opportunities may well help address the issue of underachievement as well as dropout rates and interesting minority students in continued education. This perspective to teaching would also mean that students of all types of learning styles and levels would be able to participate, rather than having a certain contingent being 'left out' or unaware of expectations.

Another 'subtle' way that the message of multiculturalism and diversity can be honored is through the groups that represent the school. Many people consider the cheerleading squad to be representative of the school and of the students. Ensuring a racially diverse group would be dependent on the school's demographic make-up. If the school is predominantly white with other minorities represented, the cheer leading squad should include the minorities as well as the dominant group. If this means recruitment of members of each minority then the school has an obligation to actively encourage and provide additional assistance to these groups in order to give them the same opportunity to represent the school.

Most states and school districts have made a concerted effort to address the biases inherent in the testing system. There are several ways in which this might be addressed, among them allowing students with a different original language to take tests in their language of origin. Another way is to have the tests 'read' or interpreted and have the student reply on an individual basis.

The ideal educational system is one where the child is seen as unique and the mission of the school is to allow the potential for each to come to fruition. The current system is certainly not ideal; however, the trend toward multiculturalism is a step in the right direction. The biggest stumbling block to achieving this goal, it seems, is the level of diversity that the modern school has come to know. The differences go far beyond ethnic, racial or religious concerns.

Strategies within the current system include accommodations to students' learning styles, focusing on students' interests, and affirming students as individuals from different backgrounds and with different experiences. Following these guidelines, a school that needs to develop a plan for implementation to attain unitary status will soon be on the road to providing quality educational opportunities for all of its students.

The current push toward reform has centered on two very different approaches for improving the public school system in the United States. The first advocates small, independent and privately run schools as a solution. The other approach is to bear a strict standardization of the public schools now in operation. This would entail both academic and teaching standards to be implemented, evaluated and enforced. Both of these 'solutions' would need to address the issue of multiculturalism. On the surface, both would continue to add to a climate of segregation and oppression.

There is a need to return to the belief in the individual as unique through the integration of culture and opportunity. This is what Friere calls, "problem posing education" - one that "affirms men and women in the process of becoming" (2000, p. 84). Within the world of education, the implications may well be perceived as 'frightening'. In an overcrowded school with discipline problems and, or, a high level of violence, the idea of accepting each person on an individual level produces what may be seen as unreal expectations for the teacher and the administrator. Including other cultural holidays and celebrations could (and should) be considered. A child should feel free to reach to the upper limits of his or her potential and be rewarded for effort as well as guided into continued learning, not oppressed, repressed and excluded on the grounds of 'difference'; especially not in a society as diverse and multicultural as the United States.

References

Friere, Paulo (2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Trans M.B. Ramos; Ed. Valentine. New York, NY: Continuum.

Spring, Joel (2003). Deculturalization and the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Role of Education in Society.  (2004, April 25).  Retrieved May 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/role-education-society/6868355

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