Term Paper: Schools and Education

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[. . .] (Rury 2013)

This is because the country was continuing to evolve based upon shifts in attitudes and beliefs in society. At the same time, the economy was continually adjusting. This meant that in order for the nation to remain competitive some kind of changes had to occur within the system itself. The results were that more people became a part of the educational structure and were offered the opportunity to receive access to the same solutions as everyone else. (Rury 2013)

These ideals were supposed to provide everyone with better support and the ability to understand critical ideas. However, the reality is that these solutions are continuing to impact student performance. This is based upon the role that various social factors will have on an individual's ability to understand critical concepts and adjust with them. The most notable include: their gender, quality of home life, access to various economic resources, peer groups and the importance family members are placing on receiving a good education. These different variables are important as they will directly influence the student's perceptions about the significance of receiving a good education. When this happens, it will affect their ability to understand a variety of concepts and their underlying meaning. In the future, this will impact how well they learn new ideas and the way they see themselves. (Rury 2013)

The prior knowledge that we had about the American school system is that throughout the course of its history there were various inequalities that existed. In some cases, this was based upon racial or gender lines. While at other times, it was from economic variables and their influence on the way different students learn. These factors were based upon the challenges we faced with having to repeat the sixth grade. What made this situation so traumatic for us; is nobody understood how these elements impacted our ability to comprehend critical ideas. This is illustrating how social factors are having a direct effect on academic performance and individual perceptions about the importance of education in their lives. (Rury 2013) (Hendrix, 2013)

The major arguments are that the American education system is fundamentally flawed. This is because it is reactive to the challenges it is facing. The reason why is from many stakeholders being slow to understand what is happening and do not introduce effective solutions that are taking into account other variables (i.e. The individual's home life, their learning style or peer perceptions). These factors can have a major impact on how quickly a student learns and their opinions about the concepts that presented to them. (Rury 2013)

To make matters worse globalization is placing added importance on how quickly someone understands key ideas. However, educators are being distracted from understanding the role of different social influences and the importance on individual learning style. This is because they are being forced to focus on standardized tests which are designed to enhance measuring performance (versus addressing the root causes of the problems). When this happens, many individuals are often ignored by educators who are forced to concentrate on preparing them for the challenges they will face in the future. (Rury 2013)

The evidence from the various materials that were examined throughout the course is demonstrating that this is a major problem which is impacting the quality of education. If more resources were provided in these areas, student performance would improve over the long-term. This is because educators will be provided with greater amounts of flexibility in identifying individual learning styles and how social factors are impacting their achievement. (Rury 2013)

In general, we supported the arguments and conclusions that were presented by Rury. The reason why is we can look back at our own experiences and understand how social elements will play a role in individual levels of achievement. In some cases, this can have a negative effect by discouraging students from wanting to learn more. To make matters worse no one understands how these variables are affecting them or the way they can influence attitudes about education. (Rury 2013)

At the same time, those who have more positive social experiences and resources will feel empowered. This is from them having a support network that is encouraging them to learn and grow. Any kind of challenges that are experienced will teach them different methods for understanding how to adjust and respond. This is the key in determining their levels of success over the long-term. (Rury 2013)

For the most part, the ideas that were presented by Rury fulfilled the primary objectives of writing the text. This is because he conducted a careful examination of many different social factors and how this impacted the quality of education students are receiving throughout the course of American history. The information that is received will help educators to more effectively comprehend the role these variables are playing in a student's ability to learn and their overall perceptions. (Rury 2013)

However, many of the ideas that are presented need to be correlated by conducting some kind of study that can back up the underlying trends. For instance, if Rury had surveyed various educators and students, it would have improved his findings. This is because he can focus on other social factors and how they influencing perceptions about education. At the same time, teachers can provide insights about the challenge they are dealing with and the way this is impacting their ability to reach out to students. When this happens, the findings can be correlated with the general trends to provide more specific insights and possibly introduce solutions for improving them. In many ways, one could argue that this is the key for helping everyone to comprehend the root causes of the problems and the best approaches for addressing them in the future. (Rury 2013)

In Tearing Down the Gates, Sacks (2009) is looking at various economic and social inequalities that will have a direct effect on a student's education. This is achieved through carefully studying different school systems and the impact that these variables will have on quality. To accomplish these objectives, there is an emphasis on examining the various reasons and providing statistics. That will highlight how these factors are effecting individual achievement over the long-term. (Sacks 2009)

These texts make a contribution to our understanding of economic and racial influences on student performance. The way that is occurring is through measuring how these transformations are taking place and their lasting impact on everyone over the course of many years. The data that is provided takes a historical and contemporary look at these challenges. This is when we can see how these two variables are working together to impact the individual's beliefs on education and its importance in their lives. (Sacks 2009)

These insights are utilized to illustrate how they are supporting our prior knowledge on the subject. This is because we believe that economics and their ethnic group will influence a student's ability to learn. For instance, one of the most common observations is that the children of immigrants will have more difficulties inside the school system. This is because they have fewer economic resources and are treated as second class citizens by many individuals in society. (Sacks 2009)

These perceptions are reflected in student attitudes, as they think that they are outsiders and do not fit in. When this happens, the odds increase that they will have trouble making these adjustments over the long-term and learning more effectively from these beliefs. This is the point that they will be relegated to more menial jobs in society (by not understanding the way social factors are directly impacting their views of themselves). (Sacks 2009)

The major arguments that are presented in text include: that rich families have more resources / opportunities / support, there are political factors which give affluent students more advantages over others, affirmative action has failed to address various racial / economic disparities and these challenges are creating confusion among the different demographics. These factors are demonstrating how wealthy individuals have more support and assistance in the process of receiving their education. This is because their family structure is stronger, the schools have better resources in identifying critical challenges and they have greater opportunities to broaden their horizons. (Sacks 2009)

Moreover, students who are from various minorities will have larger challenges. This is from them being stereotyped into different categories. This is problematic, as these perceptions will lead to politicians providing fewer resources to schools with higher demographics of these students. In most cases, these difficulties will build upon themselves by forcing educators to make adjustments to the limited resources they have available. (Sacks 2009)

The evidence from the readings is supporting different concepts that were covered. The way that this is occurring is to demonstrate how there are other variables which will influence student achievement. In this particular case, the racial group and total amounts of economic resources will impact social perceptions. This is based upon the fact that many individuals will believe that they are better or… [END OF PREVIEW]

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