Sunday, March 31, 2013

Connections to Delpit and Johnson--Brown vs. Board

Brown vs. Board of Education Connections Response 

          The following quote from the NY times article reminded me of Delpit in regard to . “Long years of evidence show that poor kids of all ethnic backgrounds do better academically when they go to school with their more affluent-that is, middle class-peers.” I thought this was good until I read the next sentence:  “But when the poor kids are black or Hispanic,that means racial and ethnic integration in the schools.” Why should there be a "but?" This shouln't have been a problem, but it was and severely impacted these students' learning. This is an example of inequality in connection with Brown vs. Board of Education.  This topic also supports Lisa Delpit, who said that societal change occurs from the top down.

          Before this article, I had not heard of a "postracial America." In the article, it said that there is not much progress by having all poor students in one school. This is obvious because these kids do not have any example to follow besides the one they are used to seeing, which is a struggling image of their family for financial support. Therefore, school may not be a priority for these kids, despite that in actuality it should be since it directly affects finances. Nonetheless, this part of the article connects to Delpit's The Silenced Dialogue regarding the culture of Power and system of white privilege and Johnson's "Rodney King's Question" about social divides.
          Specifically the last paragraph of the article: “What I think is a shame is that we have to do all of this humiliating dancing around the perennially uncomfortable issue of race. We pretend that no one’s racist anymore…” We talked about this in class a few weeks ago. Racism still exists in subtle ways, such as a hidden curriculum. Also, in the video the speaker defines racism and postracial America, like the article. Upon reading the definition I realized the connection to class about racism still existing, despite that people may think it doesn’t happen anymore. The 2nd video mentions that even though Brown vs. Board and Civil Rights act have been passed, people must act in order to make sure equality exists and the laws that derived from them are enforced. At one point the article said that teachers avoided poverty stricken schools. In class, we said how Delpit stated that teachers need to use kids' experieces to each them and wants the educators to open up to students.
          Poor children need to be taught about expectations. The bar of acheivement needs to be raised for them and they need to be told they will and can do well in school, even if they are brought up in a poor environment. This coincides with Delpit, specifically the part where she says kids need to be taught the rules and codes of power to be successful.
Also, the whole situation regarding inequality, which Brown vs. Board surmounted, connects to Johnson's essay, where he refers to people as "social beings" yet people use the differences among one another as social barriers. This causes people to develop standards, which instigates social inequality. In essence, Johnson states people must admit that social flaws still exist. This recognition should be the start to eliminate them all together.

          I liked this article because it states a clear plan on how to change the struggle for inequality in schools and improve the education for poorer students.  It says to take the “learning environments” out of areas of poverty. Kids need to see a new setting. Once they are introduced to it, they will mirror what they have observed and develop traits similar to what they have seen in this new learning setting. Sometimes seeing other students different from them, such as middle class, provokes a healthy competition, where poor students strive to achieve goals and set standards equal or above their fellow classmates.
           In essence, the significance of the learning environment, is the core of this article. The learning/educational setting is the foundation for educational, social, mental and emotional development. If it is not a healthy area, the kids will not learn effectively. This was a “Think outside the box” article. It makes people open their eyes and look for the actual cause of social/educational problems.
      Now, what areas are presently holding students back from learning? Is it race, learning environment, social structure or a mixture of all three? How so? Do we as students have the power to change it since it affects our own community or do we need a higher power, such as state government, to implement a plan to make learning more effective? Where else in society does inequality exist? Does it affect people as signficantly as it does is school settings?
I believe that inequality in schools is more severe because education is the foundation for the rest of learning developments, which affects all areas of life. Moreover, education is during the stages of a child's own social, emotional and physical development.

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