Education is something often seen as equalizer in the face of social injustice. The concept of using school and information to put different people on a level playing field is a noble but misguided attempt at social equality. While education no doubt positively affects the position of people in society while creating an outlet to educate the ignorant, it becomes problematic when education is not an equal opportunity for everyone. In Adrienne Rich’s essay, Taking Women Students Seriously, she speaks of the inequality mainly affecting women while subtly hinting at the inequality present in education in regards to race and class. Gender, race and class are three characteristics that work together to create either a positive or negative profile for one’s education.
When delving into the content of Rich’s essay, the author clearly indicates her focus on the gender imbalance in education and how that impacts the lives of women. Women’s education is something that has been an addition to the education of men resulting in university and high school curriculum that does not “provide the kind of knowledge for women, the knowledge of Womankind, whose experience has been so profoundly different than Mankind” (Rich 389). This limited view of history that has influenced the way in which education is taught in regards to gender, leaving women to know next to nothing about the history of their gender. This ignorance about the past leaves women with no knowledge about the gender they
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America’s education system is one of the most respectable, reputable and sought after commodities in our society, but it is also the most overcrowded, discriminatory, and controversial system ever established. Most people yearn for a higher education because it 's what 's expected in this society in order to get ahead. It means a better job, more money, power, prestige and a sense of entitlement. But this system has let down the children that are supposed to benefit from it. Education discriminates against minorities, and poorer class students are not expected nor encouraged to attain a higher education. The education system is set up to ensure that every child get a basic
The educational system has been around for thousands of years, and throughout time, there have always existed equality issues. From girls not being able to attend school as far as the boys, to children being separated into different schools because of the color of their skin, equality in education is an issue that has plagued humanity for far too long. Throughout the years, there have been some important decisions made in an effort to afford equality in education. Perhaps, as we move forward in our thinking and beliefs, we may find a way to make education a right that everyone who has the desire to grow through knowledge should be afforded, regardless of circumstance.
Inequality has been present since the beginning of civilization. Education has played into this since schooling began; only boys were allowed to be educated while the girls would stay at home. Minorities, such as blacks, Latinos, etc. were excluded from receiving an education as well. Although education has progressed since then, it is seen in Ann Ferguson’s Bad Boys, Conley’s Education and Kozol’s Still Separate, Still Unequal that inequality within punishment, funding/resources and tracking, especially amongst minorities, is still present and even promoted in the modern education system.
Such a movement involved the American women to band together, raising an awareness of protecting women in pay, position, and anti-discrimination laws, which became as powerful as a women elevating herself to the arena of a soap box (Tavaana, “The 1960s-70s American Feminist Movement”). In the brief age of revolution, the nation also began to see the importance of women studies in high education institutions (Elfman, “A ‘Second Wave of Feminism’”). In the text, Rich divulges in her views on civil rights, emphasizing on her bias view on women suffrage in education, but rationalizes it with social currency: “...You, the women students here, and… us, who teach in a women’s college [are two parts of education]. But ultimately those two parts are indivisible… Less than a decade ago, with the rebirth of a feminist movement in this country, women students and teachers in a number of universities began to demand and set up women’s studies courses – to claim a women-directed education (Rich, 220, 221).” Whether it was intentional or not, Rich’s use of the word “indivisible” when describing the bond of female student and teachers (with no gender specific aim), was utterly relevant to say the least. Any US citizen hearing the speech, then and now, could recognize the correlation of the verbiage used in “Claiming an Education” as well as in the official Pledge of Allegiance. Rich was calling attention to not only the participation of national academia
Firstly, the book pinpoints on the high levels of inequality associated with our Education System. Markedly, the author was inspired by the experiences that a group of ten of his students faced as they progressed through the system. Paradoxically, a look at the American Education System depicts a system with many entry points that serves the interest of every child in a balanced way.
Educational inequality is attributed to economic disparities that often falls along racial lines and much modern conversation about educational equity conflates the two, showing how they are inseparable from residential location and, more recently, language.Educational inequality between white students and minority students continues to perpetuate social and economic inequality.
First, Tricia Rose explores the onset of educational equality within this unequal system. She sheds light on the misconception that wealthy individuals are worthy and have received their knowledge as well as money in a just way. Conversely, the poor, unprivileged individuals have not obtained just rewards, where the educational system has created an unnecessary burden for students. This can be exemplified by the fact that students obtaining an education already have their future carved out. For instance, while a white affluent individual will have more opportunities pertaining to attaining a better education and higher grades, a poor African-American will not have the same
Inequality on the basis of race, class, sex/gender, and sexuality is maintained in a variety of ways and contexts in the education system. This institution functions through several strategies to contain these common imbalances in society. The leading issue for this division is on the basis of its individual structure within the system.
One’s race, gender, and economic status all play into the availability of education for them. Since equality is the basis of what the U.S. is built upon, it should be of utmost importance. However, time and time again, people of different social statuses, races, and genders, are all given different opportunities. For Beneatha, the lack of money was a big deal. Mama clarifies, “You mean… your sister’s school money… you used that too… Walter?…” (Hansberry, 129) This was enough to make Beneatha want to give up. She felt that there was no point still trying to go to college if there wasn’t enough money to pay for any of it. This just illustrates how hard it can be for people with limited pockets to get a good education. Everyone, regardless of economic status should be given equal opportunities to education under the Constitution. But that doesn’t seem to be happening, does it? In a NPR podcast, Linda Darling-Hammond is quoted as saying, “You can’t teach a child who’s chronicle hungry or cold” (Lloyd). Again, economic status keeps some individuals from getting the same education as others. Two more characteristics that harm the availability of education are race and gender. In fact, the statistics of black women compared to white women for college diplomas illustrates this inequality. In 2007, 19% of black women had college diplomas by the age of 25. On the other hand, 30% of white women had the by the same point (Conrad). It’s
The American educational institution is one that individuals of every race, gender, and background experience while growing up. Since social class is determined in large part by education, the effects of education carry forward into the rest of each person’s life even after they’ve long left the institution itself (Roy, lecture 10). In his lecture on the institution, Professor Roy adds that education allows for a path to social mobility while also reproducing inequalities. This paradox can be seen in both race and gender – albeit in varying degrees. Race is a perpetuated inequality in the educational institution because of deeply rooted class boundaries (Roy, lecture 10). Even without legal segregation in schools, spatial segregation is a structural problem in American society that continues to perpetuate unequal opportunities in a vicious cycle (Massey & Denton 5). Gender, which at one point faced great inequalities, no longer deals with the same perpetuated problems in education because it separated itself from early institutional ties to government and religion. In modern America, class and racial equality has room to make the same strides in the educational institution that gender equality has had in the past centuries.
Throughout the history of American education, students have faced many dilemmas that have caused interference to the community in many ways. For the past half century many of the educational reform movements (e.g., school desegregation, head start, and bilingual education) have attempted to promote racial and class equality in education. So why is it that these reform movements haven’t been successful in equalizing educational opportunities? There have been notable achievement gaps between mainstream and minority students that researchers haven’t found a solution for and my explanation for this is that once a debate has been “solved,” a new one arises. It isn’t so much that educational equity isn’t achievable, but I strongly believe that the ignorance of individuals creates a barrier between the reality of a situation and the false belief of one. This is to say that those who believe in stereotypical speculations about certain racial groups, often alienate that group; so much so that equality is farfetched.
Education is the foreground to success in modern society. The quality of education and the amount of education one receives is a large determinant in the financial wellbeing of individuals. Studying the inequalities found in the American educational system is essential because it uncovers how social stratifications, inequalities, and social constructions of race, class, gender, and sexuality are created as well as reinforced. Although many of the notions about races, classes, genders, and sexualities have been created outside of the school, it is in the educational system that children are presented with the social constructions of race, class, and gender that dominate our society.
Human beings within a society need a sufficient amount of education to go about communicating and functioning in a community. However, despite how crucial it is that one is educated, many do not have an opportunity to do so. This lack of opportunity can, in someways, be traced back to a single concept, classism. Both in the past and present, classism is a growing injustice in society that impacts ones ability to learn and is a determining factor for those that will succeed and those that will fall behind.
Ultimately, rich was successful in relaying that we should learn from those before us and strive to be better. At Smith College all of the woman have at least one trait in common. It is privilege. Each of the students may be of different class, or skin color, but each of them is gifted with the “…privilege of education” (76).
Many believe that the greatest source for a nations strength is to provide equal education for all of its students. However, are we as educators short-changing our female students? I believe the answer to this question is an undeniable, Yes! There are different ways and methods to change this problem in our society; hence we must first examine the source of the corruption.