Ideal Education Experience
The focus of my educational experience is at the middle school, sixth through eighth grade level. I chose this level because I feel that these are very impressionable years for our youth in today’s society. The typical age group during this time period ranges from 10 years old to 13 years old, and this is when most children start to form their own identities as they begin the transition from adolescents onto teenagers. This is also when they begin to experience a great deal of peer pressure and outside distractions as they become more in tune with the myriad of influential media outlets in society.
Given these factors, I feel it is imperative to create diverse, enhanced, and consistently fair educational opportunities at the middle school level To achieve the ideal educational experience at the middle school level, or any level for that matter, there must be adequate and state of the art resources available for all students. This includes classroom resources like textbooks and lab equipment and also things like school provided meals, bathrooms, and overall upkeep of school facilities.
We live in a state of the art and technology driven society in which we expect our youth to be able to compete and creatively think once they enter the work force. In order to support our youth achieve their goals and be productive members of society we need to ensure they have most dynamic resources and ensure their curriculum evolves with times – just as technology does. I think the lack of resources in the majority of public schools is one of the biggest problems with are education system.
More specifically, I feel there is an unfair distribution of resources based off the level of affluence, or lack thereof that a school may or may not have. During this week’s assigned readings, a prime of example of this kind of bias was brought to light by Jonathan Kozal in the essay entitled Freemont High School. Kozal compares the “technical arts” program of an inner city Freemont High School, to that of the much more affluent Beverly Hills High School.
Emphasizing the blatant partiality of the two curriculums, his comparison of the two schools states that “At Beverly Hills High School… the technical arts requirement could be fulfilled by taking subjects such as residential architecture, the designing of commercial structures, broadcast journalism, advanced computer graphics, a sophisticated course in furniture design, carving and sculpture, or an honors course in engineering research and design.
At Freemont High, in contrast, this [technical arts] requirement was far more likely to be met by courses that were basically vocational… like sewing class or hair dressing. ” (The Norton Reader, Page 369). The point made by Kozal only encompassed two schools, however, if you look at this comparison on a national scale it relates directly to the disconnect between upper and lower class societies all over the United States, and emphasizes an area with much needed room for improvement.
In regards to public or private schooling, I believe this is explicitly the prerogative of the student and the type of environment that allows them the best chance to succeed. However, I do feel that we need to lose the stigma that private school is “better” than public school in an educational sense. I have no quarrels with how people decide to spend their money on their child’s education, but this factor should have no bearing on the resources provided to the student.
If a parent wants to spend money on private school because of various factors like school uniforms, boarding or military schools, or even religious beliefs; this is their right to do so. However, I don’t think it’s ethical when a child is enrolled in a private school simply based off of the schools affluence and as a result this child receives a far more superior education due to the heaps of dollars the school generates from the tuition and fees paid by the student’s upper class parents.
This creates a vicious cycle and continues to broaden the educational barrier between the upper and lower class citizens of society. Regardless of the name of a school or the lineage it’s carried throughout history, there needs to be an equal playing field when it comes to education at the adolescent and teenage level. This will ensure that no child is left behind and at a very minimum; each child is given an equal opportunity and afforded a “chance” to succeed.