Democracy is both an idea and a way of conducting a political government. In EDL 204 we looked at democracy as an idea. Democracy as it relates to education refers to the need to teach children how to be active and knowledgeable members in our democratic society. This preparation will lead them to live life in a way that promotes the good of the public. In an essay by John Dewey he discusses whether education is a public or private matter. Because the goal of democracy is education is to prepare students for society, I believe it is a public matter. By developing a school system that promotes democracy we will send our future leaders into the world with the capability of upholding the ...view middle of the document...
By gaining an understanding of each student’s home life, they can work to make the children’s available education equal regardless of their social classes. The story behind each child who lives in poverty is different, but how their parents have chosen to raise them plays a large part in their success in school and our democratic society outside of the education system.
Culture of Poverty
Dr. Quantz took the Culture of Poverty narrative and broke in down into two different narratives in his Essential Essay “Narratives of Social Class in Education.” The essay explains that the culture that people of poverty live in is either deficient or different (Quantz, 2012a). Regardless of which narrative one agrees with, statistics show that children who come from families living in poverty do more poorly in school. One study has shown that children from lower income families are consistently developing more slowly in the first several years of their life (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2013). Their research showed that these children scored at least ten percentiles lower that their peers who come from high income families (The Annie E. Casey Foundation). A child’s development over the first several years of their life is critical for success in school and statistically children from poverty do not get the proper stimulation to foster this sort of development.
The Cultural Deficiency narrative argues that there is something about the culture that these children have group up in that is simply “deficient.” In one way or another, their parents and community have not provided them the appropriate upbringing for success in school. Quantz’s Essential Essay on Social Class (2012a) brings an interesting list of anecdotes that have been used to characterize the Culture of Poverty as a Cultural Deficiency:
Stories about the failure of parents to read to children or to even have books in the home, stories about parental disdain for education, stories about child neglect and even abuse, stories about poor nutrition based on poor buying choices rather than lack of money, and stories of poor parenting skills were all told and retold as ways to reinforce the basic cultural narrative that there exists a culture of poverty which is deficient in the qualities desired for success in school and in life in general. (p. 5)
One of the large factors that I believe contributes to all of the above reasons for a deficient culture is the necessity for some parents to work more than one job or during hours when their children are home from school. Parents who are not home to in the evenings to be with their children miss out on the benefits of proper discipline, interaction with their child and books, and provide a nutritional diet. Although these parents are doing their best to provide for their children financially, they do not have the time to provide for them developmentally. For some factors, such as reading with the child or providing a...