The Quality Of Education In America

1600 words - 6 pages

The quality of education in America is a subject that is steadily gaining notice by citizens across the country. Making sure that young children have equal opportunities to achieve in the academic world is extremely important if we desire to sculpt a successful and lucrative nation. In her essay entitled “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work”, author Jean Anyon ethnographically studies a handful of American schools and argues that there are vast class-oriented differences between these vessels of academia across the United States. The most prevalent differences however are not so much in resources and financial situations of the individual school systems, but rather the teaching methods and philosophies utilized. Anyon builds on her thesis by splitting public schools into five separate social class designations and explains the most prevalent coinciding philosophies that teachers incorporate in each of these categories. “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work” is an absolutely mind opening literary work relevant to current society in America. Jean Anyon proves to stimulate her reader’s thoughts on the impact the modern educational system has on socio-economic class differences in the country.
The first category of school that Anyon covers in her essay is the “Working Class School”. In this section, the author explains that most the students attending have parents employed in blue collar positions such as factory assembly line workers, boilermakers, and auto-mechanics. In the essay, the most prevalent teaching philosophy for this social category of school is stated as such: “In the two working class schools, work is following the steps of a procedure. The procedure is usually mechanical, involving rote behavior and very little decision making or choice.” (Anyon, p. 173) This philosophy is not setting these students up to achieve more than their parents, but rather training them to be their parents’ replacements keeping them stuck in their current social class. It is easy to see through the author’s words that the methods used by the school are teaching children how to follow orders much like what is needed from an assembly line worker or another blue collar position. Anyon elaborates by saying that the assignments given by the teachers usually involved the student simply following step by step instructions and copying things into notebooks. The instructors rarely taught the concepts behind material covered or explained why the students were learning these subjects. By providing examples like this, Anyon explains that these schools are funneling their children into blue collar jobs with little choice or chance to succeed in anything else. Because the teachers were instructing their pupils by simply forcing them to follow step by step instructions, they are not teaching the root concepts of the lessons making it far more difficult for students to relate anything they “learned” to the real world. The students are...

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