Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Poverty is rooted in US education system

07.05.2009
Inequalities are rooted in many areas of the U.S. education system, and the current system's relationship with poverty has not improved, according to a Kansas State University researcher.

Kay Ann Taylor, associate professor of secondary education at K-State, has studied the historical and modern aspects of poverty, including its relationship with education.

Her research, which is published in the winter 2009 Journal of Educational Controversy, shows that a more in-depth understanding of poverty is needed for social transformation.

"There is no simple answer to alleviate poverty, just as there is no simple answer for its embedded state in America," Taylor said. "However, the common element shared by all is our humanness. People devastated by poverty are not deficient, less than or subhuman. They are not broken; however, the system in which they are embroiled very well may be."

Taylor's historical research shows that numerous factors led to poverty, including laws and acts, white and male privilege, scientific racism and social welfare. Her research about the current manifestations of poverty shows that much work needs to be done, because the situation has not improved. Taylor said a problem in U.S. public schools is that many reinforce a dominant cultural reproduction, which undermines independent thought.

"Education in the modern corporate-industrial society has emerged as central to state political and ideological management," she said. "Political and ideological management involves ideation, which in this context means the imparting and reinforcement of ideas and values that support the current economic and social order."

Taylor said frequently textbooks in primary and secondary schools and in higher education do not address issues like poverty fully and often are reduced and oversimplified. "Far too many schools continue to endorse a curriculum of the absurd that encompasses 'heroification' of primarily white males, while the contributions of women and people of color appear in pop-out format in textbooks," she said.

The No Child Left Behind Act also continues to be a problem, except for students who attend private schools, which are exempt from the act. Taylor said this increases the education system's inequalities since typically children of the powerful, wealthy elite have the opportunity for a private education, as they have for generations. For example, the mandate of the act that allows military recruitment in low-achieving and typically low-income schools targets the poor and exempts the wealthy and elite, she said.

"The No Child Left Behind Act's scripted curriculum, relentless testing and oppressive mandates create a robotic-like setting for mindless regurgitation of irrelevant and contextually void facts that challenge our most creative, dedicated and culturally responsive teachers ? and run the remainder out of teaching all together," Taylor said.

Because public school funding relies, in part, on property taxes, Taylor said in communities with little property ownership in the way of a tax base, schools and children suffer. Another area that needs to be revamped is education for teachers. Educators need to understand the multiple dimensions of poverty in order to be knowledgeable and effective, she said.

"Teachers are placed in the forefront of this dilemma, and many have no personal experience or educational background to address issues of poverty in their classrooms," Taylor said.

When teachers are not well informed about issues like poverty, Taylor said they are unable to relate to situations students face. For instance, when a child acts out, many teachers neglect to consider possibilities for the student's actions that could be effects of poverty.

"Another destructive and common stereotype held by teachers is that parents of poor children do not care about their education," Taylor said. "They cite parents' lack of involvement or attendance as a reason. However, they fail to understand that poor parents love and care about their children and their education just as every parent does, and that their lack of involvement or attendance may be due to working several jobs, unreliable transportation or numerous other factors."

Taylor said educators should be respectful, caring and empathetic and should create a challenging and engaging learning environment for children at all levels. She said the essential characteristics include a small teacher-to-student ratio, relevant curriculum where the students see themselves represented and an environment where children feel safe.

"Although these characteristics may not eliminate poverty, they will provide learners with a solid foundation upon which to build, rather than reproducing control, mindlessness, isolation and stratification," Taylor said.

Kay Ann Taylor | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht The classroom of tomorrow – DFKI and TUK open lab for new digital teaching and learning methods
03.05.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Studying outdoors is better
06.02.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>