In writing this monograph, Barbara Bowman takes the bull by the horn in spelling out controversial cultural issues affecting academic achievement in United States. The article is likely to generate mixed emotions depending on which side the reader decides to take. Nevertheless, the writer has done a great work expounding on the issues and proposing possible solutions. Some of the solutions proposed are valid in terms of implementation while others are likely to attract both public and private debates.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
The academic success
I believe that belief’s, traditional practices and experience plays a key role in determining the academic success of a child. However, instead of promoting children’s cultural diversity to create a vibrant learning environment, schools tend to ignore and discourage this diversity by imposing a one sided cultural standard. This one sided cultural standard may not necessary be “characteristic of middle-class white children” as the writer put, but has much to do with the location of the school. It is the location and the population that determines the school culture and if school promotes that particular culture only, then student from a different cultural background will mostly likely feel like a stranger.
The impact of cultural environment
While genetic characteristics play a key role in developing the biological potential ability within a child, the cultural characteristics help a child realize the full potential intrinsic in them. A child may be develop a language and acquire the ability to represent thoughts in word, but unless the child get a chance to exercise this capability through social interaction, the child may never be able to communicate effectively. It has much to do with the culture, as it has to do with the biological characteristics of the child. Again, how well a child communicates with other cannot be used to gauge the inherent capability that child.
In addressing the effects of the environment that a child grows in, Barbara makes a very important point, that “children become what they live”. The older people in the community play a very important role in shaping a child. The community is the eyes through which the children see the world. Children identify themselves by the culture in which they grow in. If children are brought up in a community characterized by social decay, vulnerability and poverty, they are likely to fail to thrive cognitively, emotionally and socially when interacting with children who have grown in different environment.
The issues of placing children into special education always elicit heated debate between teachers and parents of the concerned children. While it is true that some students are not developmentally competent, the large number of minority children in special education seems to suggest underlying problem in the way children are evaluated. Time is ripe for a different evaluation approach that tests a child’s ability depending with the culture that the child has grown. This way, schools can avoid inappropriate labeling of children’s ability.
Children are growing and learning in a multi-cultural diverse environment. Therefore, culture integration is a key component to learning. Schools must adopt a new approach if they are to produce academic and cultural competent students. Some of the solutions that Barbara Bowman recommends include a preparing teachers to deal with the challenges associate with teaching children from a wide cultural background, apply unique method of assessing children competence that takes into consideration their cultural background and encouraging schools to interact and work with the larger community where they draw children. This will help the school have a better understanding of the kind of culture that children are exposed to and what the value.
Brown, B. T. (1994). Cultural Diversity and Academic Achievement. Web.
100% original paper
on any topic
done in as little as