What's the big idea anyway???
educational community is a breeding ground for highly debatable topics and
areas of interest. One of the most controversial is the role of diversity in
schools and its effect on the students. Our group has chosen to concentrate on
five different examples of student diversity; socioeconomic status and poverty,
race and ethnicity, culture, language and lastly, gender. I will be
concentrating on race and ethnicity and the influence it has on the students
and schools. The following paragraphs provide a brief overview of pertinent
articles on race and ethnicity in schools.
Banks touches on the relationship between ethnic minority youth and academic
achievement that is clearly under par. He goes on to state that there is
clearly an issue at hand, but that the way researchers are going about solving
this is unorganized. He also covers the social class hypothesis regarding the
relationship between class sensitivity and ethnicity. These topics and the
results he draws from them are all extremely important for recognizing the
ethnic and racial diversity that exists in our classrooms today.
second group of authors (Catalogna, Greene and Zirkel) writes in regard to the
teacher’s perception of a racially diverse classroom. They believe that
teachers’ methods and expectations can be significantly altered simply because
a student is of a different race. They conduct an interview study to test this
hypothesis. This study has significant implications in our schools because
students of different races may be experiencing the classroom in different
the most explicit article I encountered is that of researcher John Singleton.
His work, entitled Education and Ethnicity,
clearly outlines the role of education and ethnicity in comparative education. He
delves into the definition of ethnicity for the larger part of his paper. He
then concludes by examining how ethnicity affects modern education, educational
policies and educational research. This article’s relevance to the topic of
race and ethnicity is quite self-explanatory. It is one of the more
straightforward articles that I encountered in my research.
Ortiz writes an article that examines the specific affects of race and
ethnicity in schools. This researcher brings in evidence about the reading
activities amongst Hispanic, black and white students and how these are
reflected in their reading proficiency. An important piece of evidence in her
paper is that the reading levels of white students are significantly higher
than those of blacks and Hispanics. She goes on to explain this variation by
exploring the parents’ education levels and by monitoring the reading
activities that take place in the home. Her desire is to see the implications
of improving the reading activities among all children.
final article is from an article in The American Enterprise. The specific issue
that this article hails from, entitled Race, Broken Schools, and
Action, is an excellent informational guide
about the position of minorities in schools today. Not only does this article
include recent statistics about minority’s test scores in relation to the
majority, but it also individual accounts of their experiences in schools. This
article is much less technical than the others, but still successfully brings
to light the issue at hand.
articles outlined above are only a handful of the hundreds, if not thousands,
of articles written about this subject. This topic has relevance to me because
I attended a school that was quite diverse. I am curious to discover how
different races and ethnicities experience school. This project should provide
an interesting examination about the function of diversity in education today.