Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Gorski and Anyon

   I think the Anyon and Gorski articles work hand in hand. While Anyon presents the symptoms and side effects of having an education system damaged by class issues, Gorski looks into what could be done to save the education systems. 
However, while I think Gorski's attempt is fantastic, it is simplifying a problem that runs much deeper than the educators themselves.
    Gorski's suggestion that we have a broader understanding of class beyond the one-sided experience offered, is a solid first step. However, this is largely easier said than done. While programs and educational courses have been implemented for the newer generations of educators, what about educators who have been in the field? Anyon, while offering a look into how classist ideals and values were being enacted through schools, does not offer a look at which is at the heart of this. Is it the the educators own biases and possible privilege? Is it the education systems, as decided by executive boards and directors, that is locking the teachers into the expectations that is held for both them and their students? While it is acknowledged in the conclusion, I wish this had been delved into deeper - knowing the symptoms doesn't necessarily help as much as knowing what is at the heart of the issue. Due to the misconceptions and biases surrounding class, more damage can be done than good through programs that ultimately shame the working-class students and families.
     I think this Gorski quote sums up why the process of a stronger education system needs to go beyond simple awareness programs: 
"It's all too easy, for even the most well-meaning of us, to help perpetuate classism by buying into that mindset, implementing activities and strategies for "working with parents in poverty" or "teaching students in poverty that however subtly suggest we mix fix the poor people instead of eliminating the inequities that oppress them." - Gorski, P. 1
To truly help the students, as well as the educators, there needs to be a lot of open, honest discussion between all levels of education - the school boards, the educators, the parents and the students. 

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