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Brandon Jackson Megan Keaton English 1102 3 March 2013 Social Classes Since the beginning of the semester

we have talked about education from many perspectives. We have discussed education in the sense of its importance placed by society, and the availability to everyone. In the works from authors such as Jean Anyon, Stanley Kaplan, Ken Kay, and Bob Sternberg, they all share a similar theme referring to social gaps in education. More often than not, the social class of a student greatly affects his/her education. In a speech about 21st century skills, Ken Kay stated that critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication, and global awareness (21st Century Skills) were the five skills that young people need for todays world. However, in working class schools, those 5 skills are ignored. In the article Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum (Anyon), Jean Anyon observed five elementary schools and concluded fifth-graders of different economic backgrounds are already being prepared to occupy particular rungs on the social ladder (Anyon). In working class schools, students follow a procedure, which includes steps, or notes for the children to copy down. Teachers are not allowed personal influence in their teaching styles, and must follow strict guidelines. Problems are solved by utilizing only the steps taught by the teacher any other method is wrong. Anyon is providing an example of how working class schools eliminate the use of critical thinking in classrooms. A possible study that Anyon could

have done in addition to finding different teaching methods from different socioeconomic schools is to find out why those methods are different. The problem has been stated, but the question is why are teaching methods different between schools? Anyon noted that when students asked for help to better understand problems, the teacher only repeated the same steps and told the students to memorize them. Students need to be able to answer why and how, not only yes or no. On the other hand, students from affluent professional schools are asked to express and apply ideas and concepts (Anyon). Students are taught multiple ways to execute a problem and they are taught how the answer came to be. Although many authors are noticing what is wrong with the social gap in education, why has no one offered a possible solution to fixing it? Students from lower socio-economic classes where a strong importance isnt placed on education may already develop a set mind path, meaning those students that attend those schools dont put any interest in education and are okay with failure. Students who are used to being in schools where dropout rates are abnormally high, and college isnt a factor are probably taught that they are not intelligent and that they dont apply themselves. Similarly, Bob Sternberg was told that he was stupid and he soon began to believe that he was stupid. Bob said that it takes the student to defeat the selffulfilling prophecy that they were raised in in this case, that education is not important. (Bob, 2010) Compared to lower socio-economic classes, upper class children may have a sort of expectation to meet placed upon them by society. They come from families with money and well-known names who have connections that already put them at an advantage from poor students.

A possible solution to provide a level playing field for all students, regardless of race, gender, and social class is the SAT. As Stanley Kaplan wrote in his article My 54 Year Love Affair with the SAT, It could help democratize American education by ushering a larger, more diverse group of students into the world of higher education. It could give students the opportunity to get into the top colleges without attending a prestigious private school or being the child of an alumnus or big contributor (Kaplan). That being said, Kaplan believes that the SAT seeks to eliminate the social gap in education. Although Kaplan believes that the SAT is a logical solution for social gaps, in the end the upper class students end up with an advantage. Like Anyon found in her studies, students from working class schools arent taught the skills needed to do well on these tests that are supposed to provide a more level playing field (Kaplan).

Works Cited "The Seven Steps to Becoming a 21st Century School or District." Edutopia. N.p., 30 Aug. 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. Anyon, Jean. Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum Web. 24 Feb. 2013 Kaplan, Stanley. My 54 Year Love Affair with the SAT Web. 24 Feb. 2013 Sternberg, Bob. "Why Standardized Testing Fails: Bob Sternberg at TEDxOStateU." YouTube. YouTube, 03 Dec. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.