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Spencer Caldwell 2/24/13 Exploratory Essay During the time that I have been in this class, I have read

countless articles on different forms of schooling and educating. Some of these schools were designated towards lower class students, while others tailored towards the more wealthy students. The students in these different types of schools received different educations that those in the other schools. Throughout all of the readings, there has been a common theme displayed by the authors that the type of education a student receives affects the type of job they obtain. The articles that display this theme the most are Social Class & the Hidden Curriculum of Work, Women Without Class, and On the Uses of a Liberal Education. In the first article, Social Class & the Hidden Curriculum of Work, the theme is displayed throughout the entire article because the author talks about four different types of schools. In each type of school, the students are taught different ways to solve problems. For example, in the working class schools the students are taught one exact way to solve a problem and it is repeatedly taught to them in that fashion, whereas in the professional affluent schools the students are taught to be independent and find multiple ways to solve any problem. This affects the students later in life because the working class students are taught to continually be dependent on a leader figure and therefore obtain jobs as followers, unlike the affluent professional schools that teach their students to be leaders themselves and get a job where they lead other employees. Anyon suggests that, Since each of the five schools is only one instance of elementary education in a particular social class context, I will not generalize beyond the sample. However, the

examples of schoolwork which follow will suggest characteristics of education in each social setting that appear to have theoretical and social significance and to be worth investigation in a larger number of schools. (Anyon 2). This quote implies the idea that these students are being taught to pursue certain careers because the author suggests that the education received in each of these social settings is affecting them later in life. One question that this article did not address was how the author distinguished each of the schools into the economic class that she did. Was it based on the location of the school or on the average income of the students parents? Similar to Anyons article, Bettie writes about how students that she observed are being pushed into lower class jobs due to teachers simply not caring, in Women Without Class. Bettie displays a scenario where there are college prep schools and non-prep schools. The teachers in the college prep school were very engaged with the students and made them do their work and did not accept excuses from students for not doing their assigned work. The non-college prep teachers did not care whether or not a student did their work or even paid attention during lectures. During one instance in the article the author observed that, about a month before school ended, Elvira gave birth to a baby girl. Either because she had no child-care options or because she was simply excited about her newborn, she brought the baby to school with her several days during the last few weeks of school. The baby became a great distraction in the classroom, and the teacher dealt with it by asking Elvira to move to another room, allowing girls to go visit her there two at a time. Eventually she and another girl who were both failing the class, totally uninvested in the work, and distracting other students who did have a chance of passing, were kicked out of the class. (Bettie 70). This incident shows how uncaring the

teachers were about the students educations by allowing the student to bring her child to class, and eventually failing the student entirely. Without proper teaching in the noncollege prep schools, the students did not have any chance of receiving good enough grades to attend a college or university, resulting in them having to accept more underpaid jobs. A question that I had for this author was how did the students get placed into college prep or non-prep schools? Was it up to the student to decide their future plans on their own or did the schools that they went to decide this? This would have helped to clarify why the schools had different types of students as well. Contrasting Betties article about teachers not caring, Shorris writes about a study that he performed with students that fit Betties non-prep student classification, but he cares deeply about the students and they improve greatly. In Shorris article, On the Uses of a Liberal Education, he demonstrates that even undereducated students possess a capability to learn at a higher level. This article displayed the theme prominently because it showed that every student possesses the ability to learn, but how he or she are taught determines how much they will get out of the class. This program was called the Clemente Course, and had multiple teachers try to teach thirty students different humanities topics. Most of these students were unemployed and some were completely illiterate, but by the end of the course about half of them received college credit and moved on to an upper level college or university. At the end of the article, the author states that, A year after graduation, ten of the first sixteen Clemente Course graduates were attending four-year colleges or going to nursing school; four of them had received full scholarships to Bard College. The other graduates were attending community college or working full time. (Shorris 200). This shows that the teaching they received helped

them to reach their goals of attending college or receiving a job working full time. This article made me wonder what types of jobs the students obtained from completing the Clemente Course. Knowing this would have helped to strengthen the authors argument that his course worked. The authors of these articles all shared the viewpoint that the students economic class determined how they were taught. Students that were less wealthy often received very poor educations and were not taught to obtain a high-ranking job, while the more wealthy students could become CEOs or obtain jobs as other forms of leaders. The common theme, or thread, that I had found in each of these three articles was that the type of schooling you receive affects what type of jobs you can get and where you end up in the economic class system. The non-prep school described in the Women Without Class reading sounded very similar to a working class school that was explained in Social Class & the Hidden Curriculum of Work. Also, the type of students that the Clemente Course accepted in On the Uses of a Liberal Education seemed that students that would have dropped out or were kicked out of the non-college prep school. These three articles all described the same types of students, and showed that how these students were taught affected where they ended up in life. On the Uses of a Liberal Education showed that students that received poor educations, or even ones that were entirely illiterate, could learn given the right teacher and proper style of teaching. The students from Women Without Class were deprived of this proper teaching and were just left to fend for themselves after high school, assuming they were even able to graduate.

Works Cited Anyon, Jean. "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work by Jean Anyon." Journal of Education 162.1 (1980): n. pag. Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work by Jean Anyon. Journal of Education, Fall 1980. Web. 03 Mar. 2013.

Bettie, Julie. "How Working-Class Chicas Get Working-Class Jobs." Women without Class: Girls, Race, and Identity. Berkeley: University of California, 2003. N. pag. Print.

Shorris, Earl. "On the Uses of a Liberal Education." Harper's Magazine (1997): n. pag. Print.