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Chelsie Gardner Keaton ENGL 1102-025

Exploratory Essay
Teachers generally work for a common goal, to educate their students. They desire for students to know more and understand more when they leave the classroom. They use teaching methods they believe are the most effective, spending hours on end writing up lesson plans for the week. They want and dream of their students to be successful and graduate to go onto a higher education. What they dont see though is what the authors from articles like Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work, On the Uses of a Liberal Education, and even films we watch today like Freedom Writers and The Ron Clark Story see. They dont see beyond their classroom and what all together affects students learning, and success in school. There are different types of education that students are receiving which, according to these articles, can affect them for the rest of their lives. The authors of these articles see the whole picture and what can affect a students education. They see how money, environments and even types of education affect a students learning. Jean Anyon, author of Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work argues that students of different classes get different education. She broke it down to four different types of schools based on social-economic status. She argued that students from each class were educated up to the classs standards, meaning the students are taught good enough to fit perfectly into that class. An example of this is that the children of the middle-class receive education that reflects the middle-class. In the middle-class school, work is getting the right answer. If one accumulates enough right answers, one gets a good grade (Anyon, 1980), The author is describing the outlook for

middle-class education and how its simple. If one works hard enough they get grades or money. She goes on to explain the opposite end of the socio-economic scale, the Executive Elite School. This education reflects deep thought and many steps further than merely solving the problems. This education, purposed by the author, is certainly considered the best and reserved for children of presidents and celebrities. Similar to the Executive Elite Education is liberal education, mentioned in the article On the Uses of a Liberal Education. In this article Earl Shorris talks about a study he conducted on a diverse group of students being taught a liberal education and the effectiveness it had on these students. Liberal education is going steps further than simply figuring something out. It is described as the how and why behind everything. This author stated the importance of that and how these students could be successful because they were rich in terms of life. They now, because of the liberal education they received, are capable of carrying on intelligent conversations with these elite educated students in the Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work. When reading these articles I made the connection that both of the articles authors recognize the difference in types of education. They recognize that there is differences in types education students are receiving. The author of On the Uses of a Liberal Education realizes the value of a liberal education and how effective it can be receiving that type of education. The author of Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work simply recognizes the differences in class and the types of education the students are receiving because of that. This in turn leaves me thinking that if we are aware of these differences, and their significance, what can we do to change it if it needs to be changed? Also is

knowing about these differences in levels of education based on social class a big enough deal to try to fix it? After reading these articles relating to types of education and the significant differences in these types of education it reminded me of the video and movie clips we watched in class as well. Freedom Writers was a movie clip we watched. It is about a school that used to be of higher class until integration of social classes was required causing lower class students to attend. The students of the lower class were treated significantly different by administration and were even given a dumbed down curriculum. In watching this clip I couldnt help but think that the writer must have known first hand what the author of Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work was talking about. They both recognized the differences in class and education students received, sharing it in different ways. Is this what is intended by our education? Do we, as Americans want to give students this education according to their social class so that they stay in that social class avoiding chaos? Looking back at On the uses of a Liberal Education I can also see similarities in the video we clip we watched about the movie The Ron Clark Story. This story was about an elementary school teacher who was frustrated with standardized testing and that his students were required to take it. He was frustrated because they were so focused on the test they neglected the classroom learning and the importance of it all. He valued education I could tell just by the short clip I watched. He made a statement I teach you, you teach me and together we learn to love to learn (The Ron Clark Story). Mr. Clark from The Ron Clark Story valued education beyond simply taking test and passing a grade. From this statement one can see that he cared about his students and the classroom

discussions they had. He valued more of a liberal education, similarly to what On the uses of a Liberal Educations author valued. All of these authors value education but they simply point out things that cause differences in education or different types of education.

Works Cited:
Anyon, J. (1980). Social class and the hidden curriculum of work. Journal of Education, 162(1), 1-11. Shorris, Earl. On the Uses of a Liberal Education. Diss. privately published, Print. LaGravenese, Richard, writ. Freedom Writers. 2007. Film. 24 Feb 2013. Haines, Randa, dir. The Ron Clark Story. 2006. Film. 24 Feb 2013.