Reading Reflection


Educational success is based on the understanding and appreciation of the culture of the different parties involved. Accordingly, education is a social institution, and a teacher is only able to understand the behavior of students through cultural understanding. This explains the significance of training teachers on the cultural element without only focusing on the psychological aspect. Therefore, the struggles that teachers encounter in their work could be minimized through the appreciation of culture.

This essay reflects on the most significant readings that tie culture to education while capturing the views presented by different group members during our discussion.

In the article, Conceptions of School Culture: An Overview, Erickson puts forward the main claim that the term culture has no specific meaning in the contemporary school culture (Erickson 11). Talking about culture in education without clear clarification is always likely to lead to confusion among individuals. The most interesting thing about this article is that Erickson recommends that culture should be viewed from three perspectives including culture as bits of information, culture as symbols, and culture as meanings emanating from political struggle (Erickson 22). I do not agree with the author on the point that the definition of culture in education is a complex thing. I believe it is easier enough to understand that students and teachers come from different backgrounds, and this in itself constitutes culture.

In our class discussion, we talked about the concept of culture as it relates to education. During the discussion, I explained that culture in education entails all aspects that determine the behaviors of both students and teachers. These elements could be their beliefs, values, or modes of relationship to each other. Younjin also clarified that it is easier to define culture in the educational setting. We do not have to overthink about the matter because it could be easily explained by the fact that individuals come from different ethnic and racial backgrounds that make up culture (Class Reading 23). Myoung-Hwan noted that the fact that we come from different homes is a reflection of culture that should be easily defined by anyone in simplistic terms. Jaeeuis opinion was that culture is a complex element depending on how a person views it. In the educational setting, we could define it by looking at how people relate to each other through mutual understanding. DaEun affirmed that it is extremely shocking when one cannot explain culture in the educational setting because all this is anchored on individuals beliefs. In my opinion, the definition of culture is direct, and group members confirmed my opinion through discussion.

Ladson-Billings article Its Not the Culture of Poverty, Its the Poverty of Culture: The Problem with Teacher Education is anchored on the main argument that novice teachers struggle to handle students from different cultures because of the limited training they receive in the area. The article gives an example of behavior control among students (Ladson-Billings 106). The recommendation is that novice teachers must be trained on the cultural element to handle their students in the best ways possible. I strongly agree with the author, as there have been numerous reported cases of poor performance among students because of the inability of teachers to understand them.

During our discussion, we dwelled on the importance of cultural understanding in the educational setting. Younjin gave an example from personal experience and supported the authors view that many novice teachers do not have cultural skills. The teacher is not overall concerned about how students behave, and this affects their performance in class. Myoung-Hwan analyzed the example of behavioral control where many novice teachers have failed to understand the motivations behind their students thinking. For example, behaviors such as bullying cannot be controlled among students without an understanding of their culture and the practices involved. Jaeeu opined that it is a high time training institutions incorporate the cultural element in their syllabus to give novice teachers the experience they require once they come into a multicultural background of education (Class Reading 28). Lastly, DaEun talked of cultural accommodations in the educational sector. It is quite difficult for a teacher to accommodate and appreciate students without a cultural understanding. My opinion is that the authors argument and recommendations are strong and should be utilized for future training. Group members highly clarified my opinion through their examples and explanations of its relevance to the education.

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The article The Culture of Poverty by Oscar Lewis is based on the main claim that the culture of poverty affects students because most of these students are classified as criminals. The recommendation is effective because it recognizes the need to alleviate poverty and promote educational standards (Lewis 22). I strongly agree with the authors view that the culture of poverty is causing harm to students from such backgrounds. On most occasions, they will be profiled as criminals or violent individuals hence affecting proper learning.

Every member of the group gave varying views during our discussion, Younin agreed that the culture of poverty is prevalent in the society. However, this does not directly affect students especially when they are able to get support from the rest of the society. Myoung-Hwan stated that the culture of poverty has shattered the dreams of many students. It specifically limits their concentration levels in class. Jaeeu reiterated that poverty should not be necessarily classified as a culture. However, it still bears harmful effects for students because they are never appreciated in some instances. DaEun disagreed with the whole concept that the culture of poverty affects all students. DaEun emphasized that there have been instances where the community has come out to stand with poor students hence assuring them of success. I am of the opinion that poverty is a culture in its own respect, and its effects are immeasurable (Class Reading 35). However, the extent of support for my point was varied as some agreed with it while others had different opinions.

In conclusion, the above readings offer a clear understanding of the relationship between culture and education. Teachers have the obligation of understanding the culture of their students to manage them in the best ways possible. All the group members agreed on this point, and we look forward to a situation where cultural training will be offered to teachers to enhance educational achievements. The content delivered in these readings is highly informative and reliable when linking culture to education.

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