Minority Student and Their Attitudes to Schooling
The articles studied this week include Jumping Trucks: How Language-Minority Students Negotiate Evaluations of Ability by Linda Harklau, Student Resistance to Schooling: Disconnections With Education in Rural Appalachia by Katie A. Hendrickson, and The Other Model of Minorities: Korean American High School Dropouts in an Urban Context by Jamie Lew. We met as a group and discussed various elements that have been discussed in these articles. My group members include Youngjin, Myoung-Hwan, Yunjoo, and DaEun. Apart from the group discussion I also got the opportunity to interview Fnann Keflezighi, the co-chair of the UCSD Black Student Union the unions organized efforts to validate culture and language at the institution. This came in line of the investigative assignment.
Reflecting on Journals
The article Jumping Trucks: How Language-Minority Students Negotiate Evaluations of Ability by Linda Harklau led me to a personal opinion that educational ability is not limited to the language of an individual, but the attitude about success (Harklau 352). We met in the group and had more views from members. For instance, Youngjin echoed my opinion by stating that grouping students based on their educational abilities should be completely banned especially when it is based on their language abilities. Myoung-Hwan and Yunjoo reiterated that language should never be a mode of evaluation, and students should be tested based on the language they understand better. This would give a true reflection of their academic abilities, as the Chinese students from Taiwan and Hong Kong discussed in this article. DaEun wound up the discussion with the emphasis that the school system should look for ways that accommodate students with diverse language abilities in their classes without undermining their academic abilities. In tandem with these discussions, all students confirmed my opinion that language is not the measure ones academic success.
In light of the ideas expressed in the article Student Resistance to Schooling: Disconnections With Education in Rural Appalachia by Katie A. Hendrickson, I held the opinion that both family values and teacher-student relationships influence the attitudes of students toward schooling (Hendrickson 42). During the class discussion, Youngjin pointed out that family values are vital in shaping the belief of students in the school system and success within the system. Myoung-Hwan noted that parents play an instrumental role in the determination of their childrens love for school through continued encouragement. Yunjoo and DaEun affirmed that teachers also play a significant role in influencing the attitudes of their students toward schooling through their perceptions and the way in which they treat them while at school. For instance, they confirmed that the lack of care from teachers toward students is dangerous, as it demotivates them and leads to the loss of interest in school. The views espoused by each of the group members confirmed my opinion about the influence of both teachers and students on the attitude of students toward school.
Lastly, the article The Other Model of Minorities: Korean American High School Dropouts in an Urban Context by Jamie Lew led me to a personal opinion that the economic backgrounds of minority students play the largest role in the alarming dropout levels (Lew 310). In the group discussion, Youngjin noted that most minority students find it difficult to attend school without basic needs such as food in their stomachs, and this increases the dropout levels. In the same regard, Myoung affirmed that the economic background is sometimes the backbone of academic success because it is motivational in nature. Therefore, its unavailability leads to increased cases of dropouts especially among minority students. Yunjoo and DaEun stated that their poor background and the lack of an assurance about the future economic conditions led to the high dropout levels. For instance, most students from the minority backgrounds do not see the need of succeeding in their academics when they cannot progress in a rigid society. Overall, all these views confirmed my opinion about the contribution of economic conditions to dropout levels.
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In this investigative part, I had the opportunity to interview Fnann Keflezighi, the co-chair of the UCSD Black Student Union the unions organized efforts to validate culture and language at the institution. The interview offered me a perfect chance to learn about the mission, what the organization offers students, the importance of the organization, and the reasons that motivate many students to join the organization.
The first thing I learnt relates to the mission of the UCSD Black Student Union. Keflezighi pointed out that the mission is to give black students a voice at the institution through fair treatment. They should not be locked out of crucial events at their institution because of their minority status.
More so, I learnt that UCSD Black Student Union offers students the opportunity to voice their concerns about the nature of treatment they receive on campus. In fact, they are allowed to demonstrate through the organization in cases where their rights as minority students have been violated or overlooked by the administration or other students. Apart from offering students the opportunity to voice their concerns, I learnt that the union is important in ensuring that a balance in culture and language is attained within the institution. The actions it undertakes are primarily concerned about protecting the interests of black students at the university and ensuring they have equal learning opportunities through access to resources. Therefore, the key reason that motivates many students to join the UCSD Black Student Union is its activeness in securing their interests on campus and ensuring they learn in a conducive environment.
Overall, the information that I gathered from this experience resonates with the sociological views learned in this course especially because it relates to the plight of minority students, as they sail through the education system in the country.