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A culture is the learned set of beliefs, value, norms, and material goods shared by group members. Many different cultures can be found in america. The education, one of the five pillars of society, is a culture in itself. Calder Road Elementary School has its own culture with its own symbols, beliefs, values, norms, and material goods.. Some Common beliefs at Calder Road Elementary School are that the teachers above the students. Students are expected to respect the teacher and listen to the teacher.
The teacher is considered to be superior to the students. He or she is the authority figure in the classroom. The teachers are subordinate to administrators. If the principal tells the teacher something is required of him or her, then he or she must do it. Special practices that occur within the school and other elementary schools include raising your hand, saying the pledge of allegiance, and recess. Students raise to their hand to gain approval from the teacher, the authority figure, to speak.
Outside of school, normally, people just talk and have a conversation. They don’t raise their hand. If they did, it would be considered odd or strange.
The raising hands practice has part to do with being able to facilitate a conversation with such a large amount a participants. It would be incredibly hard to have a calm and productive conversation with 20 different young kids competing for attention. Every morning students recite the pledge of allegiance and the Texas pledge in unison while looking at the United States flag and the Texas flag, respectively.
Students are given about half an hour of playtime outside. Here they can work on their social skills and participate in physical activity. Playtime is one of the best teachers. Students need play time to unwind from learning and focusing during school. Students also need 30 minutes of physical activity a day to be healthy.
Students do attend a P.E. class every other day, but not everyday. Recess ensures that students stay fit and healthy. Materials that special to the culture of Calder Road Elementary School consist of school desks, colorful posters, and gator bucks. Every classroom has a school desk for each student. These desks typically have some storage space for textbooks or school supplies and a hard plastic seat for student to sit on. School desks are only found in schools not in the practical. Most classrooms have colorful and motivational posters hung up on the wall. These posters are meant to create a positive and caring learning environment to motivate students to learn. Gator bucks were something specific to this school, or at least the district. The gator is the mascot of Dickinson ISD, the district that Calder Road Elementary School is a part of. Gator Bucks are a school-wide incentive system. Students are able to receive Gator Bucks to reinforce good behavior.
This system improves school-wide behavior. Students are able to spend these dollars at the gator store to buy little prizes and toys at various price points. Gator bucks is not only an incentive system but a way for students to learn how to handle money hands-on. The demographics of the school also have an affect on its culture. The school is made up of approximately fifty percent hispanic, thirty percent white, seventeen percent african american, and three percent other races students. Since there is a high amount of hispanics, many who do not speak English at home, there are bilingual classes in every grade. It is about halfway split between boys and girls. The students range in age from four years old to ten years old. A majority of the school are christian. Though it can’t be a christian school, because it a public school. Public schools are part of the state, and there is the separation of church and state. The students come from mostly middle class and working class families. Cultural features, such as raising your hand and gator bucks are important. Raising your hand is one of the first things children learn in their school. It helps the teacher be able to control a classroom of twenty-something kids. Most kids at this age don’t have the maturity it takes to converse with so many other people at once, without disrespecting others. Gator Bucks helps the students maintain prideful behavior. Without these students will not have as much motivation to behave in a proper manner.
Calder Road Elementary School contributes to society by passing down important information and teaching children society’s norms. In elementary school, students learn basic math, consisting of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They also learn how to read and write. These are skills that are essential to survive in today’s society. Elementary school teaches norms, like saying please and thank you, saying bless you after someone sneezes Subcultures of Calder Road Elementary School include groups of students from upper middle class backgrounds, lower middle class background, hispanic students, African American students, and students of other ethnicities with a rich m cultural background. One might experience culture shock when learning that instead of using normal US dollars as currency students exchange gator bucks. Not only are gator bucks transferred between the teacher and the student, but they are also transferred from student to student. Student sometimes buy toys or candy from each other using their gator bucks.
The gator buck currency system existing within Calder Road Elementary may seem strange to an outsider of this school’s culture. A nonmember may also experience cultural relativism when looking at the practice of recess. This is not something that it familiar to their everyday culture. Though it is different they will discriminate against this practice. It is not an unreasonable practice nor is it a harmful one They will respect this practice as part of the culture of Calder Road Elementary. Someone observing this school’s culture may also experience ethnocentrism, believing that their culture is superior to the culture of Calder Road Elementary School. He or she might believe that reciting the pledges is not a good practice. He or she might believe this practice is a waste of time that could be spent teaching the kids essential knowledge.
The structural-functionalist perspective can be used to best describe the culture of Calder Road Elementary School, because the school is a complex system of interdependent parts. Teachers rely on students. Students rely on teachers. Students rely on students. Teachers rely on administrators. Teachers rely on teachers. Administrators rely on teachers. All of these people working together creates a stable and adequate school. The manifest functions of Calder Road Elementary are to educate children about basic academic concepts and providing care for students while parents must work. These are intended to happen. While the latent functions of Calder Road Elementary School include making friends learning basic social norms. These are functions that the school weren’t part of the purpose of creating the school. Class clowns and fights are dysfunctional in Calder Road Elementary.
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