Native American V.S. African American Education Essay
Native American V.S. African American Education
In assessing the differences in education between African Americans and Natives Americans in the U. S. , the ideals shared by western culture towards these respective minority groups must be taken into account. It is almost as though a triangular relationship is taking place, one in which both parties are a direct byproduct of their interactions with the third. The way in which the American society has viewed American Indians in contrast to members of the black community since 1900 has a dramatic effect on the way Universities and Western society interacts with individual members of the respective groups.
Research shows that despite an underlying push among college faculty to better support Native Americans, and even the multiple campaigns for young white western women to take on marriages with Native American in a hope to integrate them and buy their land, what Africans Americans lack in the benefits of being awarded this hospitality and helping hand by the U. S. government they make up for in a willingness to further integrate into American society than the American Indian.
The fact of the matter is both Native Americans and African Americans have demonstrated difficulty in transitioning from their respective cultures into the western society, but the possibility for Native American education is virtually crippled by the lack of representation within the western world. Public School System From 1980 throughout the 1990’s, American Indian public schooling was at risk. The Indian Education Act of 1972, also known as Title IV of public law, was the only federal legislation that provided funding for all American Indians and Native Alaskan students in public schools.
By 1995, the budget had fallen to 1$ and the entire program was in risk of being shut down until President Clinton vetoed the bill and re-established the bill as a proper source of funding for potential Native American college students. To this day, this act serves as the sole source of federal funding for native American students in the public school system accounting for the very poor quality educational facilities bordering and residing in Native American reservations (Banton, 1998). In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education ruled that segregated education was unconstitutional (Savitt, 2000).
In 1963, it was found in the case of Jackson v. the Pasadena City School District that Pasadena manipulated school boundaries in order to maintain racial segregation at Washington Junior High. Washington Junior High was located in a neutral zone, many white parents started moving their children out of the school in the early 1940’s. The result of this was a shift from a 10 percent black population in 1946, to 52 percent in 1958, and then 84 percent in 1964 (Savitt, 2000). Jackson v. the Pasadena City School District marked the courts awareness of this overlooked segregation in the school system.
The image of the black America has evolved over the past couple hundred years, since the end of slavery. The media has had a major influence on this as well. This is the same for all races in American society. Joane Nagel addresses this concept in her essay on American Indian Ethnic Renewal. She claims ethnic identity is a trans-historic concept. Scientist, near the end of World War II, classified ethnicity as something that would eventually fade away with evolution, but their theory was continuously opposed by the ethnic resurgence of each generation.
People were reclaiming their ethnic identity in newly changing ways. Nagel’s essay argues that even grounds for the definition of ‘blackness’ is up for debate. Where whites can freely choose whether to be considered ethnic or not, blacks don’t have the same choice. On top of this, the media characterizes what it means to be black, and this is done from a white perspective. But Nagel argues that the identification of blackness is no longer as easy a label to assign. This is especially true if one tries to characterize race based solely on the statistics.
It is true that the majority of the minorities in this country are in the low income bracket. It’s almost like the definition of ‘ethnic’ has been replaced with ‘poor’. Racial stratification that existed in the U. S. at the beginning of the last century also deprived its colored citizens from the access to the most valuable resources the American society had, from the education, proper medical treatment etc. To make the Afro-Americans believe in the uniqueness of the whites they developed ridiculous theories of the mental or physical prevalence of their race.
(Banton, 1998)Despite of the principles about the equality of all of the society’s members that are declared in the contemporary society nowadays, the phenomenon of discrimination still exists in our country. From one viewpoint it is natural for people to treat those who surround them regarding to their age, gender, religious beliefs, physical condition or some other parameters, but when these peculiarities are used for to determine the person’s rights or regulate his or her freedom of action and choice, it created huge problems in interpersonal and social communication, and other processes.
Tally’s Corner is the sociological interpretation of the culture of negro street-corner men. Elliot Liebow sets out to show the hypocrisies that lead black men to this circumstance. The study is carried out in Washington D. C. The key argument posed by Liebow is that black males are incapable of attaining jobs because they lack education (1967). He also argues that this is a cycle that inevitably results in a trans-generational marginalization of the black race. On top of this, he argues that the white middle class are unrelenting with their methods of depriving black advancement in American society.
Knowledge of this incites many blacks to take dead-end jobs, or to settle for mediocrity in the face of adversity. A large number of black males in America find themselves forced to take jobs that offer no security, or socioeconomic growth. He also argues that many blacks are not very literate and therefore left behind in cultural revolutions like the information age. The main thesis of Liebow’s argument is that black men lack self fulfillment (1967). Liebow’s conclusion is that men can only find self-fulfillment as family providers.
He credits their diversion from mainstream society to many different aspects, the fear of failure, the contentment with mediocrity, and the fear that loved one’s will abandon them. This is a very depressing and pessimistic view, considering that the family structure is more prevalently a support system in most cultures. Liebow tributes this difference in family ideals to the conflicted relationship between black men and women (1967). The income that these men bring in is a direct result of their education; ironically, their income will also directly effect the quality of education their children have.
Dually, very little research takes into account the affect social environment has on the education of inner city blacks. In their study The Roles of Stress and Coping in Explaining Gender Differences in Risk for Psychopathology Among African American Urban Adolescents Ginger Carlson and Kathryn Grant assess the relations among gender for 1,200 low income African American urban adolescents. In this study girls reported having more symptoms than boys, and having a higher tendency to internalize their responses to stress.
Boy stress stemmed from major events, they experienced more exposure to violence, and they had more sexual stressors than girls. Boy in gangs specifically reported a higher rate of sexual stressors and having substance abuse problems (Kazdin & Johnson, 1994; Loeber & Keenan, 1994; Overbeek, Vollebergh, Meeus, Engels, & Luijpers, 2001). Researchers were also adamant to pint out that ethnic minority groups, such as African Americans, are highly underrepresented in gender study literature, which made this collection of information that much more valuable.
They found that the lower socioeconomic status and urban environment increased the frequency of stressors as well as the intensity of stressful circumstances. Gender differences in stress, coping, and psychological symptoms in adolescents have been well documented with White, middle-class samples. Results suggest that female adolescents have a higher incidence of psychopathology than do male adolescents (Romano, Tremblay, Vitaro, Zoccolillo, & Pagani, 2001; Steinhausen, 1992).
This gender difference appears to be fully accounted for by gender differences in internalizing problems, such as depression and anxiety. (Carlson & Grant, 2001) Dually this inclination towards social anxiety it was reported made African American female adolescents more prone to the insecurities that peer pressure to have sexual intercourse at a younger age only enhancing the threat of catching sexually transmitted diseases, as a well as contributing to emotional distraction from education.
A wide range of theorists and politicians have used the American educational system as a platform on which to gain civil approval. There is a popular consensus that income designates the quality of one’s education in America. This state of socioeconomic prejudice has a detrimental effect on the face of American society. The Ebonics controversy in America has developed into a major conflict over the years. It has become a more serious concern within the public school system.
The complex where the nation’s school systems lower their expectations of black youth to coincide with the patterns of Ebonics, the word used to refer to African American Vernacular English, has resulted in an epidemic where blacks graduate from High School reading three grade levels below their white counterparts (Griffin, 2006). For the multiple number of theories that attempt to explain this phenomenon, very few have been able to counter the adverse culture that has developed in America as a product of Ebonics being considered a valid dialect.
A major cause of the low expectations placed on black youth in schools can partly be credited to those doing the research, as Kimberly Griffin points out in her article Striving for Success: A Qualitative Exploration of Competing Theories of High-Achieving Black College Students’ Academic Motivation, when she says, research on the academic performance of Black students has focused on low-achievers, framing their academic motivation as maladaptive and driven by externally (e. g. , competition or compliance) rather than internally (e. g. , love of learning) generated forces (Griffin, 2006).
This heavy focus on those blacks who have low quality achievement, has led to a neglect in the understanding of what drives the higher achieving students to be successful. Findings show that self-determination theory, socio-cognitive theory, and attribution theory cannot individually explain the motivation of these Black high-achievers. Instead, a multidimensional framework that incorporates all three models and that highlights internal and external sources of motivation best accounts for these students’ experiences (Griffin, 2006). Griffin goes on to cite an interview with a young black student that was less affluent than others.
The dialogue reveals that the pressure of stereotypes and low expectations has a weighing effect on the level of effort and achievement that black students have in the class room. This is a stigma that is present whether the student is of a lower or higher class, but the lower the class of the student the even heavier the stereotypes are that weigh on them. A wide range of theorists and politicians have used the American educational system as a platform on which to gain civil approval. There is a popular consensus that income designates the quality of one’s education in America.
This state of socioeconomic prejudice has a detrimental effect on the face of American society. It can be argued that a single standard curriculum should be equally implemented and taught throughout the nation, and that this curriculum should be similar to the elite executive curriculum, which Jean Anyon identifies as the best education our country has to offer. Anyon’s article argues in favor of integrated curriculums to equalize the educational system. She feels that lower classes are being exploited; and instead of being substantially educated, the students are being herded into remedial jobs.
In compliance with traditional standardized test laws, both public and private schools will be tested, whether they are in the poorest communities or the wealthiest. These will be the new tests to decide whether students carryover to the next grade, whether the schools remain in session, and whether certain children are awarded grants and scholarships. Authentic assessment asks that students acquire knowledge and be able to practice logic as apposed to just being able to regurgitate pre-fed facts. The main characteristics of these evaluations, is that they apply standardized test curriculum to real life circumstances.
Authentic assessment is the product of a reform in education, and the ultimate realization that our educational system may not be serving the best interests of its students. This shift is to make standardized testing less drill oriented and applicable to what is expected will be necessary in the students’ adult life. These tests hold students to higher standards as well as create a growing body of accurate awareness pertaining to student learning. This way the teacher learns from the student as well. (Wiggins, 1990) Standardized testing has been long been viewed as the final equalizer for the American Education system.
Every top student from every high school, regardless of where their schools rank academically, is given first priority to attend the top private and state Universities. America creates a myth in placing so much faith in these tests that proposes the best of society rise to the top. In all actuality, success on these tests is largely dependant on the quality of schooling provided by the country, or the amount of money one has to shell out on test preparation. In her essay, From Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work Jean Anyon observes the hypocrisies prevalent in the education system.
One of her major points is that in the higher income classrooms the majority of the students’ parents are executives, and only 10% are minorities. A common finding in her research is that the working class schools lack the necessary materials and often enough faculty to be considered equal with the other school systems. Anyon also argues that the curriculums are different. Historically, the most efficient form of learning used in America, more so than even the textbook, is the field trip; this is also known as project based learning (B.
I. E. , 2002). It is also a very expensive learning tool, which is why most lower class curriculums are deprived of it. Project based learning has a long lived tradition of learning through the implementation of field trips, labs, investigations and other projects. It is considered to be part of the American dream, as well as a substantial method of teaching. The premise backing this form of learning revolves around the idea that students will be more liable to gain interest in curriculum that they can connect to their surroundings.
Just studying the work in a text can grow to be mundane. When she analyzes elementary and secondary classroom curriculums, she finds a methodology very different from what is inherent in Project based education. Anyon discovers that the majority of contemporary textbook instruction is designed for the working class. PBL programs are usually not supported in public schools because of the amount of funding they require. This discrepancy is usually applicable to public schools and whether one is located near high income housing or low income housing.
This is a difficulty that both Native and African Americans share alike. Starting in elementary school on through high school, since the integration of the education system in 1950, minority students such as blacks, Native American and Hispanics, have been geared toward working class fields as opposed to handling positions of an executive nature. Current advancements in Project Based Learning and authentic assessment attempt to counter the herding of minority students into the lesser of what Anyon proposes are the two main types of learning in America.
Jonathan Kozol describes the discrepancies between these two types of schooling in his interview with Marge Scherer. In the interview titled, On Savage Inequalities: A Conversation with Jonathan Kozol, he talks about his experience in St. Louis and how the schools in low income areas barely have money for water, while the schools near by in the wealthier districts could buy advanced school supplies as well as carryout project based learning, such as field trips (2005). Kozol credits this problem to the use of property tax to fund schools in low income areas.
He states: we ought to finance the education of every child in America equitably, with adjustments made only for the greater or lesser needs of certain children. And that funding should all come from the collective wealth of our society, mainly from a steeply graduated progressive income tax. (Kozol, 2005) This particular tax could make project based learning more affordable, which would be the most influential step to improving classroom education. The most common contemporary example of PBL is dissecting insects and animals.
It has become an American tradition and almost a right of passage in high school. Project Based Management has a very beneficial influence on the education of our country. One might wonder why it’s not the only curriculum used. The use of chaperones, instructional tools, and methods of transportation are often required and considered expensive. The benefit is that people tend to remember more from their field trips than textbook lessons and many of these labs require authentic assessment, which is good considering the new shift in standardized testing.
The downfall is in the fact that authentic assessment is dependent on the student’s past experiences. This allows for some projects to result in the isolation of certain students. The inner city children are deprived because their school systems can’t afford implementing PBL curriculums. Chairperson of the Department of Education at Rutgers University, in her essay From Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work Jean Anyon analyzes the nature of underprivileged education (2006).
Anyon argues that depending on their social class, different levels of educations are available to young people. This mostly applies to schools in different districts and social communities and it can particularly be seen in the difference between private and public schooling. To make the concept clear, she further applies this to a description of a kind of mental segregation happening within the classroom; in which, students sitting next to one another are rewarded differently solely based on their socioeconomic standing in the community. She does this by pointing out that,
…students in different social-class backgrounds are rewarded for classroom behaviors that correspond to personality traits allegedly rewarded in the different occupational strata – the working classes for docility and obedience, the managerial classes for initiative and personal assertiveness. (Anyon, 2006) This is the key ideal of Anyon’s theory. An example of the theory at work can be seen in research that finds project based learning prepares students for more abstract assessment, and prepares them to handle real world situations, as opposed to those in the textbook.
PBL is most prevalent in private and high income community public schools. This creates a system where the students taught in the private schools are taught to think independently in a rational but unconfined way, while the lower income children are only taught to follow instructions. These differing perspectives on education have had a controversial and conflicting history in America. Gary Colombo based much of his research on this conflict.
Aware that the Constitution would be opposed by the working class, who made up the majority of the people, the construction of the deceleration and its signing were held in private. The media was used conceal the constitution’s actual goal, while at the same time to persuade people in its favor. Along with a literate media Colombo points out that the American government found it necessary, particularly during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency, to promote and finance a literate working class.
It is Colombo’s view that the sole purpose of their education was to develop individuals who would maintain the nation (2005). These educated individuals were viewed as secondary to their task. This is the first sign in American history of education being used to exploit people for the benefit of the government. By identifying the failure of Thomas Jefferson to educate the Native American people, Colombo shows that American education was initially designed with absolutely no regard for the people.
He best displays this conflict when he cites a letter written by a Native American to the President. …our ideas of this kind of education happen not to be the same with yours…several of our young people were formerly brought up at the college of the northern provinces they were instructed in all your sciences; but when they came back to us, they were bad runners; ignorant of every means of living in the woods; unable to bear either cold or hunger; knew neither how to build a cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy…they were totally good for nothing. (Colombo, 2005)
Here Colombo identifies that, quality in education is deemed only as good as its ability to assimilate one into the culture in which they live. This assimilation is not one that produces equal opportunity for its participants. As previously proven by Anyon, socioeconomic conditions impede this dream dramatically from coming into fruition. Anyon argues that today’s working class curriculums center more on teaching students to follow instructions rather than teaching them how to authentically assess problems (2006). It just so happens the majority of these working class group tend to be Black students.
She undeniably proves that the children of higher income families are not taught in this fashion, and they are steered more towards developing skills in problem solving and decision making. If students are subject to the exact same nationwide testing, it is only just that they receive the same educational curriculums. Lower income students are being herded into remedial work, while the upper class students are being prepared for executive positions. This is an immoral practice, but there are risks that can occur if Anyon’s elitist curriculum is equally distributed throughout the country (2006).
Everyone can not manage the corporation some have to toil for the sake of the company. The working class may potentially have a better understanding of executive duties, if Anyon’s curriculum is implemented (2006). With a greater appreciation for the business structure, working class employees may be educated enough to demand more benefits from their companies. The end result of implementing Anyon’s theory is that there will be a more diverse group of qualified candidates from which corporations select.
This makes the face of corporate America as cultured as the nation it’s in, and it eliminates much of the disadvantaging prejudice that comes with elitism. This is proof that it is wise to utilize Anyon’s elite curriculum throughout all school systems. Universities & Extended Education In 2002, Native Americans made up less than 1% the student population enrolled in college, and most of them attended two year programs in tribal regions (Guillory & Wolverton, 2008). It is was also found that Native Americans reported having a low retention rate in American Universities, estimated as low as 15%.
The statistics and the circumstance differing between Native Americans and African Americans in the their relationships with Western culture. While blacks have had a complex history with the United States, the history of Native Americans has been virtually non-existent. The relationship the black community has with western culture has a much different effect on the young black college student attending for the first time than the native American community backing the young American Indian student. Numerous studies of Native American students who attend mainstream colleges and universities suggest that factors such as precollege
academic preparation, family support, supportive and involved faculty, institutional commitment, and maintaining an active presence in home communities and cultural ceremonies are crucial elements that impact these students’ ability and/or desire to persist in college. (Guillory & Wolverton, 2008) These concerns by the Native American student are no different from those of any other student from any other cultural background; the conflict arises when the ideals developed within the confines of the reservation contrast those in the outside world and the University.
While African American communities, throughout the years, have had a history of political and social descent from the American government and western culture, they are still legally a part of America and by that rule of law they can only revolt so much without impeding their own away of life. Studies show that there is an overwhelming push by the Indian community in American reservations to stray from leaving the land and to avoid integration with the government.
With over 304 American Indian reservations, the U. S. Federal government would just as easily prefer to give the land to the Indians for a decided value and then have them pay property tax. This is a tactic that has long been avoided by the Native American Tribes, since 1887, when the Dawes Act legislated wide-scale private ownership of reservation lands in the United States strictly for American Indians. The plan called for an allotted 80 acres to be given to each Native American from each respective Tribe.
It was the job of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to make sure these allotted lands stayed in a trust for at least 25 years, after which Native American land owners would receive a patent for their land. The a fear that arose from this in many tribes was that the land would eventually be sold to non-Indian citizens run corporations or citizens, or that the tax on the land would be overwhelming for Tribal members who had no way of accruing income. The end result was a rejection of this proposal by native American Tribes.
This only further exemplifies the nature of the relationship between Native Americans and the United States government. This inherent distrust of western culture is carried into the first year adjustment process for Native American students and makes it very difficult for them to integrate and eventually graduate from the program. In the article, It’s About Family: Native American Student Persistence in Higher Education, researchers asses barriers to degree completion as they relate to Native American students at Washington State University, the University of Idaho, and Montana State University (Guillory & Wolverton, 2008).
And 2002 May Americans represented less than 1% of all students enrolled in college. Year to year persistence rates were uncertain, but throughout the years Native Americans have proven to have the lowest retention rate. The study points out that the lack of Native American faculty contributes to difficulty American Indians have in adjusting to Universities, but there has also been a recent push to train university faculty in better handling Native American.
While this is also often true for African American students, it is very rare in the modern era that one can find a University where there are absolutely no black faculty, or at least some form of Black student organization for community support. The major conflict that arises for a Native American student in an American University stems from an unwillingness or incapability to integrate into western culture.
While the same could be argued in reference to blacks, American Indians lack the same level of community support that is present in western society for black Americans. There are very few clubs in colleges for American Indians, very few organizations to address American Indian issues. On the other hand, because there is such a miniscule presence of Native Americans in the public school system, there is an unsaid push by school officials as well as western society to incorporate Native Americans into popular culture.
This push is not promoted for the sake of bettering the American Indians In her article Margins of Acceptability, Katherine Ellinghaus assess the impact of reservation ideals on the ability of the Native American student to cross-over into the culture of Western Universities, but she points out America’s desire to claim land reserved for Native Americans and incorporate them into American society inadvertently created a need for these men and women to be adopted into the culture.
Methods of promoting young men and women to marry Native Americans on college campuses and in different communities was widely encouraged due to this need. This is something that is very different from how the interracial relationships between blacks and whites are perceived. The majority of African American physicians graduated from universities specifically designated for blacks. There was only a small number of northern universities that accepted black candidates for medical degrees following the Civil War (Savitt, 2000).
Following emancipation white northern missionary groups and former abolitionists, specifically the American Baptist Home Mission Society, American Missionary Association, and Freedmen’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church constructed a number of schools in the south to teach basic educational skills to blacks. These schools basically taught former slaves practical job skills, literacy and eventually extended their teachings to medical education.
The most distinguished and successful of these medical schools were in universities such has Howard in Washington, D. C., Leonard Medical,School of Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Meharry Medical College in Nashville (Savitt, 2000). During the late 1880’s, the majority of the African American population resided in the south, those blacks who studied to be physicians in missionaries eventually followed in the path of the white medical tradition and constructed their own medical school proprieties. The first of these institutions was Louisville National Medical College in 1888, then Hannibal Medical College (Memphis, 1889), and Chattanooga National Medical College (1899) (Savitt, 2000).
The ability of African American students to establish early on success in the medical world and then return to establish black run institutions is prime example of the difference between the reluctance of Native Americans to participate in education and the opportunities created for themselves. Black medical schools encountered many difficulties that their white counterparts did not. They also faced problems that black missionary schools didn’t have to confront.
Missionary and proprietary school officials had equal ability and opportunity to raise money and garner community support among whites and blacks, but missionary schools have the advantage of being connected to a major university and being able to benefit from the resources. Missionary schools also held the advantage of being connected with nationally known and respected church organizations, which also served well in gaining sympathy a mom white Northerners. Proprietary colleges on the other hand were isolated and independent.
There were no missionary magazines to report on their successes or to provide them with free advertising. These up-starting universities also had very few wealthy alumni to help funding for classrooms or to pay faculty. Nevertheless, these minor steps are more like leaps compared to the Native American experience in the medical field. Of the small few who did manage to attend universities and graduate, the likely-hood of them going on to become medical partitions was largely impeded by a sacred adherence to the medicinal pr