Sample Leadership Essay Paper on The Challenges of Deculturalization in the Classroom

The Challenges of Deculturalization in the Classroom

The United States is known as a nation of immigrant and thus rich in culture and diversity. Nevertheless, for antiquity, this has not been the case particularly for ethnic and racial minorities. Minorities in the U.S have always been at the center of discussions regarding equality in different fields for years with the predominant promise stating their lack of representation or mistreatment. In terms of education, marginal groups have faced substantial discrimination that has been masked over time by the concept of deculturalization. The most common description of deculturalization is the devaluation of students’ cultural experiences, an erosion of their social as well as traditional capital, in addition to removal of narratives that run counter to their identity (Spring, 2016). The practice is an Anglo American process that goes beyond utter racist or discriminatory attitudes as it systematically rids other cultures in an authoritarian manner. In an era of social and cultural insight, such a vice may seem to be a topic discussed during the Jim Crow era. However, despite making a majority of the population in public school deculturalization in school plagues the current society thus causing more harm to a student from minority groups.

Deculturalization in the U.S schooling Sytstem

Deculturalization has grown to become a substitute or a politically correct term of discriminatory vices in the modern society. Currently, the term is associative with the concept of assimilation, which is a complicated process that compels most immigrants or minorities to adapt to cultures that are contrary to their identity. Spring (1997) also associates deculturalization to cultural genocide, which is described as an aggressive process of eroding an individual’s culture through punishments and rewards. In the late 19th century, The U.S government established several off-reservation boarding institutes that were developed for the sole purpose of assimilating Native American children into Anglo-American society (Bloch, 2013). These establishments took children away from their normal environment as well as their families, went ahead to prohibit them from expressions of their native cultures including speaking their languages, as well as providing instructions on how to change their religion to Christianity (Bloch, 2013). In other words, the schools sought to change the self of each Native American child they took by not only eroding their culture but also imposing Anglicized names on each student. Education scholar Angela Valenzuela employs the term deculturalization to describe subtractive schooling, which is a common practice in school across the United States used to divest minority students from their traditional knowledge by declining to embrace biculturalism as well as biculturalism (Valenzuela, 2010). All the above-mentioned scholars have a different way of presenting deculturalization; nevertheless, one thing that remains constant is that it is a vice against diversity.    

Educating a student of color or of a different ethnicity in the United States is not a simplistic endeavor given the country’s history of oppression and prejudice against minority groups. As indicated by Bloch (2013), the Anglo American premise of cultural domination has always made it difficult for minorities to have an equal opportunity in classrooms. According to Cuevas (2013) “schools, particularly public schools, turn out to be subtractive institutions, in other words, they try to find means to ‘de-ethnicize’ the other population to remove all leftovers of ethnicity from their operations and curriculum” (p. 31). This is done in a structurally oppressive, unfair, and biased manner of isolation while presetting the notion of one language and one culture (Spring, 2011). There are three major challenges that face a student in a deculturalized schooling system first deculturalization fosters negative stereotyping against particular people. For instance, African American do not value education. Second, Deculturalization leads to substitutive education where part of the curriculum is omitted in order to encourage white supremacy. Third, Deculturalization leads resource discrimination and segregation where predominately racial majority school get a better schooling material

Deculturalization fosters negative stereotyping

One primary character of discrimination is that it presents false assumptions about a person or a community thus leading to brutal mistreatment. Supporters of Deculturalization state that the segregation of minority students provides them with the opportunity to be “Americanized” in a controlled cultural environment. One of the most common Anglo American premise used to promote discrimination is that Americanized minorities tend to have more success as they seamless assimilate themselves into the society attracting positive judgment (Bloch, 2013). Nevertheless, this is only but a ploy to maintaining white supremacy, privilege, and hegemony. According to Valenzuela (2010), the continued fight against Deculturalization has led to some minority to face institutionalized prejudice on the basis that such groups do not value educating. This leads to unwarranted punishment as highlighted in the conservative south of America.          

Discrimination has for a long time played a significant role in disenfranchising ethnic and racial minority students across the U.S. According to study by Spring (2016) an African American student is three times more likely to be suspended as compared to their white counterparts. Additionally, in the conservative American South, the racial disparities are a cause of significant concern as differentiation of races and ethnicities are responsible for about 55 percent (1.2 million suspensions) involving students of color (Spring, 2016). Due to the significance of Spring’s research, the department of education conducted an extensive investigation late in 2016 that revealed racial bias in 84 southern school districts where all students suspended were of the minority ethnically and racially (Howard & Navarro, 2016). Additionally, the investigation showed that preschool students from minority groups were more likely to be suspended and bullied. The report indicated that 18% of all students in selected school districts were black and they represented about 75% of the student suspended or reported cases of bullying (Howard & Navarro, 2016). It is hard to imagine such figures represent the U.S education in the 21st century and not during the Jim Crow era.       

Deculturalization leads to substitutive education

In an attempt to maintain, one-culture and one-language teachers in deculturalization institutes commonly tend to omit parts of the curriculum. Students of color often learn history with significant harmful biases from white teachers, traditionally exacerbated by a whitewashed textbook. A study Valenzuela, (2010), indicated that deculturalization leaders tutors to leave out important issues regarding a minority group past or present culture while promoting Anglo American premise on related issues. For instance, it is easy for an Anglo American teacher to present a notion of rebellious African American behavior when discussing the Civil Rights movement of the 1930s. Additionally, a tutor will tend to ignore questions of clarification. From this point, it is clear that education becomes synonymous deculturalization in the histories of all minority cultural groups in the United States. From the aforementioned information and example, it is clear that deculturalization changes the education curriculum significantly by limiting knowledge passed to a scholar.  

Deculturalization Leads to Unequal Dispersion of Schooling Resources

In 1896, the Supreme Court ruling in the Plessy vs. Ferguson introduced the separate but equal public facilities the fueled segregation of for blacks and whites in the education system. This rule was used by the society particularly the Southern United States up until the late 1950s (Spring, 1997). One outstanding fact is that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal and the 1896 ruling was unconstitutional. Although the doctrine of Plessy vs. Ferguson was overruled, the Anglo American premise of separation continues to exist as deculturalization continues to ravage the education system because of the unequal disbursement of resources to schools located in regions populated by minority groups. According to Howard and Navarro (2016), deculturalization indirectly plays a role to forcefully send scholars of minority ethnic and racial backgrounds to areas far from their homes in order to get a quality education. In other words, students of color or different ethnicities are forced to study with limited resources yet are expected to remain competitive.

In summation, the U.S education system continues to be influenced by Anglo American traits that have given rise to deculturalization. The most common description of deculturalization is the devaluation of students’ cultural experiences, an erosion of their social as well as traditional capital, in addition to removal of narratives that run counter to their identity. This trait has led to significant suffering for students of minority groups in the U.S as discussed in the paper first deculturalization fosters negative stereotyping against particular people. For instance, African American do not value education. Second, Deculturalization leads to substitutive education where part of the curriculum is omitted in order to encourage white supremacy. Third, deculturalization leads resource discrimination and segregation where predominately racial majority school gets a better schooling material. In an era of social insight, there is a need for equality in the education system particularly for a sustainable society for a diverse future.       

Reference

Bloch, R. H. (2013). Gender and Morality in Anglo-American Culture, 1650–1800. Univ of California Press.

Cuevas, P. A. (2013). Applied Critical Race Theory: The Impact of a Counter-storytelling Curriculum (Doctoral dissertation). http://csueastbay-dspace.calstate.edu/handle/10211.3/115466

Howard, T. C., & Navarro, O. (2016). Critical race theory 20 years later: Where do we go from here?. Urban Education51(3), 253-273.

Spring, J. (2016). Deculturalization and the struggle for equality: A brief history of the education of dominated cultures in the United States. Routledge.

Spring, J. H. (2011). The American school: A global context from the Puritans to the Obama era. McGraw-Hill.

Spring, J. (1997). Deculturalization and the struggle for equity. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Spring, J., 2016. Deculturalization and the struggle for equality: A brief history of the education of dominated cultures in the United States. Routledge.

Valenzuela, A. (2010). Subtractive schooling: US-Mexican youth and the politics of caring. Suny Press.