Common Beliefs Survey

Subject: Education
Type: Expository Essay
Pages: 8
Word count: 1625
Topics: High School, Ethnicity, Gender Roles, Race, Social Issues

Common belief 1

Question: What are some ways for educators to acknowledge students’ ethnic, cultural, racial, and linguistic identities?

Racism has been the greatest deterrence to equality and peaceful coexistence from all Americans of varied origin. Hispanics and African Americans are the most afflicted, with their class performance level being a testament to this harsh reality. Educators have a fundamental role in ensuring that all class members, including the underserved population (in this case Hispanics and African Americans). Teachers should evict any sense of racism, creating a fully participative and comfortable environment for all students. My beliefs directly relate to the selected question, in that I possess a total disregard for any of my student’s race and choose to remain objective, only concerned with the key aspect that is educating them into becoming better members of society.  I choose to be colorblind when it comes to my teaching and it has always proven to be productive, in terms of general achievement in class. Continuous devotion to the betterment of my students exceeds any inhibited traits such as ethnicity or race, which is purely unrelated with overall class achievement. Any form of prejudice will only harm the class, and therefore, I must be neutral to ensure that all members of the class feel equal, and any can participate and pass their views on anything (Arends, 2014). I love being free to my students, as it is the only basis for a fruitful coexistence. 

Common belief 2

Question: What can be done to dismantle racial bias and misconceptions in the American educational system?  

Race and ethnicity are traits that are no determinant of productivity or performance of students. The reason for the existence of the gaps between students is more about their parent’s financial capability, and not the races or ethnic backgrounds that they harbor. Educators have a critical role in leveling the playing field for each and every student, including Hispanics and African Americans. Race plays no role in the aspect with the only substantial difference resonating from financial constraints. However, I have come to learn that zeal to learn is more important in comparison to financial capability, as students with less have achieved far greater milestones that those with much (Rosenblum & Travis, 2015). Nevertheless, the gap is real, and it has its limitations on students. 

Common belief 3

Question: How might teachers learn about the cultural perspectives and practices of their students?

Every culture has its own unique aspects, whose understanding betters one relation with members of that culture. It is for this reason that it is crucial for teachers to understand other cultural norms and systems, which have a profound impact on the student’s perception of them, precisely those from minority groups. Depicting cultural awareness enables the teacher to foster a relationship with the student, who then feels better about him or herself and their culture, resulting in participation that impacts performance positively. With a more indulged class, a teacher can yield better results, and thus make it critical to gain multicultural awareness (Fairlie, Hoffmann, & Oreopoulos, 2014). Through books and physical interaction with African Americans and Hispanics, the educator is in a position to learn about their cultures, bettering his relationship with not only students but also parents of the underserved population. 

Common belief 4

Question: What is the connection between students’ cultural identities and knowledge of their history?

Understanding culture betters one’s knowledge of their history. Cultural identity is critical in the betterment of one’s knowledge of their history, in regards to aspects such as origin. Hispanics and African Americans have distinct cultures, and thus varied history. Understanding this enables the educator to improve class performance, through indulging all members, most importantly the underserved population (Huntington, 2013).

Common belief 5

Question: How can educators invite and encourage the involvement of families?

Parental support is crucial for student improvement and betterment, with the constant need to monitor their behavior with the intention of bettering and guiding them. Parents who do not show up for class invitations and events limit my capacity to influence the students, as parents can help monitor aspects that may be beyond my reach and of grave importance to the student (Ravitch, 2016). Assignments follow-ups by parents can majorly impact student performance, and thus a need for parental participation. This can be achieved through organizing African American and Hispanic events, which will attract parents from these cultures, resulting in better relationships.  

Common belief 6

Question: How can teachers facilitate the development of academic English for ELLs?

Students are in class to learn, not to be tormented. A student with limited English can only learn to speak and write better, which is achieved through progressive training. Asking such a student to undertake a challenging assignment only works to harm them more, as they struggle through. However, progressive improvement works effectively, making them better equipped in regards to language comprehension (Hazari, Sadler, & Sonnert, 2013). 

Common belief 7

Question: What do teachers need to keep in mind as they raise the learning expectations for students who are not as confident in their capabilities as learners?

Self-esteem is crucial for performance betterment and improvement of students, who are constantly facing challenges I regard to goal achievement as well as performance betterment (Berliner and Glass, 2014). It is for this reason that I find it crucial to reward attempts as well as improvements, acting to boost confidence and esteem of the student, who is then inspired to achieve more.  

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Common belief 8

Question: What are some ways that educators can simultaneously have high expectations of their students and acknowledge their individual needs?

Matching competency to ability works to better student productivity, improving their performance and yielding better results (Gay, 2013). 

Common belief 9

Question: What are some ways that educators can simultaneously have high expectations of their students and acknowledge their individual needs?

Based on one’s origin and upbringing, learning styles differ, making it crucial for teachers to understand and ensure that correct styles are applied to the right student, yielding better performance (Herbert, 2015). 

Common belief 10

Question: What are some strategic approaches to using group learning in the classroom?

Grouping is an effective style in improving student performance, but may also limit high achievers. However, balancing the two ensures that high achievers further their excellence as well as helping the low achievers better their grades (Whisman et al., 2013). Group learning helps to integrate the Hispanics and African Americans to other cultures, resulting in bond creation that betters their overall class performance. 

Common belief 11

Question: What are some ways to incorporate complex problem-solving in basic-skills assignments?

Basic skills act as a foundation for learning, with their achievement enabling the student to move to higher heights of achievement (Andersen and Collins, 2015). With the skills, advanced education may be easily grasped, yielding excellent results. 

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Common belief 12

Question: How might you make time to better understand your students, even in a climate that favors high-stakes test preparation over student-teacher relationships?

The criticality of cultural comprehension and creation of a level playing field in class helps a teacher better his or her teaching. It is thus crucial that one makes time to understand cultural examples from students to understand them better and align class goals with this knowledge (Stephens, Hamedani, & Destin, 2014). A weekly lesson is enough, and its impact is fundamental in yielding better performance. Setting time for cultural relationship betterment will majorly impact the performance of Hispanics and African Americans in regards to overall class performance. 

Common belief 13

Question: Why is it important to openly discuss issues that are seen as having racial dimensions?

Understanding existent racial challenges and constraints improve school performance as well as coexistence within the school. Through communicating with colleagues, a teacher creates awareness of racial and ethnical challenges faced, and how to tackle them, resulting in a fruitful sharing of information (Ciecierski, Kang, & Hitsman, 2014). 

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  1. Andersen, M., & Collins, P. H. (2015). Race, class, & gender: An anthology. Nelson Education.
  2. Arends, R. (2014). Learning to teach. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
  3. Berliner, D. C., & Glass, G. V. (Eds.). (2014). 50 myths and lies that threaten America’s public schools: The real crisis in education. Teachers College Press.
  4. Ciecierski, C. C., Kang, J., & Hitsman, B. (2014). Abstract A01: Cancer-risk behavior clustering involving physical activity, tobacco and alcohol use by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status among US college students. The Science of Cancer Health Disparities, 23(11), DOI: 10.1158/1538-7755.DISP13-A01
  5. Fairlie, R. W., Hoffmann, F., & Oreopoulos, P. (2014). A community college instructor like me: Race and ethnicity interactions in the classroom. The American Economic Review, 104(8), 2567-2591.
  6. Gay, G. (2013). Teaching to and through cultural diversity. Curriculum Inquiry, 43(1), 48-70.
  7. Hazari, Z., Sadler, P. M., & Sonnert, G. (2013). The science identity of college students: exploring the intersection of gender, race, and ethnicity. Journal of College Science Teaching, 42(5), 82-91.
  8. Herbert, R. V. (2015). Race/Ethnicity, Diet, and Physical Activity Behavior among College Students (Doctoral dissertation, Walden University).
  9. Huntington, S. P. (2013). 25 The Hispanic Challenge. A Language and Power Reader, 6.
  10. Ravitch, D. (2016). The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. Basic Books.
  11. Rosenblum, K., & Travis, T. M. (2015). The meaning of difference: American constructions of race, sex and gender, social class, sexual orientation, and disability. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
  12. Stephens, N. M., Hamedani, M. G., & Destin, M. (2014). Closing the social-class achievement gap: A difference-education intervention improves first-generation students’ academic performance and all students’ college transition. Psychological science, 25(4), 943-953.
  13. Whisman, M. A., Judd, C. M., Whiteford, N. T., & Gelhorn, H. L. (2013). Measurement invariance of the Beck Depression Inventory–Second Edition (BDI-II) across gender, race, and ethnicity in college students. Assessment, 20(4), 419-428.
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