Not surprisingly, students in different schools always encounter difficult problems that vary depending on their internal and external reasons. By internal and external factors of influence, it is meant that the students’ expectations might be driven both by their status in the society and the attitude of the surrounding people. In this case, the role of the teacher is crucial. However, all the circumstances should be taken into account. Therefore, raising these particular issues, this week’s readings provoked a heated debate in my group, as each of the readings puts emphasis on different aspects of academic performance and the factors influencing it.
It is worth noting that the impression on the representatives of the group has been specifically made by the issue of tracking and untracking in education. Therefore, we were primarily interested in Harklau’s article, and every member of our group has contributed to the discussion. Supporting Harklau’s argument, I concluded that tracking may affect academic performance in both positive and negative ways depending on the self-esteem of the students. Youngjin agreed with this assumption, thus stating that my point of view may be supported by the observations made by Harklau concerning the minority students. Myoung-Hwan added that the status of a minority student may affect the future of a student in a positive way, claiming that realizing their minority status, students become more self-motivated to become better and more academically successful. However, Jaeeui and Daeun thought that it also depends on a teacher and the functionality of the tracking system.
Discussing the peculiarities of Mehan et al.’s argument, all the group has concurred with the view that specific educational programs for African Americans, Latinos, or other minorities in the universities of the United States may be very helpful in acquiring better educational status and implementing tracking. Youngjin and Myoung-Hwan believed that this is due to the reason that the needs of the above-mentioned groups are particularly taken into account and addressed properly. Unfortunately, Jaeeui reflected upon the situation in other universities all over the world and stated that not all the universities include specific educational programs for the students who find themselves in minority groups because of their origin, race, ethnicity, and even religion. Interestingly, she wanted to put emphasis on the role of globalization in education, which led our group to the assumption that with the increasing level of globalization, the students are badly in need of psychological and educational support. Such support would contribute to their cultural awareness, simplify the communication procedure and, eventually, the desire to achieve better results in terms of academic performance.
Apart from the two above-mentioned articles, our attention has been drawn by Hendrickson’s argument concerning student resistance to schooling. The group members were willing to discuss the reasons for the underlying resistance. In my opinion, the rural Appalachian area has been the most influential factor that stimulated student resistance because of the methods and content of teaching used there and the lack of students’ understanding of their future prospects. Youngjin started the heated discussion pointing to the lack of motivation to become educated, while Myoung-Hwan thought that it is usually the teachers’ attitude to students that becomes crucial in further academic performance. Jaeeui and Daeun noted that in the matter of education, the authorities have to implement the most successful and valuable ideas since education nowadays has so many drawbacks that it may negatively affect the future of the students. All the members of our group agreed with this assumption and started discussing the issues that could be improved in the university both in terms of the students who are marked with minority status and those who fail to receive any motivation from the teachers and their parents.
Pursuing the goal of discovering more information about the current perspectives of addressing the issues of racial and ethnic character in contemporary higher education, I have managed to talk to one of the members of UCSD student organization. As an interviewer, I asked the questions that made a tremendous contribution to the understanding of the underlying organization’s mission. To tell the truth, I have discovered that the organization has quite a broad variety of solutions for the students who find themselves different and encounter the problems because of their race, ethnicity, gender, language, religion. It appeared that the organization is very important for the students because of the help it provides to those in need. The organization is a significant motivator in a way that it presents different leadership awards for the students, as well as performs the function of joining people together for educational purposes.
The member of the organization told me that UCSD values every student and aims at improving their academic performance. This is particularly achieved by means of creating the scope of multiple opportunities, among which one may find counseling, health services, as well as free programs of yoga, language courses, etc. The member assured me that the main aspect of the issue I wanted to raise was the realization that a specific problem exists as an obstacle towards student’s success. Realizing that there is a problem, any student may turn to the organization and get correspondent help that would satisfy his/her needs. Now, I am convinced that the organization’s approach is marked with a high level of tolerance, which means that it is open to any suggestions and innovation, providing that they can easily benefit the students in accordance with a contemporary globalized world.