Cultural Identity In Education

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The Role of Identity in Educational Practices
Cultural identity within the classroom is at the forefront of Precious Knowledge, a documentary about a controversial Mexican American studies program taught in Tucson High School. While 48 percent of Mexican American students currently drop out of high school, Tucson High’s Mexican American Studies Program has become a national model of educational success, with 100 percent of enrolled students graduating from high school and 85 percent going on to attend college. This film was particularly relevant to me because it allowed me to examine the influence of cultural identity from an outside perspective. I taught at a school where roughly a third of my students were coded as Limited English Proficiency
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From the beginning, Younge writes from the viewpoint that there are many ways to determine ones identity, and this identity shapes how we see the world (p. 30). However, he also stresses the importance of commonalities and the ways we are alike (p. 17). He is also contradictory in his idea of whether identity is part of who were are or part of a choice we make to identify with a particular group. While he discusses the idea that people have a choice in their identity and are not held hostage to any one identity (p. 22), he also uses Tiger Woods as an example that we as people are “just who we are.” (p. 98) This leads to the idea that people can respond to their identities out of convenience. He discusses how people must recognize their identity in order to examine their effect. There is evidence to support this examination of the effect of identity can lead to unity within separate identities rather than the utilitarian view point he …show more content…
(p. 31) The argument placed a distinction in studying the middle class versus the poor and working class. The argument was supported by findings in how social class impacted the organization of the children’s lives, the language used in the home, and the interactions between families and institutions. Middle class families used concerted cultivation in their parenting whereas poor and working class families were categorized with the accomplishment of natural growth. While I did assume the differences in each of the social classes would be fairly obvious, I do feel Lareau’s research fairly represented not only the advantages but the flaws as well. For example, middle class families organize their children’s lives with scheduled activities, allow for reasoning in conversations, and are quick to intervene in favor of the child. However the study also showed the chaos and exhaustion these activities can lead to. It is also pointed out that the concerted cultivation, which places emphasis on individualism, also leads to middle class children displaying a sense of

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