用户名: 密码: 验证码:    注册 | 忘记密码?
首页|听力资源|每日听力|网络电台|在线词典|听力论坛|下载频道|部落家园|在线背单词|双语阅读|在线听写|普特网校
您的位置:主页 > 每日焦点 > 社会 >

请别告诉孩子:书中自有黄金屋

2014-01-28    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

The danger of telling poor kids that college is the key to social mobility

一名12年级的高中学生写了一篇申请大学的文章,描述她想要从事与海洋学相关的职业。我们就叫她伊莎贝拉好了。几个月前,我们利用午餐时间在我的教室对文 章进行了润色。文章写的不错,但充满了17岁少女的幻想,比如与鲸鱼结伴遨游。她的文章与众不同的另一个原因是:她的职业目标不是这篇文章的重点,只是完 成她目的陈述的表达手法,这点很令人惊讶,因为事实上很少用这种方式写个人陈述。

A 12th-grader wrote a college admissions essay about wanting to pursue a career in oceanography. Let’s call her Isabella. A few months ago, we edited it in my classroom during lunch. The writing was good, but plenty of 17-year-olds fantasize about swimming with whales. Her essay was distinctive for another reason: Her career goals were not the highlight of the essay. They were just a means of framing her statement of purpose, something surprisingly few personal statements actually get around to making.

The essay’s core concerned the rhetoric that educators had used to motivate her and her peers—other minority students from low-income communities. She’d been encouraged to think of college foremost as a path to socioeconomic mobility. Since elementary school, teachers had rhapsodized about the opportunities that four years of higher education could unlock. Administrators had rattled off statistics about the gulf in earnings between college graduates and those with only high-school diplomas. She’d been told to think about her family, their hopes for her, what they hadn’t had and what she could have if she remained diligent. She’d been promised that good grades and a ticket to a good college would lead to a good job, one that would guarantee her financial independence and enable her to give back to those hard-working people who had placed their faith in her.

Thankfully, Isabella decried this characterization as shortsighted and simplistic. My guess is that only students like her ever have to hear it.
The black and Latino kids I teach live in Inglewood and West Adams in Los Angeles. Their parents are house-cleaners, truck drivers, and non-union carpenters. When administrators, counselors, and teachers repeat again and again that a college degree will alleviate economic hardship, they don’t mean to suggest that there is no other point to higher education. Yet by focusing on this one potential benefit, educators risk distracting them from the others, emphasizing the value of the fruits of their academic labor and skipping past the importance of the labor itself. The message is that intellectual curiosity plays second fiddle to financial security.

While Isabella’s essay acknowledged her lack of economic advantages and portrayed with sensitivity her parents’ struggles, she was eager to focus first on nurturing her intellectual passion. She detailed how her curiosity about sea urchins and other marine life had led to a passion she wants to sustain through college and a subsequent career. College will ferry her to her intellectual destiny, not a financial windfall. She’ll make her life’s work what she wants to do, not just what she is able do.

My students are understandably preoccupied with money. They don’t have the privilege to not worry about it. They fantasize about what their future wealth will permit them to enjoy. They dream about specific models of cars in certain colors and gargantuan houses in particular neighborhoods and opulent meals at their favorite restaurants any time they wish. Many swoon over the East Coast liberal arts colleges they visit on the special trips that my school is thoughtful enough to arrange. Colleges like Swarthmore and Haverford fly students like Isabella out during college applications season. A few are accepted but most attend state schools, which, especially in California, can provide excellent educational opportunities. The irony, though, is that many of these students aspire to go to a liberal-arts school but don’t necessarily understand its significance. They’re drawn to sleepy quads, weathered brick, and cascading ivy, but they are resolutely pre-professional in spirit.

In contrast, at the private school I attended for the last two years of high school, my classmates thought about what they wanted to learn in college, not only what they wanted to become. Some knew medical or law school loomed in the future, but they thought about the work in a different way. My privileged classmates enjoyed money, from what I could tell. A few reveled in their cars and clothes, but most appeared to take it for granted. They didn’t talk about it. Instead, a future doctor talked about working at the CDC to fight public health epidemics. A future lawyer envisioned starting a defense firm to provide a service to the hometown community. Most of us wanted to do something special.
My students’ fantasies of the actual work they’d do in a well-paid professional capacity are vague by comparison—practicing law without knowing the difference between civil and criminal litigation or how to prepare for law school, doing business without an understanding of the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship. While the vagueness stems from the lack of models in their communities, it also comes from the lack of imagination with which mentors have addressed their professed college plans. Students hear that being a doctor is great because doctors can make money, enjoy respect, and have a great life.They don’t hear that being a doctor is great because doctors possess the expertise to do great things.

When schools deemphasize the intellectual benefits of higher education, students become less imaginative about their futures.

The rhetoric echoes the oft-cited work of Jean Anyon, an education researcher who died in September. Studying elementary schools, Anyon looked at how schools can condition kids for positions in life. She saw that schools teaching the children of affluent families prepared those kids to take on leadership roles and nurtured their capacity for confident self-expression and argument.Schools teaching children from low-income families focused on keeping students busy and managing behavior. A middle-class school deemphasized individual expression and in-depth analysis and rewarded the dutiful completion of specified rote tasks. In each case, according to Anyon, a “hidden curriculum” has prepared students for a future role in society. Some students learn to take orders and others learn to chart a course of action and delegate responsibility. School can either perpetuate inequity through social reproduction or have a transformative effect and help students transcend it


The rhetoric Isabella has heard about the purpose of college has a hidden message as well. When school environments casually yet consistently deemphasize the intellectual benefits of higher education, students become less imaginative about their futures. According to ACT’s College Choice Report from November 2013, 32 percent of students pick a college major that doesn’t really interest them. The same study suggests that students are less likely to graduate when they do this. As high school educators know, good students have less trouble getting into selective schools than they do graduating from them – especially first-generation minority college students like Isabella and her classmates.

College should be “sold” to all students as an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening. All students should learn that privilege is connected to the pursuit of passions. People are privileged to follow their hearts in life, to spend their time crafting an identity instead of simply surviving.
Access to higher education means that your values and interests can govern your choices. It makes sense that privileged 18-year-olds who have already learned that lesson gravitate to liberal-arts colleges. I would prefer not to live in a country in which rhetoric about the purpose of college urges kids from privileged backgrounds to be innovators and creators while the poor kids who do very well in school are taught to be educated, capable employees. Isabella figured it out on her own – much as she’s managed to ace her classes without academic help outside of school. To achieve this goal more broadly, though, we need to proactively teach our most marginalized students that honing an intellectually curious frame of mind is as essential to leading an invigorating working life as ambition and work ethic.(ChinaDaily)

相关内容

文章的核心是围绕教育工作者的一些言论,他们一直用这些言论激励她和她的同龄人——来自低收入社区的少数民族学生。不断有人给她洗脑,上大学是第一位的,是改善社会经济地位的坦途。从上小学开始,老师就极力宣扬四年的大学生活能打开机遇的大门。学校领导能飞快地列举出各种统计数据,说明大学毕业生和只有高中文凭的那些人在收入方面的巨大差距。总是有人对她说,想想你的家人,想想他们寄予的厚望,如果能一直努力读书就会得到父辈无法拥有的东西。只要成绩好,拿到顶尖大学的录取通知书,保证就会有个好工作,有了好工作,不仅自己经济上能够独立而且还有能力回报亲友,这些人一直努力工作并且对她充满信心。

值得庆幸的是,伊莎贝拉批评这类说辞是目光短浅和头脑简单。我猜大概只有像她这样的学生才会听到这些。

我教的那些非洲裔和拉美裔学生都住在洛杉矶的英格尔伍德和西亚当斯。他们父母从事的工作是清洁工、卡车司机和非工会的木匠。当校长、辅导员和老师一次又一次地重复着,有了大学文凭会改善经济窘迫的情况,他们并不是指高等教育除了这点就没别的用处了。但是当只专注在获取这种潜在利益时,教育工作者们让学生注意不到别的事物,他们强调知识累积后成果的价值却忽略了知识累积本身的重要性。这种做法传递的消息是,求知欲排在经济保障之后。

虽然伊莎贝拉的文章承认她没有经济优势也敏感地描绘了她父母生活的困顿,但她盼望能将重心首先放在培养自己的求知欲上。她详细讲述了对海胆等海洋生物的好奇,这种好奇激发了她对海洋生物学的热情,她希望能在未来的大学生活和随后的职业生涯中一直保持这份热情。大学会把她送到知识海洋的彼岸,而不是送来意外的横财。她要让自己毕生的职业是她想要去做的,而不是她能去做的。

可以理解我的学生们为什么十分在意金钱。他们没有资本不去担心。他们幻想着将来有钱可以让他们好好享受生活。他们梦想拥有某种颜色的限定款汽车、位于特殊社区的大豪宅以及随时可以在喜欢的餐厅享用丰盛的美食。许多学生参观东岸文科学院时几乎为之疯狂,我所在的学校用心良苦地安排了很多这种参观活动。大学申请季节时,斯沃斯莫尔和哈弗福德等大学会让伊莎贝拉这样的学生飞过去面试。少数几名学生会被东岸大学录取,但绝大多数学生会进入公立大学,尤其是加利福尼亚的大学,这些学校可以提供良好的受教育机会。但具有讽刺意味的是,很多向往文科学院的学生不一定了解这类大学强在哪里。吸引他们的是安静的校园、饱经风雨的墙砖和层层叠叠的常春藤,但在内心他们已经毅然踏入职前教育阶段。

与此相反,在我高中最后两年就读的私立学校,我的同学们考虑的是他们想在大学里学到什么,不仅仅只是他们想要从事的职业。有的同学知道将来很可能就读医学院或法学院,但他们以完全不同的方式思考未来。我那些有钱有势的同学很享受金钱带来的快乐,这点我看得出来。有人喜欢汽车,爱买衣服,但大多数人似乎觉得这理所当然。他们不谈论金钱。相反,未来的医生谈论在疾病预防控制中心的工作,治疗影响公众健康的流行病。未来的律师设想开办律师事务所服务家乡的社区。我们当中的绝大多数人想要做一些特别的事。

相比之下,我那些希望从事高薪职业的学生们对工作实质毫无概念——想当律师的不了解民事诉讼和刑事诉讼的差别,也不知道读法学院要如何准备;想经商的不知道创业的各种细节。虽然这种茫然的根源来自他们的生活圈子里没有可以模仿的对象,但也由于缺乏想象力,因为导师们已经一手包办了他们自称的大学规划。这些学生听到的是,当一名医生很棒,可以赚大钱,受人尊敬,能过上富足的生活。他们没听到的是,当一名医生很棒的原因是,医生所具备的专业知识能让他们去做很棒的事。

当学校弱化高等教育对智力发展的重要性时,学生们对未来也变得不再富有想象力。

这类言论也符合大家经常提及的吉恩•安扬(Jean Anyon)的研究,这位教育研究人员于今年9月去世了。在针对小学的研究过程中,安扬注意到学校是如何限定了孩子们的社会地位。她发现,在富裕家庭孩子就读的学校,老师教这些学生如何承担领导角色并培养他们充满自信地自我表达和演讲辩论。对低收入家庭的儿童,学校教育的重点放在让学生总是忙忙碌碌而且规矩听话。而中产阶级家庭孩子就读的学校弱化个性展示和深入分析,奖励学生尽职地完成指定的机械工作。根据安扬的研究,学校针对不同情况制定的“隐性课程”为学生们量身定制了未来的社会角色。有些学生学会服从命令,其他学生学会规划执行方案并且层层落实责任。学校可以通过社会复制让这种不公平延续下去,或者选择努力变革从而帮助学生超越它。

伊莎贝拉听到的大学目标这类言论还潜藏了一个信息。当学校看似随意但不停弱化高等教育对智力发展的重要性时,学生对未来也变得不再富有想象力。根据2013年11月ACT(美国大学入学考试)的大学选择报告,32%的学生选择了他们并不真正感兴趣的专业。这份研究还表明,做出这种选择的学生顺利毕业的可能也较小。高中老师都知道,好学生考取重点大学不难,但顺利毕业就难说了——尤其是少数民族的第一代移民大学生,比如伊莎贝拉和她的同学们。

大学应该向所有学生“灌输”的是,有机会体验知识带来的觉醒。所有的学生都应该知道,享有特权与追求爱好息息相关。人们有权利按照心灵的指引生活,用生命打造自己独具的特性,而不仅仅是为了生存。接受高等教育意味着你的价值观念和兴趣爱好可以左右你的选择。享有特权的这些18岁孩子们已经得到了被文科学院吸引的教训,这很正常。我不愿生活在这样的国家,夸夸其谈大学的目的就是让有钱有势的孩子成为革新者和创造者,而品学兼优的穷孩子则被教育成有知识的合格打工者。伊莎贝拉靠自己明白了这个道理——就像她没有上过校外辅导班门门功课照样拿优一样。但为了让更多的学生也同样明白,我们需要主动告知我们最被边缘化的学生,想要拥有愉快的职业生涯,培养好奇心和求知欲以及保持进取心和职业道德都是缺一不可的。



顶一下
(1)
50%
踩一下
(1)
50%
手机上普特 m.putclub.com 手机上普特
[责任编辑:Tina]
------分隔线----------------------------
发表评论 查看所有评论
请自觉遵守互联网政策法规,严禁发布色情、暴力、反动的言论。
评价:
表情:
用户名: 密码: 验证码:
  • 推荐文章
  • 资料下载
  • 讲座录音
普特英语手机网站
用手机浏览器输入m.putclub.com进入普特手机网站学习
查看更多手机学习APP>>