hiddencurriculum - 1 Butler Emily Butler Jacob Jewusiak...

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1 Butler Emily Butler Jacob Jewusiak English 101 28 September 2010 To the editor: Those who read Jean Anyon’s piece from “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work” probably were not surprised by Anyon’s findings. By studying five different schools all from different social classes, Anyon found that the children who come from wealthier families receive a better education and are allowed to express creativity more often than the children from lower-class homes. Based on her observations, Anyon came to the conclusion that because of the education that these students are given, they end up staying in the same social class their whole lives because of the way they learn and how skilled they are with certain things. Although I think Anyon makes some valid points, I do not agree with her statement about why the schooling is like this. I believe she is correct when saying that students of different social classes receive different types of education, but I do not agree that it is to make sure that they stay in their social class their whole lives. I think that there is a different reason for why the schools are set up this way. The five schools that Anyon observed were divided into four different categories. The first two schools were part of the “working-class schools.” The working-class schools contained students with parents who have “blue-collar jobs” and most family incomes are at or below the poverty line (Anyon 172). These two schools are made up of children who are of the lower class. The schoolwork mainly involves memorizing and following a set of steps to solve a problem.
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2 Anyon states, “Work is often evaluated not according to whether it is right or wrong but according to whether the children followed the right steps” (173). Basically, understanding the work and getting the right answer is not the main priority to these schools. The main priority is to do the right method of solving the problem. The students receive very little respect and have no independence. They mainly learn that if they do not follow a set of steps, they will get the wrong answer, leaving no room for creativity. For example, Anyon describes that when the class was making a grid, a student stated that she had an easier and quicker method, but the teacher just said to “Do it this way or it’s wrong” (174). They are taught that only one method of doing something can lead them to the right answer. They are not able to express creativity by developing their own way to solve the problem. They learn that they will only have to follow a certain set of rules to succeed in the future. The next school is the “middle-class school.” The middle-class school’s parents are made up of people with decently paid jobs and are members of the middle class, hence the name. The main priority of these schools is getting the right answer. Unlike the working class school, these children don’t need to follow a specific set of directions. They can if they would like to, but it is
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hiddencurriculum - 1 Butler Emily Butler Jacob Jewusiak...

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