The diversity in public schools regarding race and ethnicity is at its peak. Even though this is the case, segregation in these institutions is still alive for students of color (Ramlackhan, 2020). There is also a significant number of students of color in concentrated poverty in these institutions that are segregated by race. Besides their personal problems, they also face various learning challenges in these public schools. My research question, why do people of color face learning challenges in the public school system, investigates some of these challenges. The question falls under the concept of social justice and equality in social science. Social justice is about fairly distributing opportunities and privileges as they are applicable to members of society (Ornstein, 2017). In the education system, social justice emphasizes the provision of fair and just education for all students.
The primary audience for my research is the federal government, school administrators, and educators. They should pay attention to my research since they are the individuals who can make the necessary changes in the system. As such, they need to understand the problem. Students of color are treated differently by the school administrators and educators, sometimes unintentionally and even without malice. Compared to their white counterparts, they are more susceptible to suspension or expulsion and have lower expectations from their educators (Weir, 2016). They are less likely to be enrolled in gifted programs or even have as better qualified educators as white students. There is also a high probability that these marginalized students will be enrolled in institutions with a greater presence of police, increasing their chances of entering the criminal justice system (Weir, 2016). The audience should note that some of these differences result from implicit biases or a lack of an understanding of these students’ cultures, which impacts thoughts and behaviors. The outcome of this research is also relevant to them because it affects how they are viewed.
As a student, I am at the center of this inequality in the school system, and I am personally affected by the problem. The school presents me with an opportunity to break the cycle of inequality in my community. Education has a greater impact and applies as an employment predictor (Ali & Jalal, 2018). As such, a lack of a better education means limited opportunities in the job market. This inequality at school is very likely to result in a poor relationship with the communities of people of color. The federal government, educators, and administrators will be labeled racist. The institutions will also probably lose some students, and those that remain will demand that the issue is addressed.
Conducting the research personally opened my eyes and provided a deeper understanding of the inequality in the public education system. I knew there were challenges to students of color in the system but never thought they were so far-reaching. I became more knowledgeable about the subject through research and discovered that my prior knowledge was just the tip of the iceberg. The inequality problem was so embedded in the system that bias, prejudices, and stereotypes affected even the most basic learning elements, such as providing feedback to students and disciplining the students for misbehavior.
Social scientific thinking is quite different from the habitual thinking that we engage in quite often. It involves a personal observation in the initial stages, followed by comprehensive research. It also includes the formulation and application of concepts before acquiring a final well-informed observation. In the course of my research, I employed social scientific thinking. I observed the issue in my school environment and acquired an idea of the challenges students of color encounter. I proceeded to engage with articles on the internet, such as journals and books, that discussed the issue and then developed concepts. In the end, and light of all the information, I was well-informed about inequality in public schools. Without social scientific thinking, my views concerning the issue would probably be unchanged.
Ali, M. S., & Jalal, H. (2018). Higher education as a predictor of employment: The world of work perspective. Bulletin of Education and Research, 40(2), 79-90. Web.
Ornstein, A. C. (2017). Social justice: History, purpose and meaning. Social Science and Public Policy, 54, 541–548. Web.
Ramlackhan, K. (2020). Restricting social justice practices in public education: The neoliberal stronghold. In R. Papa (Ed.), Handbook on promoting social justice in education. Springer.
Weir, K. (2016). Inequality at school: What’s behind the racial disparity in our education system? American Psychological Association, 47(10). Web.