School years are the most vulnerable time regarding personality formation for most children. However, not only psychological considerations complicate this process since the impact of society is dominant in this case (Shyman, 2018). The latter is represented by specific theories referred to as the system of whiteness and a colorblind perspective and define people’s overall attitude towards representatives of minority population groups (Joseph et al., 2016). Hence, schooling experience can be analyzed through the lens of these approaches and with regard to such factors as race, class, gender, immigration status, and language.
The first factor under consideration is race, and it is essential for the struggles of teenagers in educational institutions. It reflects the failure of the present-day initiatives to establish equality in the country based on this characteristic (Shyman, 2018). According to the statistics, Black adolescents are 1.9 times as likely to be expelled and 2.3 times more likely to be subject to local law enforcement than white students (Joseph et al., 2016, p. 5). These circumstances are defined by the existing prejudices in society and worsen the problem of the identified population group by contrasting them to the system of whiteness considered as a standard for comparison.
The second condition, which contributes to the existing inequality, is class, and it plays a significant role in the experience of students of color at school. It adds to the previous factor and represents the economic situation of families. The colorblind attitude to this problem devalues its importance for the students of racial minority groups, whereas their parents remain below the poverty line more often than their white counterparts (Joseph et al., 2016). The phenomenon of whiteness, in this case, worsens the situation for this category of learners by creating an unfavorable comparison of their situations with luckier teenagers.
The third factor which should be taken into account when discussing the current education system is gender, and it poses a challenge for some groups of school children. It is especially critical in the case of people of color since it is frequently neglected by national policy (Joseph et al., 2016). This factor leads to the disproportionate representation of male and female workers in different areas, such as nursing or engineering (Joseph et al., 2016). When applied to the colorblind perspective, it indicates the non-observance of minorities’ needs which starts with equating the studying results of girls and boys.
The fourth factor affecting the schooling experience of minorities is the immigration status, and this situation is conditional upon the present-day policies of the American government. The scholars claim that the administration of Donald Trump demonstrates no tolerance towards this category of people, thereby placing them at a disadvantage (Gomez & Perez Huber, 2019). This circumstance, in turn, influences the attitudes of teachers and classmates at school (Shyman, 2018). In this way, it defines the non-observance of the principles of equality.
The fifth condition defining the unfavorable position of the students under consideration is language specificities inherent in immigrant families. This difference leads to the rejection of these children by teachers and their peers (Gomez & Perez Huber, 2019). Consequently, they encounter difficulties when studying and struggle with their sense of identity, which leads to such complications (Joseph et al., 2016). Therefore, the linguistic particularities of students of color become an obstacle to being perceived as equal to white people and are consequently transferred to their professional endeavors.
To summarize, the system of whiteness and a colorblind perspective worsen the situation of ethnic minority students while neglecting their particular circumstances. Hence, their schooling experience is complicated by their race, economic and social class, and gender. These factors also affect their sense of identity, which triggers the struggle of finding their place in the world. These children’s position becomes less favorable if they are from immigrant families and need time to master their English. Thus, they are not accepted by others, and this fact negatively affects their living standards.
Gomez, V., & Perez Huber, L. (2019). Examining racist nativist microaggressions on DACAmented college students in the Trump era. California Journal of Politics and Policy, 11(2). Web.
Joseph, N. M., Viesca, K. M., & Bianco, M. (2016). Black female adolescents and racism in schools: Experiences in a colorblind society. The High School Journal, 100(1), 4-25. Web.
Shyman, E. (2018). Smoke and mirrors: A thematically based polemic of whiteness and the myth of desegregation in US school reform. Whiteness and Education, 3(2), 122-140. Web.