of the Middle AgesEducation is known as the key to success, and this has become evident the older I get. I never realized however how evident this is to young children as young as ages 7 – 11 as well. After watching Chillot, Guggenheim, and Kimballs documentary film, Waiting for Superman, I began to understand how important a good education is to young children and the consequences a bad education both directly and indirectly has on them. Not only are these children affected by their personal experiences, but by the experiences of others that were failed by the education system as well.
Often people tend to blame the children for their lack of progress in school or their decision to drop out of altogether, but according to educator Geoffrey Canada, childrens expectations are made based on their social surroundings (Chillcot, Guggenheim, &Kimball, 2010). Erik Eriksons Industry versus inferiority theory explained in, Invitation to the Life Span, by Kathleen Stassen Berger (2010), states that children often base their goals on the values of their culture, and start to compare themselves with their peers causing them to self-evaluate. If a particular child lives within a culture that does not value education, chances are that they will grow up with an inanimate value to learn.
Even in a culture that values education, other factors may also play a large role on the education of its youth. The circumstances in the education of Americas youth are often an act of luck. Luck decides where they will go to school and by whom they will be taught. Whether a child goes to a school in a suburban area or a rural area the quality of their education depends greatly on who they are being educated by (Chilcott et al., 2010). Teacher tenure, as explained in Chillcot, Guggenheim, and Kimballs movie (2010) , allows for teachers to keep their jobs for life regardless of whether they are proficient or not. Tenure not only effects the education outcome of the child, but psychologically it can cause a child to believe that they are not important enough to be taught causing them to feel inferior and resulting in low self-esteem or even the choice to drop out (Berger, 2010). Educators need to show that they are passionate about what they are teaching in order to get their students passionate about learning the information. When taught properly these children will start to feel industrious, giving them the urge to continue their learning.
The schools that are not affected by tenure are those that are either expensive or difficult to get accepted into. Charter schools, are public schools that are able to follow their own set of rules, but are required to hold a drawing if the number of applicants exceeds the number of available spots (Chillcot et al., 2010). Although these schools provide a great deal of beneficial aspects for the children, there is still a matter of tracking. Before watching Waiting for Superman, I believed that children were tracked by their intellectual abilities alone, but Chilcott and colleagues (2010), described that they are also being tracked based on their personalities and neatness as well. According to Berger, (2010) school age children start to develop social comparison which can alter self-esteem. When social comparison is combined with tracking student is going to compare themselves with students of other levels or categories of their peers. The effect of this comparison could result in a self-esteem complication resulting in aggression and even lower academic achievements (Berger, 2010).
From this movie I concluded that our education system is run by greed and it is affecting the children not only academically, but psychologically as well. As a result many of todays children are going to end up uneducated adults with low self-esteem, low moral values and, no sense of accomplishment, as previous generations did before them.These problems will continue to cycle until the importance of our children surpasses the importance of our adults.
Berger, Kathleen S. (2010). Invitation to the lifespan. New York, NY: Worth Publishers
Chilcott, L. (Producer), Guggenheim, D. and Kimball, B. (Director/Writers). (2010). Waiting
For Superman [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.