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Education is vital during an individuals human development. Education helps to maximize and enhance ones skill and knowledge, helping them to complete their day-to-day activities with ease. Education is easily given to individuals who attend schools or institutions. However, because of the inequalities between different cultures, not every individual are given the opportunity to go to school. In this essay, we discuss the inequality of schooling between two cultures. They are the urban culture and the rural culture. Urban schools are of an advantage because these cities earn the funds to set up structured school and also having enough funds to employ qualified teachers for the benefits of their students. Rural schools, on the other hand, face more inequality because these rural environments does not allow schools to be built as the rural areas usually does not have enough money. Rural areas put more emphasis on their business rather than educating their children.
Receiving education is one of the most vital processes in human development. Perhaps the most important milestone in development is to gain knowledge. Knowledge will refer to necessary skills, information or any general principles that are learnt through experience or education. Education is utterly important because it is a learning process of where an individual would gain knowledge, skills and facts with the supervision and guidance of teachers who will assist them in teaching through the correct facts and concepts about what they are learning. With this knowledge, this individual would be able to understand the world and his or her life more clearly, able to avoid disappointments and also to help improve the lives of others as well. Going to school would also allow the individual to gain experience in communicating with others, maximize their respective abilities and skills and also to increase their motivation to work hard to achieve what they want from life. Thus, every individual should and must be given the opportunity to attend school during their crucial development stage so that they would be able to gain knowledge whilst growing up as an adolescent and to an adult.
School Contributions to Human Development
A school's culture is a complex pattern of norms, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, values, ceremonies, traditions, and myths that are deeply ingrained in the very core of the organization (Barth, 2002). School refers to an institution where teachers are employed to share knowledge and skills to the children. This institution may consist of many classrooms with tables and chairs for the students to use in order to learn comfortably thus more effectively. School is also said to foster children's academic motivation by downplaying the competitive race for the best grades in class (Covington, 2000). This is because classrooms are competitive places where the children will try to outdo each other in terms of academic or skills. This would healthily encourage the children to work hard and increase their motivation to try to perform better. In other words, the school climate can influence achievement through the student's enthusiasm from learning (Ladd, Buhs & Seid, 2000). Education has been ascribed policy importance north and south as a tool for promoting international competitiveness and social inclusion (McGrath, 2010).
Bronfenbrenner has made it clear that schools are important and it is included in his ecological systems theory under the microsystem, mesosystem and exosystem (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Microsystem would refer to the institutions and groups that most immediately and directly impact the child's development. Thus, school being a factor under the microsystem. The mesosystem would refer to relations between microsystems or connections between contexts. An example could be the relationship of the family with the school or the peer's relationship with the teachers. Lastly, the exosystem involves links between a social setting in which the individual does not have an active role and the individual's immediate context. Thus, the education system became a factor under the exosystem. In his research, Bronfenbrenner discuss how important these systems will affect an individual throughout the lifespan between the growing human and the changing environments that that individual would be involved in. Also, he also proved and researched this ecological system theory does affect the behavior and development of children. Thus, concluding that school and education does play an important part in human development.
In addition, Lemke (1994) uses the term "eco-social system" in his application of the eco- logical approach to the study of cultural change. The research contend that a school and its classrooms can be viewed as an ecosystem because they make up a complex system containing many parts and relationships, with both biotic components (e.g., teachers, students, parents, and administrators) and abiotic components (e.g., physical setting, location of the computers, grades, and subjects taught)
Availability of Schools
As a result on how vital education is for any individual, many countries emphasize different ways to strongly encourage and improve the education system and environments for children and adolescents. For example, countries like the United State of America, engage a federal 'No Child Left Behind Act', to strongly encourage school for children, providing the schools with federal funding to educational programs to improve student learning and achievement (NCLB, 2002). With acts like these, children from the United State of America are given ample opportunity to be educated. This act also required the country to provide more highly qualified teachers so as to improve the children's learning standard. This act shows the effort countries like the USA put into the importance of education for all children. Thus, reflecting how school is easily available in the most parts of USA.
However, not every country shares the same principle of compulsory schooling for individuals. There are more than 100 million children who do not get much opportunity to be educated or go to proper set-up schools in the poorest countries in the world like Africa and parts of Asia. Thus, leading to the task of 'Education for All' a difficult one (Filmer, 2004). There are many reasons why most children are not able to go to school in countries like Africa. Majority of the places that cannot provide proper school facilities and furniture are usually in rural parts of the economically suffering countries. These rural environments can hardly provide suitable environments to study in although they have enough land and space for school buildings. They cannot provide comfortable atmosphere for education because their area may not have enough funds to provide the students with school facilities or equipment and furniture like chairs and tables. Ironically, although majority urban environments may most likely have sufficient funds to provide individuals with a stable school building, they do not have the opportunity to because of limited land space. A panel data study of over 4,000 households in rural India between 1971 and 1982 found that the new construction of a school in a village significantly increased the probability that a child aged five to fourteen was enrolled (Foster and Rosenzweig 1996). The study clearly shows that families would seize the opportunity to enroll their children in schools if there is a school located within the area of their home.
Inequalities in Schooling between Cultures
Individuals from different cultures face inequalities in schooling. These children experience certain disparities in education as compared to other students. One of the many inequalities the students experience is educational inequality. The most important reason for educational inequality is because of socioeconomic differences (Gamoran, 2001). Socioeconomic differences may refer to the social class the children are categorized in. Usually, socioeconomic status is dependent of the family's income and occupation. It has been shown that children whose parents have lower levels of education find themselves at a disadvantage n the school system (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977). In depth, the children's socioeconomic status is somewhat heavily dependent on the culture they come from. From example, if the child is of a British culture, where the country is wealthy, the children will possess a higher socioeconomic status in comparison with a child that is of an African culture where the country is poor and from a lower-status origin. Thus, socioeconomic differences lead to the inequality between cultures. It has been shown that children whose parents have lower levels of education find themselves at a disadvantage in the school system (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977). This study reflects how the children of the less fortunate cultures does not get much opportunity to school because they cannot afford for education or their country cannot afford to build schools. Economically advanced countries have more than enough funds to build schools and provide them with proper school furniture like chairs, tables and a writing board. This also means that families of greater means try to indulge their children by choosing places of residence with high-quality schools (Gamoran, 2001). These statements from the different researches do tell us that there will be inequality in schooling between the different cultures of the world. The wealthy families are able to provide their children with education in a productive environment, while the poor families are not able to send their children to school because they do not have enough money for school fees and transport or there is no school building within the area of their homes.
In this essay, we emphasized on two different cultures: the rural culture and the urban culture. We understand that the rural and urban areas have their own distinct cultures prior to their respective needs and priorities. Thus, showing the different inequalities an individual face for schooling between these two cultures. As discussed before, there are many inequalities an individual would face in schooling, whether the individual is from a rural low-income family or if the individual is from a more urban environment and is well economically supported. Rural areas are located outside the cities or towns of a country. This explains why these areas are most commonly poor as most of the families from the rural areas depend their income on their farms or small businesses. Common rural areas include Colombia, South Africa, Central America and Brazil. Common urban areas include New York, Singapore, China and most cities in the United States of America.
Inequalities in schooling between the rural culture and the urban culture will affect the individual in a few ways. The rural culture will have more effect on the individual's development as compared to the education given in the urban culture. As discussed, the rural culture does not have sufficient funds to build proper school buildings. Thus, not being able to provide the children and adolescents in that area with education. Villages and rural communities have difficulty to reach the physical conditions in schools and feels that it is inadequate and learner performance in comparison to schools elsewhere is weak. These rural schools lack of electricity, libraries, laboratories and computers. Thus these are not easy conditions to in which to provide a sound education for young people (Gardiner, 2008). Most rural schools tended to have only one or two teachers, some teachers taught more than one grade level in the same classroom (Klein, 2002). As they lack funds to employ highly qualified teachers, children who do get the opportunity to attend school, may not receive the highest potential to enhance their knowledge. These researches clearly explained the different inequalities in schooling in the rural culture. Gardiner also explained in his research that because of the absence of the opportunities to learn, and because formerly there was no need for some people in rural areas to do so, many people in South Africa still lack basic skills in reading, writing and using numbers. Thus, considering them to be "illiterate". This would definitely affect the individual in their development because it does not provide them with qualified materials for education to enhance their knowledge. Not being able to learn their most basic skill of reading and writing would enormously have an effect on the individual in their development.
Many parents in rural communities have expressed the desire for their schools to be like those in the urban areas. However, these parents do not realize that schooling in an urban culture is not too ideal. Individuals in rural cultures idealized for a more urban education most probably because of what they hear about the schools in the media. It is more common to hear about urban education because most major media outlets are located in cities or because of the high population densities in cities make the media more focused primarily on urban schools (Truscott & Truscott, 2006). These parents have an idea that urban schools are well structured and have more discipline in education than the rural schools. Schools in the urban culture are most likely to be able to afford proper furniture and facilities for the students to use. Thus, this would benefit and affect the growth of an individuals' knowledge in a more positive way. Another reason why urban schools may provide a more discipline education is because of the quality of teachers urban schools have the opportunity to employ. It is found that experienced teachers move to high socioeconomic status school when positions become available (Lankford, 1999). The reason for that is obvious because the teachers would earn more income teaching in a high-rank school compared to a rural school. This would highly affect the quality of education for the individuals who attend school in the urban schools. However, recently, it has been noted that this is a difficult time to hire more high quality teachers because of the massively increase in demand for hiring highly skilled teachers (Lankford, Loeb & Wyckoff, 2002).
In conclusion, an individual would experience inequality whether schooling in both the urban culture or in the rural culture. As mentioned before, the rural culture is more of a disadvantaged because they are of a lower socioeconomic status. Thus, not having enough funds to build schools or employ qualified teachers. These inequalities would have an impact on the individuals' development because they are not able to enhance and maximize their full potential of their skill and knowledge. The urban culture is more of an advantage because these areas are the cities where they emphasize on the importance of education. However, it is noted that the similarities that exist between urban and rural schools are pronounced, as both respond to day to day challenges brought on by the effects of poverty, insufficient school funding and external socio-political demands (Truscott & Truscott, 2006).