Between Two Worlds: “The School Context” Valdes, Guadalupe essay

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The two readings talks of the values and beliefs that families of different cultures have, especially regarding education and work. The reading mainly talks of Mexican families and the challenges they face in trying to make a better life for themselves and their children. This is especially so because of the numerous challenges they encounter when they migrate to the U.S.A. These challenges come about because of the difference in belief of the two cultures. While the Mexicans believe in their children attaining good education, making an honest living and marrying the people they love, Americans strive on prestige in their workplace and school. These readings also touch on the challenges that Mexican parents face in dealing with their children who attend school. Most parents have a high level of illiteracy thus impeding their understanding of their children’s schoolwork. They are also ashamed to admit this thus, do not participate in most of the school activities that their children engage in. However, the teachers do not understand this and, therefore, assume that the parents are disinterested in the work that their children engage in.

The values that the Mexican- parents impart in their children serve as an impediment to their learning. This is because it does not give them the courage that the ‘American’ children have to participate in various school activities. The teachers, however, do not understand this and describe the children as odd and not able to cope with the progress that other children make in class. The teachers do not share in the strength, the pain, and the determination that Mexican parents go through to ensure that their children get a decent education.

The reading also touches on the attitudes that the Mexican parents have on education. It shows that though most of them did not attain the level of literacy required, they would want to see their children achieve that which they could not. The parents are shown to regard education as very important and view it as their duty to send their children to school. However, the good intentions of the Mexican parents were clouded by the lack of their understanding of American schools. They were confused on the programs, requirements, and grading systems of the schools. They did not even check their children’s reports because of fear of making errors. The readings also touch on the involvement of Mexican parents in school. The teachers think that parents are unwilling to involve themselves in the children’s schoolwork. Parents seldom took the time to interact with their children’s educators and only attended school as a ritual because of being summoned.

The school context presents various challenges that the children go through to be able to cope with their schoolwork. Their parents’ teaching on how to behave accordingly differs with what is expected in school thus presenting various challenges. The teachers view the Mexican children as odd because they do not understand their cultures and values. They also do not understand the challenges the children face in trying to fit in with their American counterparts.

The text present issues regarding different culture about the tutors, Mexican parents and their children. Various challenges have come up regarding the way in which to impart knowledge in the children. While the American educators believe that the children are from educated families and should be taught the alphabet and English, the parents believe that the job of education lies solely on the teachers. This confusion regarding the roles of different people in the education of children leads to the impediment of the children’s development.

The values and beliefs that the Mexican parents impart in their children act as a hindrance to them because their teachers view them as odd and not willing to engage in other class activities. However, the teachers also fail to understand that the Mexican parents use their last energy to survive thus most rarely involve themselves in their children’s education. The teachers fail to understand that most parents are uneducated and are, therefore, very reluctant in involving themselves in school activities. The difference in the culture and lack of empathy of the other’s situation creates many problems in the education of the Mexican children. This text proposes certain measures, which would ensure the success of education of the Mexican children. These children should be educated using the bilingual system especially for those who are slow to catch up. The parents should also be actively involved in the education of their children since most of them trust their close relatives. Teachers should also not assume that the parents are unwilling to participate in school activities. They should try to understand what culture the Mexicans believe in thus being able to engage effectively them in the process of their children’s education.

The issue of differences in culture also comes in regarding the beliefs that the different cultures possess. While the Mexicans teach their children on the importance of having a decent education, making an honest living and marrying the people they love, Americans teach their children on the importance of excellence and prestige in school and workplace. Overall, the readings try to discuss the challenges that Mexicans face in first world countries in trying to ensure good education and living standards for their children.

  1. What are some of the challenges that the researcher has tried to address in carrying out the research?
  2. How does the problem of difference in culture affect the way in which different children interact in a school setting?

Which methods should educators employ in ensuring quality education is imparted in immigrant children?

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