Power and privileges

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Introduction

Over the past years, power and privilege have been unequally felt and viewed among communities that witness segregation in terms social class, race, and color resulting from existing gaps between the rich and poor. The analysis below examines the content of the video and the articles with first a focus on the powers and privileges discussed, what the authors’ presentation on power contributes to the subject of equality in education and the missing aspects within the articles.

Power and Privileges

According to Sumner and educator, children from less privileged families face difficulties in accessing quality education in comparison to children from rich families or those that have power in the society. Originating from a Church Minister and an Educator, Sumner had the privilege of obtaining an education from a better school compared to the other children in her neighborhood. She opines that the achievement of equality in education remains a dream to date due to the continuing level of segregation and racism. The distribution of resources within the schools have also contributed to the level of efficiency with the schools for the less privileged having limited educational resources. She terminates her presentation with a plea for equality in the education system positing that the jobs, wealth, and future of the children lies in their ability to obtain an education of good quality.

On the other hand, Vivaldi discusses the experiences of the black people during the ancient years with regard to segregation meted against them in social amenities. One day while walking home from school, the author realized that the black children would not swim at those pools around the parks where they lived unless it was a Wednesday afternoon due to the color of their skin (Vivaldi, par 1). The level of discrimination exhibited was also practiced in schools in which the children of White race obtained more privileges compared to the blacks. Those black families that had some riches had higher chances of facing less segregation compared to those that hailed from poor families. The level of segregation is evidence to the presence of privileges that come with power within the corrupted educational systems. The level of frustrations resulting from these in the underprivileged students had a significant effect on their performance not only in class but also co-curricular activities.

According to Howe on the other hand under his article, the entire system employed in promoting and providing an education to the populations carries a high degree of segregation that has made it impossible to achieve equality through education (p.329). Further complicating the achievement of the goal on equality is the economic inequalities existing between the communities that have helped in creating a difference between the rich and poor, the black and brown from the whites. Providing an example of a monolingual Chinese student in a school teaching in English and a monolingual English speaking student, the author advocates for equality in teaching with consideration of the language used as well (p.330).

Author’s Presentation on Power and Privileges

The articles present the difficulties of creating equality through the education system. They venture on the challenges arising from social economic statuses with the rich children obtaining a better education compared to those from poor backgrounds and of color. Those with poor backgrounds and are of the black and brown color suffer further segregation in comparison to those poor or average white children. The articles further affirm that children from poor backgrounds find difficulties in obtaining all the required resources in handling their educational needs as contextualized by Sumner in her video. The difficulties she experienced as an educator in teaching children without sufficient academic resources presents an example of the scenario. She reveals the nature of impact these differences have created in the classrooms and the school systems linking wealth, power and privileges accorded by society based on color and socioeconomic status.

Issues Missing within the Articles

The article focuses more on the educational inequalities paying less attention to the other forms of inequalities existing in the country.  The constantly widening gap between the rich and the poor creates a fundamental issue in society that needs addressing. The underprivileged communities suffer more challenges besides these inequalities. The population that feels neglected within the system requires other aspects besides provision of resources. Psychological support and capacity building aspects remain a mirage that has further affected the attainment of the equality required.

Conclusion

The continued debate on inequalities in society, power and privileges signals to societal problems that have a lasting impact on the provision of education. The contribution of racism to further increasing the level of segregation in the communities is also made clear with a continued call for improvement in the balance of resource distribution. These may aid in ensuring all the children obtain a good level of education that can help in building the community and the economy.

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  1. Howe, Kenneth R. “Equality of Educational Opportunity and the Criterion of Equal Educational Worth. The University of Colorado at Boulder.
  2. Sumner, Kandice. How America’s Public Schools Keep Kids in Poverty. TED, November 2015. Vivaldi, Whistling. “Chapter 1: An Introduction: At the Root of Identity.”
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