Major Social Issues

Published on February 2017 | Categories: Documents | Downloads: 22 | Comments: 0 | Views: 174
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Mitchell Guido
First Paper

As the American society advances, it changes with frightening speed and in
often volatile ways. From the United States economy, to it’s educational system,
problems are constantly arising as well as new methodologies. In the field of public
education, six main problems have manifested themselves. Bullying, gender bias, the
media and technology, drugs and alcohol, sex and pregnancy at a young age, and a
lack of understanding among differing cultures are all topics that have become
prominent due to their effects on education.
Bullying is “…a form of proactive aggression, in which the bully is
unprovoked and initiates the bullying behaviors…the bullying behavior includes an
imbalance of power between he perpetrator and the target, is intentionally harmful,
and occurs repetitively” (Swearer 2). From elementary school to high school,
bullying is rampant in all schools. Even after receiving increasing national attention,
“we still observe and have data that support moderate to high levels of bullying in
our nation’s schools” (Swearer 5). The effects of bullying can be extremely serious
and long lasting, even haunting somebody into their adult life. Depression,
loneliness, suicidal tendencies and low self-esteem are just a few of the typical
symptoms of being a victim in a bullying relationship (Swearer 16). On the other
hand, the bullies also have negative symptoms from the relationship, such as
behavior problems, partaking in delinquent behavior, and a sense of isolation from
peers (Swearer 16). “Taking the time to write and implement anti-bullying
policies…communicates to the community the serious nature of bullying” (Swearer
39). Schools across the country have begun to do just this, hiring counselors and
school psychologists to help deal with these problems. Also, in health class bullying
is a topic that is thoroughly covered, in an attempt to negate it. As a teacher, there a
few steps that can be taken to prevent bullying, though most of it is up to the school
district as a whole. First, if a teacher sees any bullying occurring, they should stop it,
and have all who were involved see a school counselor. Second, they should not
include any literature or condone any behavior in their classroom that promotes or
highlights bullying in a positive light. “Unfortunately, unless mandated by state or
federal law, many school districts will not create, adopt, or enforce anti-bullying
policies” (Swearer 51). Regardless of this, the issue of bullying has become a
national topic and awareness of it has been dramatically increased.
A second social issue present in the American educational system is sexism.
Despite the fact that America has given women the right to vote, and has made an
effort to equalize the chances available to both genders, the idea of “sex roles” is still
deeply engrained in our society. Since society teaches the next generation what is ,
this sexism will prevail unless we actively try to obliterate it. Gersoni-Stavn points
out the five main reasons why sexism is present in school: 1.) Children learn the
content ascribed to sex roles at an early age. 2.) As children grow older their
awareness of “appropriate sex-role” behavior increases 3.) Both girls and boys
increasingly value and prefer the male role. 4.) Studies of adults reveal that both
females and males think it preferable to be a male and to have male children. 5.) The
sex-role training of girls involves less tolerance for aggressive behavior and greater
permission and even encouragement of dependency. The institution that teaches the
children these “sex roles” is school. To prevent this from occurring, teachers can
make sure to select both female and male students to answer questions in class. In
addition, when the teachers select children from both sexes to answer questions,
they should make sure not to ask one sex all of the questions on one topic area.
Finally, teachers should try to incorporate literature and current events that exhibit
women in non-stereotypical roles into their curriculum. Thankfully sexism has been
declining in schools due an increased awareness of it.
As technology develops, America’s education system is forced to adapt with
this technology. Though it is no longer new, the television has become firmly
established in American society, as most families have space reserved for it in their
living room. It can be used as an educational tool, however, the Television has also
proven to be a detriment to education. “…the most and least intelligent children in a
television community now start school about one grade higher in vocabulary than
do their follow students in nontelevision communities…However, by the sixth grade,
most or all of this fast start seems to have been lost…” (Schramm 151). Thus, though
helpful at first, television ultimately proves to injure a child’s education. There are a
plethora of possibilities as to why this is true, however the most prominent
reason—and the crux of this social problem—is that “…children with television
know more about the subject matter which is emphasized on television, [and] less
about what is not” (Schramm 151) Rather than learning about the topics focused on
in school, Television reinforces a fantasy land that distracts students from their
school work. There is not much that teachers can directly do to prevent this dilution
of their student’s minds. However, they can send out warnings to the parents to
keep the households of their students alerted to the negative effects of television, as
well as educating students themselves about the media.

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