Doug, over at Borderland, writes at the end of the year with his 6th graders about class and social reproduction, about weariness, and about decompressing on his bike. He writes:
As Eduwonkette pointed out back in November, structural issues are problematic for practitioners because we can’t tell kids, “Forget it. The deck is stacked against you. Give up.” But if we simply tell them, “Work hard. Be nice,” we risk losing credibility and setting them up for disappointment when things don’t work out as well as we’d like, even if they did work hard and act nice. However, since we know it’s their best option, that’s what we tell them to do. We teach compliance with a system structured to favor some over others.
How, then, to navigate this chasm that is also called the “achievement gap?” It becomes a fascinating issue in diplomacy, psychology, politics, and strategy, and it holds promise for new areas of teacher inquiry.
Indeed it does.