September 26, 2010
Response Paper #1 – Utilitarianism
Poor children of all color are being looked upon as hopeless. Teachers refuse to teach them because they see it as worthless. Within their schools, there is so much poverty that the schools lack the funds to make necessary improvements. The broken down schooling environment and a likely poor home situation are stopping these kids from having a good learning environment. A good education could make kids more well off, bettering their future and the future of their community. However; in order to supply students with a good education a lot of things need to be addressed.
In order to give these kids a better education; there are many ...view middle of the document...
The benefactors who generously donated all of the money would see an improvement in their community and the happiness of others. It is a good solution for all involved. Jonathon Kozol, in his book “Savage Inequalities,” talks about kids dropping out of school, early on, because they believe that education wont get them anywhere anyways (Kozol). This “promise” is a way of getting kids to college, raising graduation rates and raising hope for their community.
A lot of inner city schools have broken down infrastructure. We need to get teachers and principals in these schools that have been exposed to an urban environment. “Since most of our education majors are from non-urban areas, the majority would not even consider teaching in urban schools unless they were provided early, structured, and positive exposures to urban schools and children”(Tidwell). It would be easier for a teacher to teach if they knew what the children were going through. In The Times it was written that surrounding these schools is a “landscape of hopelessness”-“burnt-out apartments, boarded windows, vacant lot upon garage strewn vacant lot”(Qtd. in Kozol). They are talking about the Bronx, one of the poorest areas in New York. To overcome conditions like these, we need teachers and principals who are comfortable around this environment and have backgrounds dealing with underprivileged children.
Besides this broken down infrastructure, many of these students in poverty stricken areas have no support; no one involved in their life or their education. Children need someone to be there for them, role model to lead them in the right direction. A mentor or tutor would be someone who could help students with their studies and give advice to help overcome struggles of home life. Geoffrey Canada, an American educator and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, notes that the kids in his district of charter schools have tutors and it is proving to be a very successful method (Canada).
In Jonathon Stuart Mill’s “Utilitarianism”, Mill states “happiness is desirable, and the only thing desirable, as an end” (Mill). When we look at education, children are going to school to learn so that they can provide a better life for their future and are better off and happier than their parents. Through education, they seek the ability to remove the chains, set in place by their neighborhood and social class, and move on to a happier safer environment. There will be a lot of pain along the way, but the principle behind utilitarianism is that the happiness will outweigh the pain (Mill).
Pain is inevitable. Struggle and pain will be encountered anywhere you go, and there is no solution that will benefit all, equally....