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Running Header: THEORY OF SUCCESS

Melanie Bird
May 28, 2014
Lary Duque
Culture and Diversity ED312
Response Paper 2

THEORY OF SUCCESS

The success rate of students can be hinged on a number of different factors: it can depend
on where you livethe socio-economics of the area or city in which you live, academic
backgroundhow much has the child actually learned and where have they struggled in their
educational history, and the teachers capability to teachdoes the teacher mold his or her
pedagogy to the student or does the teacher expect the student to adapt to their teaching style? In
these three factors of a childs success in school, I think the third has the most impact on children
because of the responsibility that teachers hold to educate students to the best of their ability no
matter the circumstance or background.
Progressiveness is a topic that we have discussed many times in our class. I think that out
of the three factors above; socio-economics, academic background and teacher pedagogy, teacher
pedagogy is the factor that can progress and change the most with the least degree of trial. It is
quite difficult to change ones social standing within the work force community. If a childs
parent only has the educational background to work at a low income job, they will most likely
stay at that low income job and focus on surviving. This aspect of a childs culture is quite
impossible to alter. Nieto (2012, Affirming Diversity) capitalized on this issue when discussing
the Out of School Factors theory. She included inadequate medical, food insecurity, environment
pollutions and family relations and stress in her six key factors of out of school determinants for
childrens success in school. She stated Schools often have a one-size fits all (NCLB) approach
to education . . . out of school factors effect individual students on different levels. These out of
school factors highly affect a childs success in the classroom; however, these factors are often
unchangeable. No matter how much money I give to one family there will still be many other
families who fail their children academically because of these situations. Therefore, highlighting
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THEORY OF SUCCESS
these cultural deficits as the childs academic pitfall will do nothing to help individual child
succeed; in my eyes there is not point to place blame this factor of success.
Furthermore, a childs background level of understanding in an educational setting is not
likely to change either. When children enter my classroom they do not come in with a blank slate
of a brain ready to be written on, but rather they come in knowing and understanding different
educational concepts to different degrees and levels. This background content is different for
each child depending on their cultural influences and understandings of previously taught
curriculum at school. The success level of a student can be highly affected by this background
education, but as educators it is important that we do not place blame on the childs academic
history because this will be of zero help to the child. In Ryan, Williams (1971) "Blaming the
Victim" he stated Victim blaming is cloaked in kindness and concern and bears all the trappings
of it . . . it is obscured by a perfumed haze of humanitarianism. Here he is discussing that blame
on the childs cultural background on the surface may seem charismatic, showing concern for the
childs success, but beneath that there really is no strategy to helping the student further. Placing
blame on the child is not only an excuse for a students failure in school but it is not able to
change, so again is there a little reason to focusing attention on this aspect.
Teachers have an individual pedagogy that defines them as an educator. Each teachers
style and philosophy of teaching will differ from other educators, and this makes them unique;
just like the children who have different ways of learning and understanding academic concepts.
The difference between the educator and the student on an elementary level of academics is that
the responsibility of the childs success lies with the teacher. Children are not expected to change
their cultural background or socio-political status to match that of the teacher, but rather for the
teacher to continually progress towards their students in this regard. In the article Resistance
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Theory (2009), the authors discuss the resistance that students feel within the classroom setting.
Resistance to conform to the culture to the classroom is a result of not feeling apart of the
classroom culture itself. A way to combat this resistance among students is to involve them in
the classroom decisions and academic choices that take place in the school. The main aspect of
this factor to a childs academic success is that it can change. An effective teacher will change
their teaching to conform to the individual students in her classroom. Progression towards the
students is simply part of being an educator.
Teacher influence is the key to turning failing students into successful student. Teachers
can continually change their pedagogy and adapt their style of teaching to the individual students
they have in their classroom. As a future educator, is important for me to remember that my
teaching style will consistently alter to best lead my students to success. As my teaching years
progress I will have many students who come to my classroom from low socio-economic
backgrounds, and many who were just passed along from one teacher to the next because their
academic background doesnt match the previous teachers expectations. It is my responsibility
to progress towards my students so that success can be an option for all of my students.

THEORY OF SUCCESS
Works Sited
Resistance theory. (2009). In E. M. Anderman, & L. H. Anderman (Eds.), Psychology of
classroom learning: An encyclopedia (pp. 752-755). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.
Ryan, William (1971). "Blaming the Victim". The Washington Monthly. January 1971, pp 3136.
Sonia Nieto (2012). Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education,
6th Edition. Boston: Pearson. Read "Out-of-School Factors (OSFs)", pp 265-266