Education Issues

While doing my research, I learned about many issues in schools all over the country. Mainly the problems are caused by lack of funding in the public school system. For example, many schools crave new technology for their students to help them advance in learning, but their school can’t afford it.

Also, there are many debates going on about how children should be taught. Obviously, the “norm” is to lecture and teach at school and test students on the material. However, many new teaching methods are emerging and schools can’t decide whether they should continue the way that they are teaching, or test out these new methods, possibly at the detriment of the students. To conclude, the decision on how to teach students is a difficult one, because children’s futures may be endangered if they are not properly taught.

Not only is the decision about how to teach an issue, but educating kids is an issue in and of itself. Every day, 7,000 – 8,000 teenagers drop out of high school; 36% of them in just 9th grade. Also, 90% of jobs in this country will not hire high school dropouts. Some reasons why kids drop out are the fact that they are failing, they don’t enjoy school, they think it will be easier to just get their GED, or they had to work instead of attend school. In order to fix this problem, I think that schools should begin programs that help the kids that feel as if they should drop out, by encouraging them and helping them make a plan for the future. However, this is not realistic due to the lack of funding in the school system.

All in all, kids dropping out of school is a major problem, and something must be done to help them.

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Cultural Perceptions

During the recent simulation, I realized what it takes to get the full aspect of cultural groups or countries, and learning by their rules. In our simulation, we were split up into two different groups. Each group was assigned a set of rules about their culture that they must follow. Both groups had different ways of speaking and interacting with another. If one group found you to be disrespectful by the way you spoke to them or greeted them, then they would seem a bit rude. Also language was an issue during this activity. All around the world, many languages are spoken in each country. An example would be if you went to visit Australia, there would be a bit of a language barrier. Even though it can sound simular to English, they speak it differently. Instead of saying “friend” they would say “mate.” Another way that people from different countries may find you disrespectful is by the first impression, the greet. Greetings are usually very important in most countries, such as in different parts of Spain. Most people in Spain greet each other with a kiss or kisses on the cheek. Some people might be confused, because there is a certain amount of kisses to give. Such as one on the left then one on the right, instead of two on the left and one on the right. In other cultures, greetings take a huge affect because it does show the first impression.

Cultural perceptions are very important to realize because it shows the respect that you have for another indivisual. To me, showing a respectful first impression tells that person that you care about their culture and their learning standards.

Poverty

Poverty is a real issue that must be resolved. It can result in civil unrest, starvation, and large-scale death. Expansion of the rich-poor gap is dangerous because civil wars can break out and genocide is possible. This is because when people do not have hope, they resort to violence. Newest data shows that poverty is rising and is up to 15.1% in the US. It is causing political instability and crisis. Poverty is dangerous and unfair because people become disadvantaged and suffer. Unemployment in the United States is contributing to this as this is the 4th year in a row in which poverty is expanding. Obama aims at fixing this life-threatening problem.

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-20105376.html

http://galatiansfour.blogspot.com/2011/11/poverty-in-america-growing-worse-with.html

Cultural Misperceptions

When people misunderstand things in cultural interactions, results can be dangerous. It may cause one to make judgements about a culture or tradition that are false. For example, in our simulation — “Heelotia” — today, we made assumptions about the other group that were false and contested by the other group.

The biggest issue that can happen in the world, and what happened today in our simulation, is enforcing your ideas and culture on another group. That can cause backlash, disagreements, and your “culture” ultimately will not be accepted. Doing this resulted in some forms of small-scale violence in our simulation, violence which, when applies to the level of international relations, can have broad ramifications.

Even though languages may be different, there are ways of getting around that confusion. The first is using a translator. The second is using your actions and culture to try to understand other groups. If we cannot find a way to interact and express ideas, there is no way change is possible and relations can be formed.  Intercultural relations are important for protection and trade.

Cultural Perceptions

Misconceptions in culture have the potential to create a setback to international relationships. The perceptions of region are grounded in engagements with nations. A lack of clarity in the culture will create serious setbacks.

Firstly, the lack of understanding will create a bad perception of a state. The visiting state will be viewed as an enemy and will not be an ally. The first interactions lay down the foundation of the relationship. If a leader of a nation does something wrong then the next words will be seen as false.

Secondly, imposing your culture onto one different from yours will decimate any new relations. All states want to be treated equally at the first interaction, and imposing another culture and acting dominant will leave a bitter taste in the other state’s mouths.

Finally, lack of cultural understanding will hinder the ability to create international agreements with states. The implications could be severe, with failure leading to unsuccessful treaties and trade agreements.

My perceptions

During our simulation, I learned how much rules of a civilization can have a great impact on communication. I was a “Hokie,” and in our culture, we were required to shake hands before starting a conversation. The “Helotians,” one the other hand, were not aloud to touch or even make eye contact. When we would disobey one of their rules, they would just hiss at us.

As both sides were trying to obtain answers to their required questions from the other group, both sides were becoming impatient. The Hokies started trying to force a handshake, while the Helotians had hissing fits. This led to a cruel competitive nature where some people started stealing tickets. In our class, people became competitive, but if this were a tribal situation then it could have come to war. A battle could have started because of a tribe’s rule that happens to clash with another tribe’s rule. This showed me that you have to be patient and understanding while trying to communicate with another type of people. It does seem that there was no way around the handshake rule, but most real life, rules should be much easier to overcome. It also shows how important patience is. Many people in this simulation were trying to get red tokens first so that they could claim the victory for themselves instead of respecting the other culture’s rules. After the simulation people were insulting people from the opposite culture as if they were enemies. This shows that we do not have enough patience and understanding to talk to a different culture.

Perceptions Post-Simulation Activity

This simulation has showed me how easily we can misjudge a different culture simply because of lack of knowledge. The adjectives we used to describe the other cultures were based on our one-sided view coming from our own cultures. I believe the main purpose behind this simulation was to show us how we need to become more open-minded so we are able to interact with different cultures. Since we have become a more global society and economy, it is almost essential we become accustomed to others’ traditions.

Perceptions both affect relationships between countries, but at other times they are ignored.  The biggest shift in perspective towards a country happened in 9/11. The US almost instantly changed their foreign policies involving not only the terrorists but also the entire Middle East. This change in perception was sudden, but it affected the political relations between America and the Middle East greatly. However, sometimes stereotypes and perceptions are ignored. For example, French people are normally deemed rude, especially towards Americans. However, this has very little significance in the economic relations between these two countries. The United States is France’s largest trading partner, other than the European Union taken as a whole. France is United States’ third-largest trading partner in Europe.

All in all, perceptions do play a role in global relations, but in order to become a successful global society, we must be able to keep an open mindset and accept others’ cultures and customs.