Cultural Snap Phooie

When you have so many opinions and cultures weighing in on how writing should be taught, it is hard to decide what should be done.  One over all questions I thought about as I read was, “Why don’t all educational systems work together”?  Many a time I have read what the United States is not doing for their students but the Introduction by David R. Russell and David Foster compared educational systems of the US with other countries.  The article was so refreshing compared to many of the articles I have read which outline what the US needs to do only.  Russell and Foster compare many different countries on how writing is taught and how those countries apply the writing to their individual cultures. 

One of the ideas discussed is how the US is decentralized and other countries are mostly centralized with their governments.  One thing I do like about the US is that the education is kept local, but with all the standardized testing (I fear) good, local education will soon be a thing of the past.  The US does support writing programs but there is almost a need for more support within these programs since students still struggle with writing after these preliminary classes are over.  When I read that overseas they have no writing programs but students are expected to be able to write because they are educated, these programs seem like “sink or swim” if the student does not figure writing out on their own they are doomed to failure.  Li in her article expressed how strong the Chinese program started with the Confucius school which started students on a better path with support within their writing, but because China has been governed by different rulers the educational systems has made leaps then complete failures, from how turbulent the government has been.

On the other hand the US has the remedial writing programs that seemed to offer support for students who come from backgrounds that needed extra writing support.  The problem is these programs have not supported but held back these students from ever entering main stream education.  Tom Fox discusses in his article how the remedial programs have caused an injustice within the educational background of ethnic students.  To accept their money as students but to deny them access of ever graduating or completing college.  On one hand we offer more diverse support for writing but we are using this “assumed support” to ethnically track and label certain students from educational freedom.

The whole world is not perfect with our assumed ideas on who has the best education.  I initially thought that maybe overseas since those programs are older than the US educational system, maybe they are better.  From reading all the articles this week, all the different countries could learn and share what are some of our best programs and what needs to be fixed.  If there was not so much cultural arrogance in the way of change maybe all countries could share and learn from each other.

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