DeAnza College/CIS2/Summer 2010/Group 2

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This video, Health, Equity, and Education for Al, depicts the efforts of the EFA (Education for All) in achieving it's goals by 2015 of addressing the, "Millennium Development Goals"

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 How does Universal Education effect Gender Equity?


  • Gender bias in Standardized Testing
  • Gender differences in learning styles
  • Participation and achievement of girls in Mathematics and Science.
  • Gender bias in student/teacher interactions

Unfortunately, women are often the expression of poverty. Often in underdeveloped countries the women tend to have a much higher literacy rate due to educational imbalance. Therefore, women usually have higher poverty figures around the world.

The equal opportunities for female students to learn the same as their male counterparts is a culture that needs further reform. Currently, the promise in women must also merit the same standards as men, historically women need the same recognition, from their equivalent work.

Lack of gender equity in schools narrows opportunities and creates barriers for young girls. Math, science, and technology are where we find the most gender bias, but it is an education-wide problem.

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972([1]) states that schools may not deny any student participation in any educational program or activity on the basis of sex. Most schools adhere to this policy and are still making progress by eliminating sex discrimination from their policies and practices, but there are still many problems to be addressed, particularly on the classroom level. Equity and Excellence must be at the base of efforts for total reform of the educational system.

Gender Bias in Standardized Testing

According to studies, on average, in the 11th and 12th grades, girls get better grades than boys. When taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the boys scored higher than the girls. This is also true for the American College Testing program (ACT), with the exception of English.

Why do girls score lower than boys on these tests? The context of the questions within the test are very important. Both girls and boys tend to do better on tests that contain content that is familiar to them. Studies show that references to males in standardized testing greatly outnumber references to females, which gives boys the advantage. Girls are also known to complete fewer items than boys, check the "I don't know" answer, and are more likely to not finish the entire test.

How does this affect girls? Since eligibility for Merit Scholarships is based on these standardized tests, girls are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to Scholarships, and possibly entrance into the college or university of their choice.

Gender Differences in Learning Styles

On a classroom level, schools are normally geared to learning styles of white males (individualistic and competitive). Girls, on the other hand, are more sociable and comfortable in group situations.

How does this negatively affect girls? Since teachers do not adapt to as many learning styles as possible, girls may be at a disadvantage if they cannot learn to their full potential. Teachers must use a variety of instructional techniques, and avoid competitive situations that pit boys against girls.

Participation and Achievement of Girls in Mathematics and Science

Historically, girls have been more likely to take less mathematics and science classes than boys. However, the gap, (with regards to these kinds of classes) between girls and boys is closing, but there is still a large discrepancy.

There are many causes for this discrepancy. Conflicts in sex-role and peer expectations, inequitable school practices, and lack of support, just to name a few.

Regardless of what factor may be causing the discrepancy, the negative affects can be devastating. On a personal level, they may experience psychological boundaries such as low self concept and fear of success. On a more professional level, it may impact what kind of scholarships they may receive, the colleges they are accepted to, and and career choice and success in the work place.

Gender Bias in Student/Teacher Interactions

Most teachers believe that they treat both sexes the same. This is far from the truth. Many teachers actually have a subconscious biased towards males. In these situations, the teacher's sex does not make a difference.

In class, male students generally receive more attention and are allowed more time to speak in class. This is true for all grades, through college, and is especially true in math and science classes.

On the other hand, males generally receive harsher punishment, often for the same offense, than do females.

Many researches suggest that differences in treatment like these contribute to girls lower self esteem, self confidence, and lower risk taking than males.

Campaigns from "End Poverty 2015", and UNICEF are organizations aimed at targeting the female population in third world countries and promoting education, and equality. (MDG's) or Millennium Development Goals are eight targets set by world powers to combat this issue before year 2015.

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 Why is Universal Education so important?


  • Education and Employment
  • Education and Crime Prevention
  • Prison Education and Recidivism

The Importance of Universal Education can be demonstrated in different perspectives. Education and Employment: Employment statistic usually reflects the nation’s economic development and stability. A research provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics illustrates how education affects employment status:


Description "Employment Status of High School Graduates and Dropouts Not Enrolled in School by Sex and Race: 1980 to 2008"
Author U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; News, USDL 09-0454, 28 April 2009; and unpublished data
Permission See below.

Education and Crime Prevention:

According to the research done by the National Institute of Justice, education is the most efficient way to prevent crime. Strategies can be different throughout a person’s lifetime: • For infants: Frequent home visits by nurses and other professionals. • For preschoolers: Classes with weekly home visits by preschool teachers. • For delinquent and at-risk preadolescences: Family therapy and parent training. For schools: • Organizational development for innovation. • Communication and reinforcement of clear, consistent norms. • Teaching of social competency skills • Coaching of high-risk youth in “thinking skills”

How Education Lower Recidivism Rates?


Description Impact of Educational Achievement of Inmates in the Windham School District on Recidivism
Source Criminal Justice Policy Council
Date August 2000
Author Tony Fabelo, Ph.D
Permission See below.

The Criminal Justice Policy Council has been evaluating the performance of the prison educational system – the Windham School District.In general, inmates with higher levels of education tend to have lower recidivism rates. Inmates with a 9th grade education or higher had an 18% lower recidivism rate than those with a 4th grade education or lower (14% were re-incarcerated after two years compared to 17%). Prison education is the best way to improve the rate of recidivism among inmates. The largest impact occured when high risk inmates, who were non-readers became readers. High risk non-readers who learned to read had a 37% lower recidivism rate than high risk non-readers who did not learn to read (19% recidivism rate compared to 30%). High risk offenders who were functionally illiterate and became functionally literate also benefited from their educational experience resulting in a 17% lower recidivism rate. Older property offenders who became literate also benefited from a 14% lower recidivism. In general, those released inmates who earned a GED in prison had lower recidivism rates than those who did not complete one.

 How do we achieve Universal Education?


  • International Cooperation
  • Effectiveness and Efficiency
  • Improving Education to Children
  • Policies for different Regions
  • Greater funding by Wealthy Nations

We found these points on the following website: 1. [2] The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Most information below was taken from excerpts in June 2005 , Volume 42, Number 2 Nicholas Barr Financing higher education

Reforms in Britain's education may have paved the coursework for other countries, to define their own programs.

Education is viewed as a problem throughout the globe. Due to the current level of economic impact around the world, schools often lack the funding for not only a basic education, but then raises questions of equality, quality of education, and sustenance. In many countries, resources are difficult to obtain, and maintain. Those that are more fortunate will often retain a higher chance to succeed than those that come from "disadvantaged backgrounds."

The question if the public in many countries are quite content with their current economic status, depends on the country. It appears that often that the success of the public will reflect on the country of origin. The educational performance will benefit ones country by economic gains. Government investment in education is a political debate as well as a big investment, however is a necessity for a healthy "economic performance." Most can attest that more prosperous, and developing countries are more likely to produce, and capitalize on economic gains from a soundly educated work force. The debate on advanced education, and national success is a very questionable topic.

Economics can be a key indicator on not only a national success, but the educational system. We can only look at today's students that are keen in their finances, and their decision making, and can make a sound decision on their future. Those that are less fortunate are more likely to struggle with daily operations, and securing a financially pronounced future. Those with more stable backgrounds usually utilize conventional methods for payment, and not need depend on government assistance, or dependence.

Economic interventionism; otherwise known as "central planning" is a grim reminder of economic dependency from the state of government. In these difficult economic times, it is not viable for government to fund institutions of all levels when there are fluctuations in budgets, and enrollment. Complications with levels of education, and criteria makes a difficult justification of equal funding. A regulated higher education creates many problems, and questions that may arise in form of the product of the general public and their ability to gauge finances, and daily operations. Again, it points to a deep economic debate of the state and economy.

We often hear the arguments on rights to education, and should be provided to all. It is interesting on a similar debate of food, yet there is no cry for pricing for food. The idea to attend the best higher levels schools, no matter what a student's financial background is again, great in theory, but not ideal with finance; either by tax or otherwise. There are still flaws with programs named, "leave no student behind." We always point to our own upper class, and higher, for expectations to produce a viable educated workforce.

In other countries, the notion of 0% loans from countries such as Australia, and Britain offer interesting arguments of favorable outcome. The worth of such a program and its result can make one ponder on its value. Regardless of 0%, and or forgiveness of the educational cost can still be unobtainable to those effected by economic hardship. Ideas of "subsidies" can be questionable on measuring overall effect of a students performance, either from any background.

A proposed theory suggest three-parts in a particular strategy:

Part 1: Charging students based of deferred fees. Creating a University financed fee based on tax, and tuition. Schools charge based on a "loan entitlement." In Europe, there is a debate due to these fees, yet in the United States, and in Asia the thought that these loans are unappreciated, and taken for granted. It is thought that variable fees are a fairer approach vs tax finance.

We can all argue of those from less fortunate backgrounds may not attend school because of hardship to pay upfront fees, or fees in general. The theory of making contributions make the case for another strategy.

Part 2: Loans that are "income-contingent" based on a students ability to repay based on income. The loan having basis to pay for fees. In more expensive regions; include associated living expenses, and be offered at a rate equivalent to the government loan rate.

Again, the theory of higher education package at a close to free rate. The view that students only pay after completion of school, and is paid by taxes associated with contingent payments. The lendee would receive the loan, however receive finance by a graduate contribution.

In mindset of the ministry of finance, there is a different aspect. Loans would we brought by private resource, and have an upfront cost since the money would be loaned first, and repaid later. In their mind the cost would be critical to identify money not to be repaid or recognize the amount of money that is considered "cash-flow cost. Conventionally these concerns would be multiplied by countries with higher risk to due economic abilities, however determined in technical situations.

Part 3: Access also being a big concern, the description of two portions based on "financial poverty & information poverty." Introduction of the scholarship topic based on those who never intended to attend college/ university, and those who have misjudged the cost to complete a higher education. In addition, the benefit to complete higher education, and their expectations starting in grade school. Those who are not comfortable with these fees may not decide to attend due to concerns with re-payment or return on investment.

Refinements in British Education

Although many praised the system, the 1998 overhaul of income contingent loans, there were still some concerns with this central plan.

  • caps with student enrollment and fees
  • issues with upfront costs
  • insufficient loan amounts
  • removal of "tax-financed support"

2004 Act revised framework and becomes a model for many countries.

  • by 2006, adds additional resources
  • system of flat fees
  • argument of lowest fees- anticipation of increased fees

Granted the success and validity of the program; unavoidable issues can occur.

  • unmanageable public spending
  • advantages (over allocation) to the middle class
  • loans needing further modification
  • funding restrictions on universities

Information provides gauges for countries determined to examine similar programs and opportunities. Subjects including variable fees, contingent loans, and entry of such programs deem valid for those participants that are determined to succeed.

The State Of Play Elsewhere

All industrialized nations are dealing with many issues addressing loans, funding, and overall access to higher education. Political challenges must be met and beaten. Below are some examples of what some industrialized countries have done so far, but all still need considerable amount of work.

  • The United States does not fair well in dealing with loans, mostly due to the fact that they are not income contingent, and not collected as a payroll deduction. They also do not do well in regards to ease of access to higher education, mostly due to the fact that scholarship programs are often difficult and confusing.
  • Australia introduced fixed fees for all universities and subjects back in the late 80s, but has become more liberal as of late. The loans that they offer, however, do not cover living expenses.
  • Most countries in Europe shy away from fees. In that area, fees are a major no-go area.

This issue is particularly difficult for developing nations. Below are some of the key points that developing nations are trying to address:

  • Rely on private finance; however this may push out many of the lower income students
  • Introducing a small scale loan program; these loans, however, may have a high default rate
  • Use tax payer money to pay for two years of higher level education, and then leaving the rest up to private finance.
  • Use development assistance to ease trade off between the previous ideas.

All of these schemes have potential issues that need to be addressed. In the end, it is most likely that it will be a combination of more than one idea that is best for a particular nation. The potential shortfall of funds for any of the programs may need to be met with international assistance from wealthy nations, and, possibly from commercial donors and grants.

According to the authors of many and certain websites, the five changes are essential to achieve universal primary and secondary education by mid-century: Open discussions, nationally, regionally and internationally, on what people want primary and secondary education to achieve — that is, the goals of education; A commitment to improving the effectiveness and economic efficiency of education; A commitment to extending high-quality secondary education to all children; Recognition of the diverse character of educational systems in different countries, and adaptation of aid policies and educational assessment requirements to local contexts; More funding from rich countries for education in poor countries.

 Tying it all Together: How will the Internet Improve Universal Education?

By the end of 1998, 51% of US classrooms had access to the internet. The internet provides a valuable learning and teaching tool to students and teachers. But how can the internet improve overall Universal Education?

There are already many valuable tools that are used for communication between students of different countries. One such website,,[3] provides a comprehensive set of tools and online meeting places for students of Classroom Exchange programs to meet.

But there is still much to be done. The use of remote access and video conferencing can be valuable tools in rural parts of Africa and Asia. International cooperation and major funding by First World countries to help underdeveloped countries is an essential part of the overall plan. Students need computers, internet access, and laptops among other things. Universal Education can and will be achieved, and technology will be the backbone of the entire process. Cooperation and funding are the two major pieces that are missing from the puzzle.


1. Martha C. Phelps-Borrowman,1996, Gender Equity in Education, [4]

2. North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 1995, Ensuring Equity and Excellence in Mathematics, [5]

3. The Mid Atlantic Equity Center, 1993, Beyond Title IX, Gender Equity Issues in Schools, []

4. Amanda Spencer, 2010, How the Internet Affects Education,, [6]

5. US Department of Education, 2009, ED Teacher's Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet, [7]

6. United States Department of Labor, Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972, [8]

7.Paul Karoff, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2005, Universal Education is Achievable and Affordable, Academy study concludes. [9]

8. Nicholas Barr, 2005, Financing Higher Education, International Monetary Fund, [10]