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Posted on May 31st, 2012, by

The problem of relationships between the academic community and students is very important. At the same time, often this problem is underestimated, if not totally ignored. At any rate, it is obvious that nowadays the attention specialists pay to the problem of the academic community attitude and relation to students is not sufficient. In actuality, there are a lot of problems in the relationship between the academic community and students that often result in the biased attitude of the academic community. In such a situation, the ignorance of this problem is absolutely unacceptable. In this respect, the works of Bell Hooks “Confronting Class in the Classroom”¯, Jean Anyon “From Social Class and Hidden Curriculum of Work”¯, and Robert Yagelsh “Abby’s Lament:Ā  Does Literacy Matter”¯. In general, the authors provide very important information and their researches contributes consistently to the better understanding of the relationship between the academic community and students and the analysis of the findings of each researcher helps better understand the relationships of the academic community and students and their major problems.

First of all, it should be said that all three authors agree that the problem in the relationship between the academic community and students have a significant socio-economic background and often the relationships are defined by the social and economic status of students. At the same time, the authors also reveal the fact that similar problems may be found on different educational levels from school to the university. At the same time, it is necessary to point out that it is not only problems that are similar but their causes that actually unite all three authors and the understanding of these causes is really important for adequate evaluation of the relationship between the academic community and students.

In this respect, it is possible to refer to Robert Yagelsh’s Abby’s Lament: Does Literacy Matter?”¯, where the author attempts to research in depth the problem of literacy and the extent to which it affects the position of students, their perspectives and, therefore, relationship with the academic community. The author attempts to go beyond the traditional research of the problem of illiteracy and the author does not fully accept the traditional arguments concerning the necessity to teach literacy because it gives large life opportunities. In fact, the author states quite the contrary that literacy does not provide great perspective and opportunities for students. Nevertheless, he insists that it is necessary to teach literacy but, at the same time, it is necessary to avoid biased attitude to students from the part of the academic community because often illiteracy has a political and economic background that determines rather skeptical attitude of the academic community to the potential and abilities of illiterate students.

Eventually, the author concludes that literacy teaching should involve students in participation in the social life in order to get access to political and economic power giving them larger understanding of the significance of literacy and education at large.

Jean Anyon also argues that the attitude of the scholar and academic community to students and their relationship are basically defined by the class or social background of students. The author even distinguishes five classes of schools where students with different ground receive their education and, what is even more important, they are expected to behave in a very specific way, typical to representatives of each social class represented in the social hierarch of the contemporary society. The author grades schools from working class schools, occupying the lowest place in the social hierarchy, to the top executive elite schools. In such a way, students are basically divided into distinguishable classes depending on the social status and level of income of their parents. Respectively, they are supposed to focus on particular fields, i.e. professions typical to representatives of their class. As a result, there is a dramatic difference in the opportunities students have to get better education and in their relationship with the academic and scholarly community which proves to be extremely biased.

Bell Hooks basically supports and develops the ideas of Jean Anyon. At the same time, the provides a bit different view on the role of social background and economic position of students and their families than Jean Anyon has.

To put it more precisely, Bell Hook views this problem from the point of view of a student of a University, which encounter prejudiced and biased attitude of the academic community in relation to students with different social background. For instance, the author underlines that the relationship with students with the working-class background is quite unjust since the academic community basically develop their learning process on the basis of bourgeois values which dominate in the classroom putting students with lower class background in a disadvantageous position. Eventually, the author insists on the necessity of the development of engaging pedagogy free of biases and prejudices.

Thus, in conclusion, it is possible to say that the problems raised by the authors discussed are extremely important and closely interlinked. They reveal the fact that, in spite of presumable equality and democracy in the contemporary education, the academic and scholarly community is still substantially influenced by conservative biases and prejudices which affect their relationships with students dramatically.

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