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Brazil and South Africa
Transcript of Brazil and South Africa
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
What is Quality Education?
More Information on Quality Education
Comparison Between Brazil and South Africa
* Most developed of the Latin American countries
* Increased industrialization
* Emphasis on economic and social policies
* Population displacement due to expanded commercial activities
* Schools, instructional materials, teaching expertise are in short supply to keep up with the growing population
* Decades of racial separation under apartheid now require redistributing on teaching expertise
* Some highly qualified teachers from more prosperous urban areas are being moved to more disadvantaged rural areas
* Those teachers who are not wanting to relocate are offered retirement options resulting in large numbers of some of the most qualified teachers leaving he profession
* There is now an increased need for teachers
South Africa as a focal point
Brazil as a focal point
Blatant separation of race
Many regions and pockets of uneven development- like America
Schools are substantially not integrated although official policy favors integration- like America
Figure 4.1 (p. 129)
¾ of population African descent
10.9% European descent
8.9% mixed descent
2.6% Asian descent
1948 Racial separation became pronounced with the apartheid-minded Nationalist party
1953 Bantu education- Segregation law, Its major provision was enforcing racially separated educational facilities
1963- school system for mixed races
Apartheid’s formal system adopted differential access and opportunity into its formal educational structures
1994- Nelson Mandela elected- South African president from the racial majority
high degree of racial integration
differences in educational opportunities among racial groups are more illusive
Subsistence farming is a way of life for many of the country’s citizens
Figure 4.1 (p. 129)
Attribute- 3 main ethnic groups have shaped Brazilian culture:
Indigenous people or “Indians”
Owing to Brazil’s former use of slaves
Response- centuries of intermarriage and racial mixing has shaped the Brazilian population
A more unified and distinctly Brazilian “race” has emerged
Educational Implication- evidence points to limitations
General lack of acceptance that racism is a problem
Lack of recognition for its negative effects of differentiated educational access
Factors of educational access and opportunity
4 levels- primary, middle, higher and advanced
- 8 grades- similar to elementary education in American
- 3-4 years- similar to elementary education in America
often provided in schools called colleges
free/open to graduates of primary
- 2 levels- academic & vocational/professional schools
academic- prepares for college
vocational/professional- prepares for workforce
4 levels of education provided
Pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary education
Primary- 6 years of education focuses on reading writing and arithmetic
Later health, math, environmental studies, science, music, arts and crafts, physical training and languages
Secondary- broadens general knowledge to prepare kids for career choices
Tertiary- over 20 universities and over 150 add’l specialized post-secondary schools
Demographic challenges critically influence educational access and opportunities in Brazil and South Africa. Physical geography and historical influences directly effect the distribution of education. Therefore, educational access and opportunity is affected by patterns of density and settlement of ethnic and racial differences. South African and Brazilian societies have widespread poverty. Where an individual lives, whether in rural or urban communities greatly affects their access to educational access and opportunity, (p. 132). Significant regional differences exist in both South Africa and Brazil, where severe population displacement occurred.
In Africa, the apartheid regime caused disparities in income and geographical location. This regime dictated social conditions for the nation’s racial groups, which resulted in the mandated displacement of non-white racial groups to areas which lacked potential for economic development. Rural schools are still far behind those in South Africa’s cities (p. 132).
Educational access and opportunity also exists in Brazil. There is a continuing existence of an elite class in modern Brazilian society. The elite class enjoys wealth, land ownership and political power while others are not so lucky. This continues to foster inequalities in educational access and opportunities. Poorer Brazilian citizens continue to have limited access to schools, (p. 133).
Modernization has contributed to Brazil’s population displacement. Farmers were forced to seek employment in urban areas because mechanized farming practices left the farmers no jobs. This contributed to additional stress on Brazil’s cities and further contributed to inequitable education opportunities, (p. 133).
Poverty in Brazilian cities is widespread; in 1999, 50% of the population of Recife, a Brazilian city lived below the poverty line and rural Brazil, limited educational participation stems from a shortage of schools, (p. 134).
“Both the Brazilian and South African cases reflect ways in which changes associated with modernization can profoundly affect equitable education experiences,” (p. 134).
-Disrupted demand for education.
-Physical and mental capacity for poor children to succeed.
-Disease and many other health risks.
-People are not likely to have a personal education goal until basic needs are met.
Consequences of Poverty
Race, Culture, and Their
Influences on Education
-Females are often excluded from equitable education experiences.
-Women's daily chores:
*Walk long distances to collect water
*Small scale farming
*Pregnancies on top of other chores which is more depending for women than men.
-Women and girls perform domestic work, while the men return home periodically from work.
Education quality as exceptional:
* Pursuit of educational excellence
Education quality as consistency:
* Equal educational experiences for all
Educational quality as fitness-for-purpose:
* Refining student ability in targeted roles
Educational quality as value for money:
* Correspondence between educational
experience and societal investment
Educational quality as transformative potential
* Propels change and moves toward
different futures as desirable
These qualities will not necessarily all be addressed at once and not all will be in agreement as to the course of action
Gender Norms & Biases
*People having the same skin color can be categorized differently based on other physical characteristics.
*Social understanding affects racial designation as well, with people of higher social status being perceived as "whiter."
*Social familiarity-the degree to which a person is already known and familiar-further increases one's likelihood of being perceived as "whiter."
Exceptionality and Consistency:
Conflict Between the Concepts of Exceptionality
and Consistency in Educational Quality
Assumption: Contribution to Conflict
Educational differentiation in pursuit of exceptional (distinguished) attainment is at odds with consistent educational experiences.
Assumption: Contribution to Conflict
Consistency connotes equalization of opportunity, leading also to the leveling of educational experience - inimical to exceptionality.
The 1981 de Lange Report examined the concept of equality of education in light of apartheid South Africa. They encountered difficulties and concluded that any focus on equalization needed to focus on factors that could be controlled.
Unfortunately, a long-term plan for reform was not developed and followed. Many of the fiscal allocations in apartheid South Africa had focused on urban areas. So in 1994, a plan was established to try to entice the better prepared urban teachers from over-staffed areas to rural areas that were understaffed. Unfortunately, many teachers in the urban area retired rather than accept relocation to rural area, and this led to more issues such as teacher shortages throughout the country. South Africa's attempts at reform desegregation had many counterparts in American history.
South African Reform Efforts
In South Africa under apartheid, most blacks were unskilled laborers. When apartheid ended, educational opportunities needed to be expanded. Some educators advocate training black workers for skilled trades as a first step to eventually educate blacks in professional areas and move up the economic and social scale. Other people saw this proposal as an attempt to keep blacks in less respected jobs, to prevent equitable access to education, and to hinder upward social mobility. This academic/vocational debate has roots in the middle ages where the liberal arts were considered education of the free people and vocational training (servile arts) was given to servants or apprentices learning a trade.
Education: Classic vs. Vocational
Demonstrate Educational Inequities
De Lange Report
General accessibility- freedom of choice in paths of study
Curriculum content- textbooks, syllabi
Expectations- rules for compulsory education
Teachers- training and numbers
Physical education facilities- comparative condition
Financial resources- parity in per capita expenditure
The concept of equality is difficult to compare due to inherent differences in many factors.
Do we look at equality of attainment, or equality of opportunity?
often leads to unjust comparisons of students, teachers, and schools.
*In South Africa, policy required instruction to be provided in the student's native language, but the black population sees knowledge of English as more important.
*Black South African consider it an important stepping stone to receive quality instruction in the knowledge legitimized by the dominant group
Reform efforts are not always appreciated by
the people they are supposed to help.
Findings and results
Societies who values and recognize excellence must also tolerate some level of educational inequity of educational outcomes.
If a society favors equitable opportunity, it must equaize every factor within human control.
People criticized the report for advocating for " separate but equal" policies, similar to those espoused by some in the United States after desegregation.
The report reflects the racial sterotypes that were common in South Africa
Many autocratic policies were enacted following the report.
Dr. Kimberly Greene