Reducing Inequalities in Educational and Life Chances of Students from different Backgrounds in Newark, New Jersey Schooling Community

Introduction to the Sphere and reason for the Choice

In sustained efforts to become responsible citizens, we need to confront the question regarding whether the current educational inequalities matter. The answer to this question is that these inequalities are significantly a cause of concern and thus, they greatly matter. The educational difference is a significantly growing problem in Newark, New Jersey and America at large. While some students have had the opportunity of attending public schools that are considered as the best in the globe, a majority others are cast off into unsupportive, unsafe, under-resourced, and unchallenging schools where there are minimal chances of succeeding academically (Welner & Farley, p.1). The inequality relates to diverse issues that powerfully link to parental wealth, race and ethnicity as well as education; and have persisted across generations. Welner & Farley (p.1) posit that following the lack of equality, a significant group of children who have attained the school-going age does not get the opportunity to join good schools while some do not secure the chance at all following the disparity mentioned above.

Garcia & Weiss (p.3) argue that it is common knowledge that the existing inequalities, especially in the education continuum, will consequently derail the realization of the American dream. Because of this realization, the research on the reduction of educational disparities is crucial as it provides substantial information to help understand the broader connection between education and outcomes. Moreover, the research will provide information which addresses critical issues relating to the inequalities in life and education and how to overcome them. Therefore the topic is an important area to study given the strong relationship between education acquisition and economic growth. According to Garcia & Weiss (p.3), relevant bodies and legislators need to look at ways through which the existing education inequalities can be curbed in a bid to drive equality in the region.

The process of Identifying the Sphere and Initial Preconceptions

In identifying this sphere, I had to engage in direct interviews with the schooling community in Newark. Consequently, I engaged in participative interviews using online surveys and questionnaires. My desire for this specific sphere was fuelled by my concerns for the growing inequalities in the education sector which are significantly derailing the realization of the American Dream of equality. Before engaging in this fieldwork, I had preconceived perceptions that the educational inequalities were as a result of poverty alone. However, through the interviews, I came to learn that several other issues facilitate biases despite the set standards for delivering equality in education and life. Consequently, the fieldwork gave me insights that reducing inequalities among the schooling community in Newark prerequisites for more than just addressing poverty because other issues such as racial and ethnic segregation have played a substantial in the advent of the apparent inequalities.

Logistics Difficulties

The primary challenge faced for this fieldwork was on data collection. It was not easy to decide which method was more efficient for collecting primary data as the process required funds which were a limiting factor. My initial plan was to organize in-person interviews because I felt this would increase the chances of obtaining unbiased data. Notably, I was convinced that I could employ both verbal and nonverbal communication techniques and as such obtain authentic feedback from the participants. However, coordinating in-person interviews required monetary resources since it mandated me as the researcher to look for convenient places to meet with the participants (they were not easy to find). Finding a considerable number of participants who were willing to take part in the research was also a challenge as most people were not ready to discuss the issues on as it felt personal to them. Consequently, I settled for an online interview process (through email exchange) which also had its fair share of challenges. For instance, in using of online interviews, it was not possible to receive all the feedback at once as some participants took more time than others before returning the letters and questionnaires. Consequently, this fieldwork was constricted by time and financial constraint.

Work Cited

Garcia, E., & Weiss, E. “Education Inequalities at the School Starting Gate. Economic Policy Institute, 2017, pp.2-15

Welner, K., & Farley, A. “Confronting Systematic Inequity in Education: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy, National Committee for Response Philanthropy, 2010, pp.1-19