Racism is one social problem within educational institutions that involves prejudice against certain individuals due to their racial identity. Some races belief that they are more superior over other races which may lead to discrimination and unequal access to education opportunities (Sullivan, 2016). Another social problem within education is gender discrimination where men and women are treated differently. Research has shown women to experience violence and sexual assault more than men. Female students may also have a limited access to education opportunities due to the perception that they have limited capabilities than male students (Sullivan, 2016). Gender stereotypes play a key role in dictating what is appropriate for men and women within the community.
Social Problems within Education Have Perpetuated Substance Abuse
Social problems within education institutions such as racism and gender discrimination have contributed to substance abuse by most students in the United States. Racism largely affects students belonging to minority groups that limit their interaction with other students or educators to share their problems (Davis, 2016). The negative effects associated with racism may psychologically affect students who may have no other option other than engage in substance use as a way of addressing problems. On a micro level, some of the contributing factors include the unique experiences of students from minority groups in society (Davis, 2016). In most public institutions, there are no support structures to help and provide help to individuals from minority groups. This negatively affects students who have to find solutions to some of the problems affecting them (Davis, 2016).
Since racism that starts at the community level, students have negative attitudes towards certain social aspects that may affect their interaction with other members of society. On a macro level, some patterns in the community and the government contribute to students engaging in substance abuse (Davis, 2016). The government provides limited access to employment opportunities to members from minority groups which negatively affects the members economically. Students from most minority groups have inadequate access to education resources due to limited financial resources (Davis, 2016). This may prevent students from accessing important education resources that may lead to poor performance as well as prejudice by students from other superior groups. This may contribute to students engaging in negative behaviors such as participating in illegal activities and substance abuse (Davis, 2016).
An Actual Solution to the Social Problems within Education
One solution to address gender inequality and racism within education is the development of education programs addressing social issues that can be incorporated into the education curriculum. This will allow individuals to learn and understand social issues from a tender age where they are better equipped with knowledge on how to address such issues in school (Verstegen, 2015). Members from minority groups can be involved in developing these programs to enhance the collection of information as well as improve decision-making. Public discussions to address such problems are also beneficial in identifying the root cause of these problems and what factors contribute to the continuation of these problems regardless of the efforts that have been made to address the issues (Verstegen, 2015).
Since public institutions will have individuals from diverse racial backgrounds, it is important for everyone to understand how these differences may lead to social problems that may negatively affect the individuals (Verstegen, 2015). This strategy will be more effective compared to the previously implemented solutions that involve conducting research on these problems where researchers recommend certain solutions to address the problems. This neglects the people affected who have a better understand of these problems and are able to contribute in the development of effective decisions (Verstegen, 2015).
- Davis, J. L. (2016). Joining Hands: Race, Social Justice, and Equal Opportunity in Your Classroom, Education Digest, 82(4), 42.
- Sullivan, T. J. (2016). Introduction to social problems. Boston: Pearson.
- Verstegen, D. (2015). On Doing an Analysis of Equity and Closing the Opportunity Gap. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23(41), 1-20.