University of Michigan Section 1 Influence of Society on Education Paper

Instructions: Write a 4-5 page, double-spaced paper, with 1-inch margins, in response to the following prompt (word count at least 1500). This is an essay which means you should NOT number your responses. A bibliography is not necessary. But make sure it’s clear which sources you are using in your paper. Only use resources attached in file, do not use outside resources. 

Description of Investigative Assignment

The investigative assignment is an informal “action” project in which you will briefly talk to people about topics from the course. You will only use these informal interviews for the purposes of this course. Follow the general gist of the script below to help you explain to people why you want to interview them. More detailed tips for talking to people will be discussed in class. Use email, phone, zoom, etc. to conduct your interviews. They can be but do not have to be in person.

General script to use to explain the assignment to people

Hi, my name is __________. I am taking a class where we are learning about how society influences education. One of my assignments is to talk to people about some of the course topics. The goal is for me to hear the many different ways people think and talk about success, and the role of education. Anyone I talk to will remain anonymous, meaning I will not reveal your identity to my class or to my teacher. This is only for an assignment. This will be quick! Can I please talk to you for 20-30 minutes?

Part A

Talk with 3 people (anyone you have access to in your home and through phone, email, Zoom, etc.) about their perspective on economic/academic success and education. Ask them the following questions. Feel free to ask other questions in addition to the ones below.

1a. From your perspective and experiences, what do you think are the most important factors that influence someone’s economic or academic success (e.g., good career/job, high salary, owning a home, etc.)?

1b. Why do you believe those factors are important?

  1. What role does family play in influencing someone’s economic or academic success?
  2. Do you think people’s cultural background can influence whether or not they are successful in school or in life? Please explain.
  3. What role does education play in influencing someone’s economic or academic success?
  4. Do you think that education can prevent or improve economic or academic success? Please explain.
  5. Can you think of any reasons why some students may typically do better in school than others?
  6. Can you think of any reasons why some students may typically do worse in school than others?
  7. What changes do you believe need to be made to the current educational system to meet future demands of the U.S. economy?


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