EDU 6120- Week 7
“All Things Considered”
Throughout this week’s, readings each author seemed to speak about the need to teach to the masses. That is our responsibility as teachers to, no matter what a student’s situation or home life might be, guide support and educate without bias. This idea has also been echoed in my diversity class for the last seven weeks. Clearly this is an extremely important thread to weave throughout every lesson as we move forward into our role as the teacher, but how to do this seamlessly is our challenge.
As I read, “On Education and National Welfare” by, Horace Mann, I was repeatedly reminded that if we, as teachers, refuse teach to all those who seek an education aren’t we just adding to the problem of inequality? Mann states that “…density of a population has always been one of the proximate causes of social inequality.” This seemed to present the idea that no matter how large or diverse a population may be, each student should have the opportunity for an education; moreover, there needs to be a teacher to provide the tools, resources and skills to access this learning. Mann then goes on to say, “Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of the condition of men, — the balance wheel of the social machinery.” In this statement I am reminded about the tremendous responsibility that goes along with teaching and the fact that education is such a powerful tool for shaping a society. Education can and should be transformative- it provides the opportunity to erase dis/advantages of class and social status. More overwhelming, is my role as a teacher to support through education each student’s independent search and path.
In Booker T. Washington’s selection, “On Achieving Social Equity”, I was most impressed with the idea that what we do as individuals in a society directly shapes who we are as a societal whole. Meaning that we can either succeed together of fail together, but it is up to individuals to embrace and support one another for the good of the group. He wrote,
“There is no escape through law of man or God from the inevitable:
The laws of changeless justice bind
Oppressor with oppressed;
And close as sin and suffering joined
We march to fate abreast.”
I see this being true in a classroom setting as well as in everyday life. As I teacher I am going to need to support every student’s individualism and encourage them to share that with the class. Building community happens one step at a time. It begins with the individual student, making connections and developing a sense of belonging and acceptance. The next step is to bridge the individualism with a collective identity of the class, the school, and the district. Together, as individual parts we are going to need to connect as a group whole. To do this we are going to have to struggle and search for what is right and just. We are going to have to accept and embrace all that is presented in the group. This is when we will truly see our efforts to succeed together come to fruition.
Mann, Horace. (1848). “On Education and National Welfare” 1848 Twelfth Annual Report of Horace Mann as Secretary of Massachusetts State Board of Education (1848).
Washington, Booker T. (1895). “On Achieving Social Equity”. Selections from Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Exposition Address (1895).