All Things Considered

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.

 

References:

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).

 

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3 thoughts on “All Things Considered

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post! Our community seems to be growing more and more diverse as the years go on, and as educators, it is our responsibility to teach without bias. Culture is a living thing, and it is our responsibility to be culturally aware and responsible citizens in order to give our students the best education. Great post, I love what you had to say!

  2. Sarah, with the topic of multicultural education in EDU 6120 as well as our other class it really drives home how important it is to teach about diversity to our children. Our world continues to get smaller and cultures must learn to co-exist and be appreciated for what they are. In addition to reading, writing, and math, we are responsible to teach them acceptance and tolerance. It is a tall order for teachers to shoulder but it is important to level the playing field for our students as much as we can so that they may go out and further the good work. Thanks for posting.
    Jenni

  3. Love love love the idea of classroom as community. Lately, I have been a glutton for books on education and that is one of the common themes I am finding: you can run a classroom on fear or trust, and one is more comfortable for everyone than the other. I think just laying the foundation of a classroom where everyone is proud of who they are, where they come from, and where they are headed is the first step to being able to accept everyone else for who they are. Thanks for posting!
    Aubrey

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