So where do we go now?
Hi and hello there!
This will probably be my last blog post for this class..
I know you’re probably really (not) sad.
Over these past couple of weeks, we’ve been exploring the topic of racism within the U.S. educational system (specifically primary and secondary education).
I’ve presented sad quotes,statistics and articles informing ya’ll on how much we have to work on.
But I haven’t been able to provide a concrete fix-it-all solution for these issues.
Mostly because, there really isn’t a fix-it-all solution because the nature of prejudices and school funding isn’t straight forward and differs across each state.
The different demographics and needs of each state also complicate this already complex issue.
From my 17+ year experience as a student, I’ve been through a lot of teachers, and a lot of different schools (I don’t know if I mentioned I lived in Korea for 4 1/2 years). I have seen a lot of things that do and DON’T work.
So I think I am smart enough, or more so have enough experience to provide possible solutions and things we could start to work on.
1. How Schools are funded.
I mentioned numerous times in previous blog posts about how America funds their school systems. Now in the case of a rich neighborhood, you got great class room facilities, resources, textbooks, laptops and what not. And of course the opposite for lower income areas because funding largely comes from the property tax of the surrounding area, and another chunk from standardized testing scores.
I think it is about time we change up the system.
In the case of lower income schools, we should be giving those schools a higher priority because they need the help. Finding a logistically sound way to provide a complementary system which boosts the lower income schools while giving some sort of mutual benefit to sponsors (because unfortunately we live in a world where most don’t look out for each other’s best interests).
ALSO IT WOULD BE FANTASTIC IF THE GOVERNMENT PRIORITIZED GOVERNMENT FUNDS FOR EDUCATION OVER THE SUPERFLUOUS AMOUNT THAT WE USE ON MILITARY THAT WOULD BE FAN-F**KING-TASTIC.
2. Radical change in how we teach schools.
It is about DAMN time we change the way we teach schools.
WE are still using the educational model from the PRUSSIAN EMPIRE education system. Which has been long gone for quite some time now. We need a huge update. I think this can apply to many schools in countries outside of the US as well. (death glare at Korea).
As a student, it really killed my moral and my peer’s as well to know that all of our being and worth would be determined by numbers from an arbitrary testing system of our intellect. Because obviously, me knowing the word for a specific doily you use on a pot is a great indication of how smart I am.
(this is an actual word that my friend had on her SAT vocabulary list)
I recently visited Hawaii for an educational/volunteer focused alternative spring break class. I have to say, visiting the Hawaiian immersion schools was an incredible experience because it was a school model that I could say without a doubt in my mind was working in many different ways.
When people think Hawaii, they think hospitality, and I can confidently say that the culture and significance of empathy in Hawaii and how it was being emphasized throughout the curriculum in that school could be tangibly felt. I have never met a group of well behaved and polite students in my life. They all looked extremely engaged in their classes and were able to apply their cultural knowledge while learning the ‘U.S. educational standards’. It made my inner (and outer) ‘intercultural education’ nerd freak out. It was incredible. IT was inclusive, it was multicultural, and it WORKED. Very well if I might add, the principal explained how there was a high graduation and college acceptance rate too.
I’m going to stop here now before I pick up a pitchfork and torch and scream in the streets.
From here on, all I can really do in my power as a somewhat broke college student, is how I interact with the students I teach or the kids I interact with. I need to practice what I preach and emphasize empathy to the kids I encounter, and hope to God it sticks with them. In the divided broken society we live in, the only thing we can control is how we act/react.
I challenge you, at any given point you are a representative and educator for your affiliations and ethnic group, to be a person of empathy and not spread the hate that we already have too much of.
I’ll leave you at that.
Go change your world.
And wash your hands, because the flu.