Essay 2: First Draft

In America we are privileged enough to have free education from kindergarten until twelfth grade. In many countries across the globe children and young adults are forced to work as laborers and some people never learn to read or write. Our fundamental access to education creates opportunity for successful futures.In general education can present a way for people from all different ethnicities, social standings, genders, and religious beliefs to possibly achieve an equal level knowledge. Personally I view education as an opportunity not an obligation.  In my own point of view education is the opportunity to create a successful life and a way to master and conquer your dreams, it is a tool to help construct the type of life one desires. Education should test and stretch our beliefs and standards until it eventually molds us into adults.

In the midst of economic and political issues I think the purpose of education is being guided away from its original intent. Education was originally meant to provide people with knowledge about their relationship with the world around them and within themselves. Recently the Depart of Education has been concerned mostly with funds and the circulation of money in school districts. The quality of education becomes lowered as budget cuts rids schools of helpful extracurricular activities. Teachers who are arguably one of the most influential people in a person’s life can get laid off. Inner city schools feel the effect off this the most since they already have meager funds they are more at a disadvantage for programs that won’t necessarily benefit them in the future and be used as tools for success. Jonathan Kozol mentioned in his piece “Still Separate, Still Unequal America’s Educational Aparatheid”  that less wealthy schools are being stuck with more restrictions for creative methods of teaching. Students are subjected to strict teaching regimes that lack the room for creativity. Classes that do not benefit students who have high objectives are forced upon them based on what society deems appropriate according to their social standing. For example in the Kozol piece he also mentions a young black girl he was conversing with said the “…requirement met by courses that were basically vocational and obviously keyed to low-paying level of employment.” (Kozol, 655)  In comparison wealthier communities require challenging and useful  classes that will help students in the future. Education has become a system keeping  low-income students  within their own social class by enforcing vocational classes and keeps wealthier students within their elite class. Instead of bridging the gap and having educational programs that offers every single person the same thing we have created programs that reduce equality. We need to work toward creating a more equitable educational system .

Personally I have always valued education, I think the intent in ensuring that every citizen has the chance to pursue goals and dreams no matter who they are is extraordinary. Education is especially important in our society in which knowledge is highly valued. Jean Anyon author of  “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work” describes how schools differ by the social status of the student. This puts lower-income students at a disadvantage at excelling into classes that wealthier students have already been accustomed to. I think the distribution of funds needs to be given out more equally among schools to ensure that all schools no matter the social status so that all student are being taught fairly. How can anyone be expected to pursue their dreams when what is supposed to be a directed pathway presents obstacles at every turn?  The question thus becomes how do we mold education back into what it was originally meant to be. How does education stay a pathway of success for those pursuing a meaningful career? According to Paulo Freire in his piece “The Banking Concept of Education” education needs to shift away from the  concept that promotes  a transferring of a teachers knowledge into a student that requires no cognition. Problem-posing education “…breaks with the vertical pattern of characteristic of banking education can fulfill its function as the practice of freedom…”(Freire 7). Freire’s method of teaching creates a safe and interactive learning environment that will encourage students to pursue their goals and to test and consider opinions different from their own.

College education is important for jobs but it is also a way in which our own social and moral beliefs are tried and tested and it molds us into adults. There is constant feedback between students, peers, and professors which stretches are small scope of reality and perception. Not only does education regard potential careers it also entails a wide variety of learning how to interact socially with large bodies of people. It is a preparation for creating and maintaining relationships with people and using those relationships to hep create a successful life.

Education and the influence of teachers has helped me obtain admission to this University. I was pushed and fortunately had some very helpful counselors that encouraged me to apply to more prestigious colleges. I grew up with the mindset that I could achieve anything no matter where I had started as long as I pursued education. My mother did not have the opportunity to attend college, she never had the opportunity to pursue her dream career. In spite, of her lack of higher education she always supported my endeavors in school and pushed me to try my best in hopes that I would not have to struggle as much as she did. She pushed me in hopes that I would end up having a career that I love and enjoy doing.

 

While college education is extremely important it is also unattainable to many. College education is increasingly expensive and at most times low-income families cannot afford to pay for their progeny to attend school. There is financial aid that helps to put off the wave of debt for the immediate four years but then comes rushing back. Also college education is not readily available for undocumented people. Those who might have traveled to America in seek of a better opportunity receive no financial assistance but are typically in the lowest income bracket.

We are a nation founded on immigration. We affirm ourselves by promoting the idea that we are accepting to all races. We fought a whole civil war and had a civil rights movement to promote equality and yet we offer very minimal support for those who are coming to America in hopes of opportunity, equality, and success. I think that we are promoting disillusionment until we are proactive in firmly supporting undocumented students to pursue a higher education.

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