Archive for the month “August, 2012”

“Great Success but No Vision”

Okay so everyone needs to take a little moment out of their day to read this. Although we all participate in our own “elite education” the article provides an interesting point.

At this point in our lives, as we try to block out the reality of our launch into the “real world”, it becomes obvious that our while our degree will give us a foundation it’s more our experience and connections that will land us into positions of employment. While I am forever grateful for my ability to attend a university such as Providence the author of this article gives us something to really chew on. As Global Studies major I believe alot of us have been able to blend our advantage of being at an elite school while creating our own vision and experience that goes beyond our gated community.

This article also perpetuates the constant question of; Who validates the success of an individual in todays society? And how can we create a scale in which all walks of life and members of communities are included? Our vision goes beyond the horizon, but what kind of education will finally create no gates and give us elite individuals who don’t necessarily have to attend these elite universities?

While I’m a little late to the party, aka education thesis, I think this article is something to keep in mind as we start on our education ride. While we all have been abroad contribution, participating, teaching, etc. in regards to education we have started to create our own visions while being able to be successful all at the same time.


More Teaching and Less Testing

More Teaching and Less Testing

When I look back on my years of schooling, certain teachers come to mind. They are the ones who made an impact on how I perceive myself, the world and my role in it. They are the ones who probed their students to delve deeper and challenged them to ask questions that required answers beyond yes, no true and false.

My 8th grade honors algebra teacher was one of the greatest teacher I’ve ever had, despite 8th grade math being one of the worst experiences of my life. Somehow I ended up in honors, despite math not being my forte. I struggled constantly, failing the majority of the tests while my friends passed each one with ease. In a critical time in a teenager’s life, when their confidence and self-assurance are most fragile, mine was being tested.

This teacher, Ms. Nichols, sat with me every day at lunch. She instilled confidence in me by focusing on the 30% of the exam I got correct, rather than the 70% I failed. A friendship and trusting relationship was fostered and my academic confidence returned. Math was my favorite subject in high school and I was placed in AP courses. To clarify, this was not because I’m a math whiz; rather, it was because I believed I could do it. The underlying message seems trite, but when reading the above article, I couldn’t help but reminisce.

I applied for the Teach for America on Campus Coordinator position for the 2012-2013 academic school year and I’m thrilled to say I got the job. Reading articles like this give me insight into how important it is for students and teachers to have a trusting and strong relationship, not only so they can succeed academically but so their confidence can develop.

As I approach this senior thesis (with three other wonderful ladies) topics of research keep popping up. Originally, I was fascinated by the correlation between health and education, focusing more on the effect HIV/AIDS has on students in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, after reading articles like this, I wonder if researching topics such as alternative methods of teaching and education would also be interesting. Or, how requirements for teaching have transformed in America over the 20th and 21st century.

Actively Educating or Educating for Activism?

Reading stories like the one above makes me question, how interconnected are activism and education? Which comes first, educating or acting? Can one exist without the other?

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” -Nelson Mandela

For the duration of the 2012-2013 school year, myself as well as Tara, Taylor and Lynnzie will collaborate on a capstone research project related to education for our senior thesis. Hopefully this blog will be utilized as a space for creative thinking and organizing our ideas.

During my study abroad in South Africa I worked in a Xhosa-speaking high school in Khayelitsha Township outside of Cape Town. It was there that my passion for education rights and mitigating education inequity came to fruition. I am hoping that we can all combine our individual passions and outlooks on education to create an awesome thesis. I have no doubt that this can be done! With everyone’s personal experiences and insights I am extremely optimistic that the research and writing process will be arduous and exciting and the final product will reflect hard work, late nights, and success! If nothing else, I hope this process will challenge me to understand, reflect, analyze and apply new approaches to education on a domestic and global scale.

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