Everyday Education

As I listened to a podcast for my Rehab Psychology and Special Education class, I could not help but think about how this piece represented different keywords and the education we have seen in our books so far. In “This American Life: The Problem We all Live With,” I heard stories about education and the issues many people still face with education today. This story was created to show how even now, there are still issues with racism and separation in schools around America. I really encourage people to listen to it, but because it it kind of lengthy, here is a brief summary. This particular story takes place at a school called Normandy, which is in Missouri. It starts out by introducing the school and talking about all of the issues they have encountered recently due to the large class sizes and the fact that the school has not met state standards for more than 15 years. With these problems rising, there were few options all of the black students that made up the school, one of which is to go to a different school. However, this is not an easy switch of schools because Normandy did not want their students to leave. But, this did not stop some students, one of which is named Mah’ria Martin. Mah’ria was a very bright student, but was not getting the education she needed to fulfill her potential. Because of this, she knew she needed to move. However, this move was not going to be easy. The school chosen for these students was about 30 miles away from where she lived, in hopes that the student would not leave, but this did not stop Mah’ria. She was determined to get the education she needed.

To me, this whole story was a comparison to the “Education” piece written by Elizabeth Rose Gruner in Keywords for Children’s Literature and to a few of the books we have read, one being A Josefina Classic and another being the story about Zitkala Sa. In all of these pieces, the importance of learning is seen, and not always in a school setting. Yes, Mah’ria is fighting for the right to be in a better school, however that is not the only thing she learns. In all three books, the girls are “receiving an education” and learning important things that will help them in the future. Josefina learns how to weave and garden, Zitkala Sa learns how to greet company and the manners required when interacting with others and inviting them over, and Mah’ria learns the importance of how to treat people, as well as how to stand up and fight for what she believes in. Even though the girls are not in school, I think their love for education and learning how to do something new, really reflects the statement in Keywords that says, “education forms part of an ongoing process of growth and development, always partial, never complete” (Gruner 74). All three of the girls continue to want to pursue their ongoing process of growth and development. They know that their minds are not done growing, and will never be complete. Hopefully going into education in the future, I think these books make an important point that needs to be recognized and remembered in the future. Yes, an education is important, but we need to keep in mind that many important aspects of life are not always taught in a school.


3 thoughts on “Everyday Education”

  1. I think that this brings up a great point that our educational school systems can teach us many things, but not all important things are covered in schools. This is a difficulty that many teachers face: how do they incorporate the needed curriculum, along with incorporating important skills for students to learn.

  2. I listened to this podcast for a sociology class last semester and I think it’s a great connection to both books! Throughout the process of changing schools and adapting to the new environment, Mah’ria learned more about herself, her motivation, and positive interactions to fight racism. It is clear that Normandy school was not providing her with sufficient educational skills such as literacy and math, but more importantly, it was stripping her of applicable “real life education” such as equality and the mindset of living up to your full potential.

  3. This is a great point you bring up. Many see that the only way to be successful is going to school. In todays society that may be the case but I also think as the books and your “cool thing” show is that things in life are not always learned in the school setting. Life lessons are often learned in the real world through trial and error. This brings up the idea of are you looked down upon in society if you don’t go to school and go right into the workforce? Also a different approach, girls are often seen as not as adventurous as men so is it harder for them to learn through trial and error in the real world rather than a school setting?

Leave a Reply