In the Keywords Education written by Elisabeth Rose Gruner, education is defined as “the systematic instruction, schooling, or training, given to the young in preparation for the work of life” (70). Though I think education can be done at any stage in life, this broad and simple definition describes a general idea of how education is understood. This Keywords essay goes on to explain how literacy is closely related and connected with education in a western sense. To be able to be educated one has to be literate. This is the general understanding in many western societies. Education differs across cultures and societies with values instilled differently. With varying different types of children, literacy and education may need to be taught differently. The article Braille for a New Age as well as Kirsten Learns a Lesson and American Indian Stories, focus on representations of education and how it needs to be approached differently for different children.

This article focuses on new technology that can help the blind or visually impaired. High school dropout rates and unemployment for blind people is very high across the entire world. It is very difficult as a blind person to get a typical education. Luckily, new technology is paving the way for people to get the same use out of technology. This new tablet uses electric energy pulses for the reader to read braille on a screen. There is also really great audio technology for blind people today. This is just one example of the types of ways students and children may need to be accommodated based on a variety of reasons. Every child is different and may need to be taught differently. Especially with reading. A blind child could not be expected to learn the same way as a sighted child and this can be the same for different languages and cultures.

In Kirsten Learns a Lesson by Janet ShawKirsten has to attend school in America (her new home) even though she does not know how to read, write, or speak English. This makes things extremely difficult for Kirsten and she hates school. Of course this time period didn’t have the technology we have today that could have possibly assisted her but there could have been more centralized assistance to help her. The strict teacher did not give Kirsten the specific help she needed. This can also be compared to American Indian Stories by Zitkaka Sa in which the native children are also made to learn English. This much more horrifying story also shows the disconnect in cultures and the way they teach them. The Native students could have been taught in a much better way to facilitate their learning than by the ways they used (very simply stating).

1 thought on “Education”

  1. Thank you for sharing. You mention various alternative approaches to education and the idea is quite relevant to me right now. I am currently enrolled in a Rehabilitation Psychology & Special Education course titled Individuals with Disabilities. Throughout the first few weeks of class, we covered material related to policies, practices, and programs. One educational right of all children in the United States is a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) which is guaranteed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). For example, this would allow someone who is blind to obtain books and other resources of the classroom in braille. This week, we also discussed the idea of multicultural education, bilingual education, and bilingual special education. These types of educational strategies are interesting considering the comments you made regarding Zitkala Sa’s, American Indian Stories.

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