Strong and Empowering Women

Elisabeth Rose Gruner writes an intriguing and thought-provoking Keyword’s essay about education, a very popular topic throughout history as well as modern day life. Gruner discusses the different definitions of the word education, grasping the various ways it is viewed and practiced. She states that, “Education may be primarily vocational, leading children into their futures as productive adults, or more holistic, nurturing children into, variously, adulthood, gentlemanly status, and/or citizenship”. After reading this essay and all of the perceived definitions, the term “education” quickly caught my interest. Education is unique in a sense that its importance never diminishes: it is vital for infants, children, teenagers, adults, and so on. However, as Gruner discusses, many ideas about education concern children. Childhood is arguably one of the most important times for education, as children are seeking guidance about the world and how to behave has a human within it. As a female, I was able to consider my own education and reflect on how it has built me to not only be a person in society, but a strong woman as well. As I look back on my educational past, I realize the importance of education during my childhood. Not only was I taught the basics of reading, writing, and mathematics, but also the life-long importance of being a strong, moral, and independent woman. Gruner’s essay highlights the widespread educational standards that have taken over schools in America, however we must not forget the importance of teaching young girls their power and strength. This type of education is put into practice by an organization known as Girls on the Run, whose mission is to inspire girls to be happy, confident, and unstoppable. 

Girls on the Run exemplifies the reconstruction of education, showing its transformation from confined institutional learning to the everyday teaching of much more than letters and numbers. I have become very intrigued by the mission of Girls on the Run, as their version of education is important, unique, and powerful. Teaching girls how to be strong and independent from such a young age helps them to grow up believing that they can accomplish anything that is presented to them. The Girls on the Run organization puts this mentality to practice, teaching girls ages 8-13 not only how to embrace who they are, but how to access their limitless potential as they integrate into society. 

In class, we explored the life of the American Girl, Kristen, whose story exemplified a traditional American education, one that focuses on assigned gender roles. Education during this time often taught girls how to be “traditional women”, placing them into confined gender roles that would go on to define who they are as they grow up. However, in modern day society, we have veered away from this confinement, as girls are now taught to defy these restrictions and become nothing less than who they want to be. The Girls on the Run Organization is one of many groups who facilitate this inspiring type of education, helping girls become the empowering women that are essential to our society.  

2 thoughts on “Strong and Empowering Women”

  1. I think that theses two examples can show on interesting connection to how our interpretation of Education can change over time. Back in Kirsten’s time, this idea of educating girl to become traditional women was standard practice. In today’s society, we have different notions of what girls should be taught. While the same basic educational themes still apply, such as reading and writing, our concept of what girls should be taught about life has drastically changed. Today we educate girls on empowerment and equal rights, and this shows how Education has changed throughout time.

  2. Childhood is definitely an integral time for education to be implemented because, like you said, children are seeking guidance about how to live in the world but also because their brains are in prime formation stages. In terms of male and female, do you think males are taught differently in schooling systems and how so? Does this evolve with the children’s age like comparing elementary school to high school?

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