Education Awareness

Through the education of “American Girls” in children’s literature in this course so far, it is getting clear to me how the self awareness of the educations is key. The characters in the books are getting educated through various forms in their time, the children who read American Girls are experiencing the modern education through the stories authors write about, and we as literature students read the books to better understand “education” as one of the key concepts. The meanings of education in each layer is different, and each person’s self consciousness in part of the role is different; nevertheless, it is crucial for us to be aware of what education means to each of us.

            The American girls in the books are powerless, they are fictional characters only exist in the stories, and only live in their own era. From Kristen Larsson to Cady and to the Indian girls like Zitkaka Sa, they are forced to study and fit into a different identity in their new educational institution than before. They do not understand why they are getting the education they get, and they do not have clear awareness of what those “American formalized” educations mean for themselves. 

            As for the children who read the books, they are able to know those characters in different time of the history. Even though they are still in early ages, they more or less could share the experiences those American girls once have in history. While they are probably too young to comprehend what those stories mean, they still can learn the language or some of the common values in the book. However, they are unlikely to aware how those contents were pieces that represents books’ authors personal intentions. The children are still the ones passively absorbing the education.

            The extent of how we comprehend education in those different context should be distinct. As literature students, we should be very self-conscious and aware of what authors’ each word means, depicting those ntoarratives. Through the series, we should understand how education is different for each person in each era as part of the education we are getting. Just like how Elisabeth Rose Gruner discusses in her work, education exists in various forms. In modern world, it is essential to be very conscious about the education we are exposed to constantly.

2 thoughts on “Education”

  1. Hi Toni!

    I totally agree with you that children can be affected by the books that they read or the things are represented in popular cultures. Many examples can be seen is from Disney movies. A lot of the main female characters are represented with feminine, weak and dependence on the prince to save them. As young kids watching this, they will passively learn from these characters of how women should be and should act. Fortunately, the recent Disney movies have a more depth aspect of how women should be represented in the media through the script of the princess is the hero of the movie.

  2. Hi Tony!

    I think this is a really well-put response. Often times in society we allow our children to consume media simply because it is popular, without stopping to think of the implications. Especially in modern society when children are exposed to so many things, many don’t realize that it is a culmination of all of it, every once of popular culture, that composes of a child’s education. I think it is crucial to keep this in mind and have discussions with children about what they are consuming, and what it is teaching them. Because although we hope that they are learning necessary life skills in school similar to what we experienced in our formalized education, the bulk of a child’s personality and belief system is developed outside of the formal classroom. So by making sure that children realized, even to a minimal extent, what they are absorbing will take their education to the next level.

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