"Stay in School." "An education will serve you well." These are the words of a Mom, Dad, or Guardian who cares and perhaps, has yet to achieve their dream. Those persons who acquired what they thought they desired too will say the same. The paradox is the problem our progeny understand. Countless ask; is what I receive in a classroom, in a trade, or even on the streets an education? What is an education and does it currently serve our young. Could it?
The questions are many. The answers are complex. There is much to consider.
Do we encourage our children to stay in school because we believe an education will serve them well or is that but only our hope, our dream. What we would want to be? If we home school or nurture a trade does the child learn more, less, what seems real and relevant to their unique hearts and heads, or again is the adult served by the decision?
Do we think school will save our youth, our teaching will do the deed, or do we think that our child will have that one Teacher who will save him from poverty, hunger, and the abuse he suffers at home? Is there such a Miracle Worker? Is that sensational Sage he, she, we, or some entity we pray to? Granted, an education enlightens us all. However the question is what is an education?
Is an education a battery of tests or is it, was it, that Art class that was cut from the curriculum due to costs? Is it a trip to the museum, the monument, time in the library or…Is the question what we teach or how?
What do we teach when we close neighborhood schools in Black and Brown neighborhoods or how do we teach those who live in underserved communities? Why do we insist that some students must travel for miles just to receive an adequate education and others, those in affluent neighborhoods need only walk out the front door to find a superior school? Is a persons living room the source of a leaned life?
Does a zip code come with privileges or is it the dollar that decides who will learn and how?
How do children learn? Does memorization for the test teach or might an empathetic Teacher further learning more? What of cyber classrooms or schools? Can a child relate to a lesson when it is delivered by way of a computer-assisted program or might she better relate to a highly qualified Teacher who asks and answers questions immediately, well, and inspires inquiry?
We may never know what works well for those who are locked out of selected enrollment schools, or why? As long as education is separate and unequal parents will question their beliefs as will their children. We will encourage and feel discouraged. Each of us will ask, who are we? What are we doing when we say we educate?
What have we done to this generation and the next and will we ever learn?