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snatarajan's blog

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Leveling the playing field or perpetuating stereotypes and limiting access to education?

I think education, as it is right now, does not level the playing field. In my latest paper, I talked about how access to education is distinctly different because of the stereotypes that are perpetuated by society about various people from different backgrounds. At the same time, I argued that education may be the very tool that can change this issue of stereotypes in society. However, when talking about education as the tool to do such a thing, I feel that I was referring to a more dynamic type of learning, based on Freirian's theory of problem-posing education. The back and forth relationship between teacher and student that Freire suggests, brings the possibility of an always changing education, with many perspectives being included. The fact that many students and even many teachers bring different perspectives into their daily dialogue and interaction allows for so much growth in the education system, also proposing a way in which the stereotypes and assumptions made of people from different backgrounds can be changed and actually allow for the barrier of access to education to be broken.

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Snapshots Through my Education

Honk. Honk. 

Eyes open just as the sun comes up. The big sunshine yellow bus sits, waiting for me as I pull the velcro on my shoes snugly across the tops of my little feet, pink Barbie backpack hung neatly over my shoulders. 

I blink and I am in the middle of Ms. Thomas' classroom, showing off my latest story to the class. This time its about the dinosaurs that tried eating my dog for breakfast.

I blink and I am walking down the corner, to all the third classrooms. As a measly second grader my knees start to shake, but then I remember my duty as the official mailwoman of Dutch Neck School, and I march on fearlessly.

I blink and I am finally in third grade, waiting to move onto bigger and better things. It is the last time I shake hands with Mr. Grabell on my way out to catch the bus...

I blink... and my two years in upper elementary blur together, not quite making sense, but only evoking the excitement of finally becoming a middle schooler.

I blink and I am in a sea of braces and glasses. While the pigtails have started to go away, I see Ugg boots and mini skirts take its place. But I was too busy with my math book under my nose to really pay attention to that.

I blink and my years as a middle schooler come to a close and I walk down the aisle of teachers, reaching their hands out to congratulate me and the 364 other students in my class.

Just as I blink, I am walking down the halls of High School North, so used to being at the top, that this idea of listening to the seniors makes no sense.

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