Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Access to Education – My Reflection

Hummingbird's picture

Until my conference, I had a lot of ideas about access to education, but not really one clear topic to focus on. It wasn't until I told Professor Cohen of an experience one of my friends had in relation to her access to education that I realized it was very relatable to the discussion we had in class on Thursday and the article we read by Earl Shorris. 

In class, Professor Cohen asked us to agree or disagree – in movement – with the statement "The poor must be taught the humanities." (hope that's accurate, there are definitely nuances depending on wording, but I can't remember what the exact words were). I stood in the middle of the classroom but closer to the disagreement side because I decided that though it was certainly important for everyone to learn the humanities, if the poor weren't given the tools to continue that education or make use of it in a life they found fulfilling, there would be no point enforcing such teaching. In my essay I wrote about how one can have access to an academic education, but without practical knowledge or help with the logistics of the college application process (for example) one cannot continue his or her study. This isn't to say that the poor shouldn't have access to the humanities if they cannot afford to go further. I simply believe that in addition to access to the humanities, there should also be access to navigational tools of the sort that help you navigate College Board, write a resume, or even know how to confront someone if you feel a mistake has been made or you've been wronged.