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Getting an Education and Really Getting an Education

Persistence's picture

I went to my Praxis placement on Wednesday and learned quite a lot about identity and access. I visited an independent middle school and adult education center in North Philadelphia. The school believes that education can break the cycle of poverty. This can be accomplished through the maximization of one's academic, physical, social and spiritual potential in the classroom. I agree with the school's motto and its emphasis on how important education is when it comes to financial success. Education is more or less a bridge to success, but access to this bridge comes with a cost.

Money Bridge

Persistence's picture

I feel as if wealth widens yet connects the gap between education and access. High-income families can afford to spend a lot on their children’s education, so money plays an important role in education. Private tutoring, SAT prep courses, after school programs, etc. all cost money. The advantages that money can buy on tests, college applications, and high achieving grades are what is changing the definition of education as the bridge of success through hard work regardless of one’s income. It is often hard for disadvantaged students to believe that they can get out of poverty and go to school. Low income students are less likely to apply to private colleges and universities compare to their high-income peers.

How Two Little Girls Taught Me About Their Identities and Access

bicostudent2016's picture

“Jessica is here!”

Anna* comes running down the stairs. She was wearing a pink shirt, green skirt, and purple leggings.

“Hi Jessica!” she greets me.

Her older sister, Elsa, sits on the kitchen counter reading a book while eating breakfast. She was wearing a blue shirt, her horseback riding pants and a cap she crocheted herself.

Anna once told me, “My sister doesn’t like skirts. She’s not that kind of girl.”

After they both finished breakfast, Anna pulls me upstairs to the room she shared with sister. “Will you read with me?”

“Sure!” I exclaimed looking a bookshelf that was filled from floor to ceiling with books of all sorts.

Education Identity

access20's picture

In 1967, I entered the Colonial School District, a public education system in Montgomery County Pennsylvania.  I lived in Conshohocken, which at the time was the low-income region of the district.  In my elementary school, I knew I had less than most of my classmates; yet overall, it really didn’t matter.  The possession of material items was the exception and not the rule.  In fact, the few girls who always wore a new and pretty dress where the minority (in my school district, girls had to wear dresses every day as a part of the school dress code).  Overall, as a white girl who lived in the suburbs, my access to education was unimpeded and my understanding of my poverty level obscure. 

How Two Parts of My Identity Gives Me Education Access

bicostudent2016's picture

The two identities I shared in my previous post were my race and my class. My Asian characteristics are what others immediately see when they first meet me and my class is what I think about the most. As a result of those two identities working separately, I gain access to education.  

Asians are smart. Of course she belongs in here.

Asians are innocent. It must be his fault instead.

These were some of the supposed maxims my teachers either said outright or implied.