In order to compensate for the deficiencies in the education system pointed to by the authors, a lot of hard work from earnest educators is necessary. It is perhaps a reflection of my deep compassion for children that I have chosen to be an educator. Moreover, I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching young kids, especially of elementary school level. With modern education technology much advanced than what it was a few decades ago, it would be an exciting time to be a teacher. For example, today there are overhead projectors, personal computer terminals, on-line library databases with extensive catalogs, sophisticated research methodologies, etc that are available to the instructor. Using all these, I intend to create for my students a wonderful learning experience in the classroom and beyond. More importantly, though, I would try to incorporate some of the changes recommended by the three authors in discussion. An open approach to education, where the emphasis is on critical and original thinking as opposed to grades, is a worthy objective. I would also try to keep in mind Kliewer’s suggestions for an inclusive classroom environment, where special needs children could cohabit in harmony with others.
Based on what I learnt from the three authors, I would also like to contribute toward positive changes to our education system. At present, as research conducted on SAT score data reveal, there is a definite race-bias in many of these standardized tests. There is also the problem faced by Hispanic-American kids, whose mother tongue is Spanish. The way in which some schools get funded easily while others struggle to garner government support is also problematic. This is illustrated by the obvious failure areas of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in the last few years. Despite so much social progress over the centuries, socio-economic background and race/ethnicity are significant determinants of academic success. And I am interested in working on viable solutions for these problems.
And finally, to bring my personal perspectives to my role as an inclusive educator, I would also promote John Dewey’s philosophy of education. As per this school of thought, education is best acquired when creativity is given a free reign and constructive co-operation is encouraged among students. In the current education system, co-operation is replaced by competition for high-grades, which goes against the spirit of social cohesion and unity and turns children upon each other. Implementing Dewey-ite system of education would be my cherished goal, and I would put in all efforts necessary toward achieving it.
Freire, P. (1955). Chapter 2. IN Pedagogy of the oppressed. (pp.52-67). (M. Ramos, Trans.). New York: Continuum. (Original work published 1970)
Greene, M. (1988). Introduction: Teaching for social justice. In W.Ayers, J. A.Hunt & T
Kliewer, C. (1988). Schooling children with Down Syndrome: Toward an understanding of possibility. New York: Teachers College Press.