Someone’s Educational Experience

Gloria always wanted to be a writer, but in the Apartheid South black girls only had three choices to either get married, become a maid or a teacher. She went to a segregated school called Booker T. Washington. Many black students were considered gifted and were given special treatment. Teachers were on a mission. They wanted every child to get the best education needed to make something of themselves so that they could be proud of their accomplishments. Most of the teachers had taught their parents and siblings since they all went to the same school. Everyone knew each other. Going to school there was a pleasure. Gloria loved to learn and express her feelings in class. It was a joy to attend.

After a while, racial integration occurred. Everything changed. Black students felt they weren’t as capable as white peers. “For black children, education was no longer about the practice of freedom.” (3) Gloria lost her love of school.

Education as the practice of freedom is having a teacher in a classroom that allows each individual to learn equally as much. The sense of equality allows people viewed as minorities or subordinate. To be viewed in a higher light. It should be a place for promise and possibility. A classroom should not feel like a prison or a place of punishment.

In our classrooms today we usually have wonderful open minded teachers. They support us in every way possible by having us speak as a group and having a conversation debate that establishes a sense of community and understanding.We have come a long way since the time of segregation.

I definitely agree with Hook’s vision of education mainly because she uses the term to include “critical and / or feminist perspectives that through the years included recognition of differences-those determined by class, race, sexual practice, nationality, and so on.”(9) Teaching students is a privilege and honor. As teachers, we should teach to the “Whole Child”an educator’s biggest goal is to get the children from where they are, to where they need to be. Students should not only learn the content of a lesson, but should be able to relate to those lessons within everyday life.In order for students to draw conclusions, it is crucial for them to be able to relate to the educational content.

How does a sense of community contribute to someone’s educational experience? How does being included in class discussions, for instance, help someone learn about a topic?

Besides classroom discussions, what are other methods that teachers could use to make the learning environment comfortable enough so that people feel they can speak their minds freely without judgements?

Works Cited

Bell Hooks. Teaching to Transgress. New York: Routledge, 1994



9 thoughts on “Someone’s Educational Experience”

  1. Hi Fina you wrote a great blog post. To answer your first question it is is really shocking how education systems have changed. From teachers who would know the background of students to teachers just “depositing” information in us now. Teachers should keep in mind that they are teaching to a new generation not younger version of themselves. The students they teach today are the world’s future. We are a generation of learning new things physically not by non action. Non action meaning sitting in a chair for one hour or more trying to retain what the teacher is saying. You said in your blog said that,”The sense of equality allows people viewed as minorities or subordinate. To be viewed in a higher light. It should be a place for promise and possibility. A classroom should not feel like a prison or a place of punishment”. A classroom should definitely be a place where everyone should be taught equally. It is really terrible if someone is not given proper education just because of their skin color.

  2. Very good analysis. One thing that also really stood out to me was this idea of community of learning. That the goal of the classroom should be something way more than merely remembering information and retaining that information until a test date. The effects that learning and discussion and challenging can have on a person and on a group of people is freeing. At the beginning she describes school as a prison because it constricts the mind. The way I understood it, she sees the standard classroom as your put in a cage that is half your height. You want to stretch your limbs but you cannot. The classroom stops what is natural and what is necessary.

  3. Nice job on the blog! A sense of community in a class is very important for a student. “A classroom should not feel like a prison or a place of punishment”. If a classroom feels like a prison no student would want to come. If the class is welcoming and supporting a student will feel more comfortable and express their thoughts without hesitation. It also allows students to accept each others differences. It enhances their social skills and allows them to be more concerned about their classmates. They will look forward to coming to class.

  4. Hello Fina, great blog! I really enjoyed reading your analysis of the reading. To answer your first question, a sense of community in a classroom allows students to feel comfortable and feel like it is okay for them to open themselves up to the class. They can let their personality shine and the teacher can nourish their minds with what they personally need in order to for them to learn the information they are given and use it in their future for their betterment. It also allows the teachers to connect to their students on a more personal level and understand their students. Someone being included in a class discussion, even if they are not verbally participating, just listening and observing, allows them to hear a variety of perspectives and thoughts which stimulates the mind, causes them to wonder. It is an overall mentally stimulating exercise that gets students more connected and involved with the topic they are learning as well as allowing them to retain the information better.

  5. In your Blog, you stated that ‘Students should not only learn the content of a lesson, but should be able to relate to those lessons within everyday life.’ I really like that statement and I think that this is the way that teachers should practice education. In relation to the second part of your first question; as a student, I think that being included in class discussions is the best way to learn new things. Class discussions help us to open our mind and to understand things better. The practice of sitting on a chair and listen to a lecture besides being boring, tends to distract the student and in most of the cases the student mind goes away of the lecture and this is due to the student not being engaged on the topic that is being explained. If the student is included in discussions; teachers will be able to measure better if the student understands the topic, and students will clarify doubts and catch better what is being explained.

  6. Well done, Fina! I definitely agree with your point of view regarding what the classroom should be about: “It should be a place for promise and possibility. A classroom should not feel like a prison or a place of punishment.” In order for students to succeed in an educational environment, they must feel comfortable enough to learn. The classroom itself sets the standards for students. To answer your first question, being included in class discussions furthers a students knowledge. Not only are they learning about the particular topic, but they are given the opportunity to learn about the perspectives of others. Seeing both sides of things is key in the learning process.

  7. Your questions at the end of your blog do not have any clear answers. There are many circumstances that need to be considered. It’s a good idea to have a plan to create a open door environment where everyone can feel welcome. However, that cannot happen without a lot of bending and risking taking; which is something that most people do not want to do. Another thing is to consider is that everyone learn differently. Not every student suffer from not participating in class discussion.

  8. Excellent post and great analysis. To answer your first question, a sense of community is absolutely critical to one’s experience in school. Community often comes with a casual atmosphere as one is not intimidated by their peers. This casual nature allows students to freely discuss, share their opinions, and ultimately discover themselves in an environment where they would otherwise feel too intimidated to do so. For me, throughout school the environment and mood of a classroom always defined my attitude, performance, and enthusiasm in and towards that class. A class with a dull and monotonous teacher would lead me to dread attending it, feeling too uncomfortable to socialize or speak on discussion of the material because everyone around me was probably also feeling the same way and not speaking either. In classes where I had a friendlier and more casual teacher that had at least some sense of personality, I would thrive, participating very often and ultimately getting way more out of the experience as compared to the previous class style.

  9. Hi Fina, you have crafted a great blog post where you gave the backstory of the reading to act as a reminder of important information that was from the reading. To delve into your first question I think that the idea of a community of learning is fantastic because it allows students to express their ideas and emotions in a safe learning area where they are comfortable. When a student is participating in a class discussion or activity I think it allows them to have a greater understanding of the topic, because they have to actively think about how they can contribute in the activity to help others. The way that they help others is that the more participation in the discussion the more ideas are thrown around and it allows people to get their creative juices flowing.

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