Saturday, April 13, 2013

Designing an Education System

Back in January of this year I read about a challenge of designing a system  of education that babies would grow up with an understanding of their peoples cultural achievement and positively add to them. For many African/Afrikan Americans this can be a challenge. Our children are often brought into a school with Eurocentric education and little if any positive looks at the vast multitudes of minorities that also attend their schools. My question how can you have a positive out look on education if your thoughts, beliefs and history are all but ignored? The education gaps will continue because education in this country, although calling itself diverse, has often continued to ignore and change the wrong things. No this is not a down on teachers as I work with a lot of very dedicated teachers. This is more of a problem of a system that was first created to be separate, but forced in many places some 50 years ago to integrate with little other changes for success for many children. In essence even though I should not say it No Child Left Behind is a joke. If it has created anything it has created a national curriculum that teaches to the test, erased the creativity and energy from the people we have placed to educate our children, and still has no idea how to truly embrace the many different cultures, values and learning styles of the children caught in the system.

Ok back to the question of creating and education system. Seventeen years ago I started to create such a plan that I thought would create strong warriors out of my children. The system was simple it taught cultural and religious values to my children. They were taught to think, learn and discover at a very young age. Their lessons where weaved together through literature often looking at a event or time period from multiple eyes so they could see a realistic prospective not a bias prospective that often plagues history books and language arts books filled to the brim to pass on an Eurocentric ideas. I do not hate this education but I grew up with it and it did not help me have a positive image of myself or my own people. Instead of being able to read a multitude of authors with different cultural identities and thoughts I was stuck reading a extremely limited selection of African American authors and an abundance of Caucasian ones. This in itself may not seem wrong but we begin to create or identify not only by the values of our parents but those as well of our peers, communities, and media influences.  Sorry off on a side trail back to my children's education journey. About 8 yrs ago life events prevented me from homeschooling. February of this year I brought home one of my four children after many problems in the public school, at home, community and with health. Figured it was time once again to recreate a system of education the ignites learning, imagination and is culturally relevant.

The question now in my mind is what is a culturally relevant education? How do you bring courage, faith and determination into your child's heart and soul? Again looking at present and past books on ourstory, African American history, classics, literature and poems. A few new books found their way to the sinking book shelves, bin of school work and piles of currently reading. Two of the best books I have bought to date are African American History: A Journey of Liberation and

Education for Liberation: The Top 20 Questions and Answers for Black Homeschoolers.

My plan is to create a education plan that fits my current child and can be slightly altered to fit the rest of my kids. 

I hope to share some of my Saturday school lessons with you. What is Saturday school it is the term I am using to address my need to make sure my homeschool has a Afrocentric out look to build positive happy adults. 

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