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Ask Not What Your Teacher Can Do For You...

1581 words - 6 pages

The intricacies of education have been theorized by a vast array of scholars throughout the years – what education means, who should be educated, is education a right or privilege, how students should be educated. Adrienne Rich states that instead of viewing a university education as being “received”, it would be of greater benefit to the student to think of themselves as “claiming” the education (Rich 37). A university education ought to be thought of as a fulfillment of the right to an education that all people have instead a stepping stone to their desired career; the student-teacher contract should have a mutual give-and-take between both participants.
While some may disagree all people have the right to be educated, at any and all levels, because education the key to people not only bettering themselves but their situation in life. If everyone is educated in a similar way, then we are all given more level opportunity making our world a more “democratic” place. It is because of this right to an education children in the United States must remain in school while minors. That compulsory education is a foothold into helping people become productive and successful citizens. When I was young, before school-age, my parents began reading to me, which started my thirst for knowledge. It was not long after I started school that encouragement from my parents was no longer necessary; I wanted to learn for myself. This is where I began claiming my education, something already pushed along with my natural desire to be the best. At elementary level, children are not really allowed to “claim” their education. Teachers walk the students through everything guiding them by the hand like a mother duck and giving them everything they will need when she must push them from the nest they always known into the cold, dark world. Elementary students need this guidance because they are learning the basics and cannot afford any potential missteps that may come along with attempting to learn things such as addition and subtraction on their own.
When children go to junior high and high school, they are gradually given more freedom and with that the ability to claim an education for themselves. The student's ability to claim an education finally blossoms once they venture into the world of higher education, where they are adults and are thus presumably able to make decisions for themselves. Students finally are able to take full responsibility for their education and this is where they can choose to take the “easy and shallow solution” (Rich 38) or enroll for courses/activities/programs that will challenge them. The student can attempt to coast through his/her college experience, taking exactly the courses needed to earn his/her degree and, in those courses, not engaging but becoming those “depositories” (Friere 29) Friere condemned in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The term depositories comes from a model of education Friere refers to as the banking concept of...

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