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Education As A Freedom: Talking About Gender And Race Inequality

804 words - 4 pages

The present day educational system has perpetuated the banking concept, a concept coined by Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, and allowed schools to become an authoritarian entity rather than one that exhibits a foundation for critical learning. Teachers are perceived as dictators and “sole creators of knowledge” and students are expected to be receptives bodies that memorize information and then regurgitate it. Students progress, in sum, has become a gain to produce high test scores instead of the exploration of intellectual freedom. In writer and feminists, bell hooks, book “Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom”, she states,
To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn. That learning process comes easiest to those of us who teach who also believe that there is an aspect of our vocation that is scared; who believe that our work is not merely to share information but to share in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately begin. (13)
To start this revolution of freedom, teachers must use the resource of literature to begin critical discussions about significant matters such as race, gender, and how they fundamentally intersect. By engaging in this idea, teachers are then also engaging the idea that the classroom is essentially a learning community and the contributions from student discussions are inherently resources within that dynamic. Discussions become essential into the exploration of literature, experiences, and the dynamics of the culture that oppress and inhibit marginalized groups while also exposing truths needed to transgress against race and gender inequalities that are embedded in the system by dominant white culture. For teachers to become committed to this radical idea of becoming a part education becoming a freedom, they must allow themselves to become critical of their educational system as well as their own workings within the classroom. To ignore that education has been dominated by dominant white culture to ignores the systematic oppression that hinders marginalized students. For example, when teachers choose reading material, who is the material written by? Why are they choosing that particular material? Has the literature that teachers have chosen contained an author who is of color? When teachers, once again, choose for students to read another author who is white and male, there is...

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