As I read this week I was struck by some of the reflections on what education means. I had honestly never thought of why I am educated. I didn’t really think about what point of view I was getting in school as I was growing up. Now, reflecting I see that I never honestly learned about any female scientists and, growing up in the southeast, I’m fairly sure my teachings of major historical events was dramatically tinted by the environment I was being taught.
I can pretty easily see that engineering and in fact almost all of my education thus far has been in the banking model Friere describes. The idea that “the interests of oppression lie in “changing the consciousness of the oppressed, not the situation which presses them”” resonates with me and the idea that “that’s just the way it is” is really the idea that someone else is driving your life. I found myself throughly engaging with the ideals Friere and Hooks propose. The idea of creating a learning community in a class that is truly engaging is an ideal I can only hope to aspire to and would be very far from the norm in my field. I honestly don’t think I ever learned everyone’s name in my small 30 person class major in my undergrad major and honestly that is pretty sad.
The ideals that hook and Friere propose don’t seem that radical, but as a teacher they do seem difficult to implement. My whole educational career has been data dump driven and I feel like in grad school I am finally reaching the point of knowing enough to have more wholistic conversations. But grad school is too late for most people. Learning to engage with and challenge your reality must be ignited at a much younger age than grad school.
I hope that I can at least approach teaching my classroom as a learning community. Trying to engage students on the topics of water quality and resources shouldn’t be that hard to motivate but I do feel that at some point, there does need to be some mechanistic understanding of the chemistry and processes out there.
This week leaves me with a lot to ponder and I am excited to see the blog post the class comes up with.