The more I learn about the American education system, the more I worry about the future. The system is riddled with inequity and a solution is virtually unimaginable. The disparities we see across ethnic and social group’s rates of application and enrollment in college and subsequent graduation originate before children EVEN start school. Basically, students who start in the lowest performing quartile in kindergarten are likely to stay in the same quartile upon graduation from high school (Stulberg & Weinberg, 2011). We even have research that shows the impact of a good preschool experience but choose not to provide it in our country. Then, the students who do make it to college are less likely to persist to graduation. If you’re in education, you know the story. It is all so very disappointing.
Occasionally, though, something comes my way that sends a glimmer of hope. Last night was one of those nights. I feel hopeful for our educational system because of the individuals who are the educators of tomorrow (my students). I have the privilege of teaching passionate, articulate, and intelligent individuals who are going to lead with critical cultural consciousness. During week one of my classes, my students wrote a conceptual framework describing how they got to where they are today and how themselves as a student affairs professional. This week, they presented a video that represents or describes a creative portrayal of their frameworks.
I am in awe of their creativity and passion. I feel optimistic about the future of education.
I’m sure you will agree as you review just a few samples of the creative pieces that I have posted below (a written guide explaining their creative piece is included).
Stulberg, L. M., & Weinberg, S. L. (2011). Diversity in American higher education: Toward a more comprehensive approach. New York: Routledge.