“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.”
When I read this quote I thought about my family and our surviving generations. My mother, born in the 1940’s, experienced segegration first hand. Her generation was introduced to black and white television that you had to get up to turn on and off. Higher education was not an option for many so blue-collar jobs provided financial means for their families. Most were the first to graduate from high school in their families. I am a product of the 1960’s. Segegration was ending, opportunities for higher education became available. Laws to allow access to ivy league schools and measures to prevent discrimination in the workplace were introduced to aid us in obtaining a good education and white-collar jobs. There was color tv. You still had to turn it on and off. My son was born in 2003. Racism still exists though is not tolerated. Opportunities for higher education is still plentiful yet ignored or financially out of reach. The laws to aid minorities obtain a higher education and good paying laws are being overturned. This is the age of digital technology and social media. Instead of walking and driving to meet friends, we now Skype and text message. Visits to libraries to research information and rent media materials can be obtainable online. Many school programs such as art, music and athletics are being downsized in the public school system. Where the ratio of students to teachers was manageable in the 1940’s and 1960’s, today our classrooms are overcrowded and the necessary tools teachers need to teach are often unavailble.
Some basic fundamentals of education have also drastically changed. Where cursive writing and government were schoool requirements, they are barely taught and the materials are being re-written to remove important decades and events in our nation’s history. As educators today we must go beyond the financial and political boundaries and constraints in order to provide the next generation with the idea of possibilities, visions, hopes and dreams. As educators, we must teach the history to show where we started, how far we’ve come and incorportate the new technology to show how to make things better and how far we can fly.