Recently I have started working on a group project for my MSA. We were given the opportunity to choose the topic, and I convinced my group to tackle what I feel is one of education’s most serious challenges, social inequity.
While I am still working out research and would be grateful for suggestions, I recently started thinking about solutions from a different perspective. One of the greatest issues I hear about with social inequity is how the standardized testing discriminates against those that struggle with poverty.
What is it about the test that these alienates impoverished children? My hope is to research this idea more, but I began to wonder what solutions, realistic solutions we as educators can offer. What do children have that are not impoverished that we can provide for them?
The first answer seemed to be technology. Schools in impoverished areas have been throwing technology at students for years. While there are many things that impoverished kids do not have and we cannot give them, the one thing that technology allows us to share with them is exposure.
With the ability to connect our kids to the outside world through the use of technology, impoverished children can gain exposure to things they would previously have never seen. How often do those in the greatest poverty ever see the world outside their own?
One thing I have learned from working with students in the primary grades, is that the world is closed to those without an education. It is our job to open up their minds to larger world, to give them the ability to dream and aspire for what is beyond. Without creating exposure to a world that was previously unknown, how can we ever expect these children to aspire, to find hope, and step beyond the social inequity that otherwise disables them.