Education 355 – 001
February 22, 2011
Black Teachers on Teaching: A Collection of Oral Histories
By: Michele Foster
After reading Michele Foster’s article all I can say is WOW. This reading has touched me. Through what the different educators mentioned in their excerpts I have witnessed it some form of way. From some teachers not caring about their students and showing favoritism but despite all that negativity I still pushed myself and came out on top. Yes, I did have some teachers that pushed me as well and I thank them because if it was not for some of them I do not believe I will be the person I am today. Ethel Tanner’s philosophy of education was you have to treat the whole child. Which I agree with Ms. Tanner, because your main focus is about the student, showing that you care will push the student to shine and do his/her best. While I was reading Lorraine Lawrence pointed out that students are capable of doing many things, and many actually do quite a few things in the community and in church. I feel having the right people in your corner can definitely push a child his highest potential. For me growing up in a black community you did and still do not see a lot of African American pushing themselves, instead their falling into what society has in store for the, becoming another statistic. Being a teacher you have to know you student inside and outside the school community, being a part of the child’s life play a crucial part in them succeeding. Agreeing with Lawrence’s statement too often teachers do not know anything about black kids’ lives outside school, they concluded that these kids do not have anything going for themselves. They do not know who is coming from a single home, a domestic violence home or a motel as a home.
“Getting an education has always been hard for black people. Now that schools are integrated, getting an education is supposed to be easier, but it is still hard for Black children to get a decent education” (Forsythe 2). I believe as a child of color or also known as a “minority” we have to work double to make ourselves known and for us NOT to be classified as a “minority”. Obtaining a decent education today is a hard task but once we get it no one can deny us of being knowledgeable
Education 355 – 001
February 22, 2011
The Miseducation of the Negro
By: Carter G. Woodson
Reading Carter G. Woodson’s story pointed out to me that being black was a bad thing during the time he focused his writing on. The whites did not think highly of colored folks. “THE "educated Negroes" have the attitude of contempt toward their own people because in their own as well as in their mixed schools Negroes are taught to admire the Hebrew, the Greek, the Latin and the Teuton and to despise the African” (Woodson 1). I did not know that during that time they were to despise the African. Were they taking stripping us away from our culture? Were we not allowed to learn more about where we came from, was being African American a bad thing, what was they so inferior to. It just makes me upset to learn how my fellow ancestors were treated in the early to mid-1900’s. Throughout my reading I felt that the way they wanted blacks to learn during that time was to forget their heritage and adapt a new one, which is to be white. The text goes in discussion saying “when a negro had finished his education in our schools, then, he has been equipped to begin the life of an Americanized or Europeanized white man, but before he steps from the threshold of his alma mater he is told by his teachers that he must go back to his own people from whom he has been estranged by a vision of ideals which in his disillusionment he will realize that he cannot attain” (Woodson 2). I personally do not believe this statement, I feel this is an understatement, you should never forget where you came from despite where you are in life or going. Having a formal education just makes me for profitable for corporate America it should not and will not change who I am. I have worked too hard in life to change because I have obtained a degree. I cannot say I will not change how I present myself, but as far as me forgetting about my culture or having it as a disillusionment will not be me.
“The degradation of the doctorate especially dawned upon the author the other day more clearly than ever when a friend of his rushed into his office saying, "I have been trying to see you for several days. I have just failed to get a job for which I had been working, and I am told that I cannot expect a promotion until I get my 'darkter's 'gree.'" That is what he called it. He could not even pronounce the words, but he is determined to have his "darkter's 'gree" to get the job in sight” (Woodson 4). Just like today, most jobs require you to obtain a master degree or higher to keep the job or get a promotion. So although that has been almost 80 years the requirements6 have not changed just the level of education have.