social foundations of ed- final draft

social foundations of ed- final draft - Susan Martinez...

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Susan Martinez November 14, 2011 Social Foundations of Education Final Draft History, Identity, Action & the Individual What does it mean to be well-educated? The answer to this question is quite arbitrary; it strays from anything that can be culturally, socially, or politically defined. It is as personal as one’s identity and as blurry as the socially and culturally constructed boundaries that separate us. To answer this multifaceted question, do we define education or do we define ourselves? Are we measuring our content knowledge and skillset or the success of our school system? “Does the phrase well-educated refer to a quality of the schooling you received, or to something about you? Does it denote what you were taught, or what you learned [and remember]?” (Kohn 2). To be well-educated is to be as multifarious as the question itself. It is to be able to answer a question or discuss a topic from many different perspectives. It is a knowledge base that interacts and reflects one’s history, shapes one’s identity, and impacts one’s future. To start one’s journey on becoming well-educated, it must start with the past. One’s history has a huge influence on the present and the future, and especially in shaping one’s identity. Education in this sense becomes a form of inheritance through history. In order to understand present-day, one must look back to what made it come to be. “Education is thus conceived as the process of aiding the soul in its process of remembering and recognizing knowledge. …collective memories; Today the dominant conception of remembrance in education is not about immutable truths but about history as both product and object of interpretation” (Ruitenberg 296). Furthermore, in order to receive this inheritance, one must
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commit “an ethical act based on a recognition of indebtedness to whom and what came before, and responsibility for whom and what will come after” (Ruitenberg 296). Hence, in order to be knowledgeable of one’s present, one must be knowledgeable of one’s past and by doing so one can control, influence, and impact one’s future. For example, growing up within the Latin American culture, I had a strong sense of identity dealing with values and traditions, but my school curriculum throughout the years never reflected my sense of self-being, heritage, or lineage. It wasn’t until college that I explored the realms of the Spanish conquest in Latin America and the Caribbean, why traditions were what they were, and why my physical appearance of tan skin and curly hair was what it was. My identity did not fully come until I
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