Problems with Literacy in America
I though that the two readings, â€śWhat is literacyâ€? and â€śThe Banking Concept of Educationâ€?, were very insightful. I think that the first reading can be easier related to the situation of the American literacy problem today, while the second one was more an interpretation of a global literacy problem that I canâ€™t personally relate to as much.
The first reading brought up some good points. The fact that literacy is not a cut and dry definable thing is true. It is very hard to distinguish who is literate and how or why they came to be that way. It reminded me of when the AVID speaker came to present to our class and said that 70% of the St. Paul Schools are minority and 80% have free & reduced lunch. These are the schools where there is no money for an improved program and therefore the gap of poverty, literacy, and the quality of education grows. Subsequently, the majority of people in the St. Paul area who have money and are mostly white send their kids to private schools while the people who cannot afford it are forced to send their children to a public school with a lower chance of success. This is not to say that all public schools are bad or that kids do not succeed in them, but if you look at the facts Iâ€™m sure there is a higher drop out rate and lower test score average at these public schools than the private ones. This exemplifies what the article states that the opportunity to become literate and consequently successful is not always presented to many American citizens.
One quote I found interesting was after stating that a literate community was a privileged one, "With privilege should come an obligation to ask questions: Is our community a closed or an open one?" This to me this presents a demand to the people who can read and write, that are considered "literate", to open this privilege and try to extend it to everyone that they can.
As far as the second reading goes, I just would like to touch on a few points. At first when I read it, "The Banking Concept" seemed almost outrageous. If it actually is in true practice, it is a ridiculous form of educating. But as the article continues the suggestions of the "problem-posing" education made much more sense. One quote I thought was good was the following, "... men know themselves to be unfinished; they are aware of their incompletion. In this incompletion and this awareness lie the very roots of education as an exclusively human manifestation." I think this quote symbolizes a state of mind that all humans know they can further themselves. And it is my opinion that a "problem-posing" education is the way to do that.