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Challenging the System: Emily Chang

This summer, seven of our undergraduate teacher education students and one intrepid faculty member are spending a month in Peru studying the educational system and discussing their own philosophies of education. They are writing and reflecting on their journey, and we are following along! Read on for excerpts and blurbs from Dr. Gibson and the students’ blogs. You can read more on Marquette Meets Peru and check back for updates here.  

Emily Chang

In general, I noticed that students in all the classes were very respectful towards their teachers, were engaged with the material they were working with, and seemed to prefer collaborative learning. They were all about learning together and interdependence where the mentality seemed to be that they understand or fail together.

As we our week at La Inmaculada comes to an end, I have had the opportunity to experience a variety of teaching styles for various subjects, and from teachers with different backgrounds. It has been interesting to see the diversity and I have learned more about the students’ roles in the classrooms as well. My days in the English classrooms have been engaging as I could be the most helpful in this area and had the chance to observe 3 types of teachers: one from America, one from New Zealand, and one who was not a native English speaker. They all had similar goals in what they wanted their students to achieve, but the delivery of their content was different.

The American teacher, Matthew, had a collaborative approach to teaching with groups reading an article about economics together in English then working together to summarize using specific forms of the past and future tense. He had a friendly relationship with his students and they were not afraid to ask him questions or for revisions. Johanna, the teacher from New Zealand actually mentioned to me that she did not have a teaching license but just a TOEFL certification instead. She structured her lessons as more towards a lecture in the beginning focusing on the writing process, and then had students create a guided outline before starting an essay. The class also went to an English language lab which was super interesting to be a part of since students had headsets and practiced their speaking and conversational skills with other students in the class over a certain theme/topic. This is something that I had wished was incorporated into my Spanish classes when I was in high school as our practice with speaking abilities was very structured/limited and less like in a natural or normal environment with other students. Maia, the other teacher was not a native English speaker and was Japanese. She was pretty strict in the way she taught and focused a lot of their learning through the use of their laptops and less emphasis on interaction. I personally was not a huge fan of her teaching style since students didn’t seem to be engaged with one another, but they were still eager to learn and frequently asked questions for clarifications.

In general, I noticed that students in all the classes were very respectful towards their teachers, were engaged with the material they were working with, and seemed to prefer collaborative learning. They were all about learning together and interdependence where the mentality seemed to be that they understand or fail together. In my math class, one boy was confused with something in the problem and I noticed that another boy came over and began to help him while the lesson was still going on; and the teacher didn’t seem to mind at all! What was unique about this placement vs. my placement in the U.S. were that students were very friendly and not afraid to go out of their way to ask me questions if they needed help. A lot of times in the schools I’m at in the U.S., the students don’t reach out as often or try to get to know me too well since I am not the main teacher. It is a lot more effort on my part to get students to talk with me. But here, students in my English classes reached out to me even during their breaks to ask me questions for their homework or schoolwork. It was also appreciating to see when they tried to practice their English or spoke in Spanish with me as well to get to know me.

Being at a school like La Inmaculada has brought me to ponder our discussion question which is what is or should be the role of privileged school communities in an unequal society. It also focused on what it would take to educate the global elite. Looking at our meeting with the Jesuit director of the school, he mentioned starting with instilling important and humanizing values and creating an atmosphere of inclusivity. This is definitely important to think about and referring back to our readings, I think about the importance on being open to revision and reconstruction as well to respond to the constant changes and inequality that exist in the contemporary world. By confronting inequality along with educating and valuing diversity, those who are privileged could increase their ways of looking at the world from different points of view (Greene). Changing from a stage of denial to the goal of integration where people begin to include diversity as a definition of their own identity may give awareness and a more active role in how they can change such a rigid system. There is also the importance of educating the privileged and elite about not just knowledge from their books, but also knowledge of the world around them, the community that they live in, and the process of self-actualization (Hooks). By addressing these factors, teachers can hopefully inspire and educate students on the inequality that exists within society to encourage them to make changes and challenge reinforced systems of superiority and divide.

Justice for All: Grace Chambers

This summer, seven of our undergraduate teacher education students and one intrepid faculty member are spending a month in Peru studying the educational system and discussing their own philosophies of education. They are writing and reflecting on their journey, and we are following along! Read on for excerpts and blurbs from Dr. Gibson and the students’ blogs. You can read more on Marquette Meets Peru and check back for updates here.  

Grace Chambers

Nearly every student stands up and repeats the words “justice for all” morning after morning. But what are our schools doing to make it true?

“I pledge allegiance, to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic, for which it stands. One nation, under God. Indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” I was able to type this from memory because every morning before school starts, I stood with my class and repeated these words with my right hand over my heart, facing the American flag. Nearly every student across the United States does the same every morning. Nearly every student stands up and repeats the words “justice for all” morning after morning. But what are our schools doing to make it true? So often in conversations about educational injustice, we focus on areas where resources are not, and fail to consider where the resources are. Much like a large majority of Peru’s elite class has money pouring into Colegio Roosevelt, there is a tremendous amount of income tax going into public schools in wealthy areas, and private money going into private schools. One of the age-old questions of education is how to distribute resources among schools in a way that is just.

The simple solution to educational injustice would be to divide up all of the nation’s educational wealth and resources and split it all up between public schools. Then everybody would be equal, right? This one step solution -in addition to receiving backlash from parents who pay more money so their children can have the best education- embraces the idea of equality and ignores the concept of equity. Different schools have different needs based on the community income level, student’s race/ethnicity, varying ability levels, class size, etc. So now we gather up all the resources again, look at schools’ geographic location, socioeconomic status, student demographics, and dozens of other statistics to determine how the resources should be split up. Once each and every school is given an equitable amount, we’re done right? Problem solved? Not quite. Because this equitable utopia doesn’t address how such great disparities in the world of education occurred in the first place. As a student studying education at the university level, I know how so much of this unequal practice began, however, when I was in my suburb of Chicago, mostly white, middle to upper-middle class public school, I had no idea. I just knew that some schools had more money than others. So, it seems that the answer does not lie in taking resources from wealthy students at all. But as a school in a privileged community, it should be the job of the teachers to educate students to use those resources to examine injustice in society. It is those with privilege who have the greatest power, and a just model of education of privileged students should emphasize the importance of using privilege to advocate for just causes.

This model of education closely follows Jesuit practice, however, educating for justice is not something that is or should be unique to Jesuit institutions. Colegio Immaculada, a privileged Jesuit school in Lima, has demonstrated ways in which to enact this practice as school-wide pedagogy. At the school, there is an emphasis on being a man or woman for others, an important pillar in Jesuit practice. There is a sense of equality among students, teachers, and administrators, and other school staff. Is can be seen in the trust teachers have in their students, the kindness students show to frequently forgotten staff members (such as janitors, cafeteria workers, etc.), or the flexibility within administrative staff. Creating an environment of trust and respect allows women and men (and non-binary folks) to work for others. This is an environment that could be reflected in elite and upper-class schools in the United States. It is not uncommon for “the best schools” to pride themselves on strict policies and enforced disciplinary measures, however, creating a community of equality and mutual respect will both reduce negative behavior and provide a space in which students recognize their potential to do good. In order to provide a just education to the global elite, there needs to be a recognition of the importance of the search for justice. The following are some examples of what this would look like in the United States:

In classrooms in Milwaukee -and around the united states- it should not only be schools in low-income areas with many students of color who are receiving increasingly diverse texts. There is a huge (and completely rational) push for teachers to diversify their texts so students are able to recognize people who they can identify with in their academic work. However, it is also important for privileged students to see people academia who do not look like them. Schools in the U.S. who educate primarily white, upper/middle class individuals should also receive texts featuring diverse sets of authors, illustrators, characters, scientists, researchers, activists, etc. Diverse text sets provide a foundation for focus on justice, as students are able to educate themselves on the challenges faced by marginalized groups in the U.S. This foundation needs to be followed up by independent research and exploration. Students should work in primarily inquiry models to learn about the world outside of their own privilege. Students can use this knowledge to create their own ideas for service, as opposed to schools creating and (sometimes) mandating service work. Students who have the opportunity to brainstorm ways to fight injustice will be more passionately engaged in the work, and the passion will carry through to student’s lives post-graduation.

There is no concrete list designing a curriculum to educate privileged students. There has to be an emphasis on a respectful school community, providing context and space for students to learn about injustice, and learning how to use educational resources to search for the root of injustice in the world. Fostering a commitment to equity in students is a step towards educating for justice for all.

How to Educate the Elite: Alli Bernard

This summer, seven of our undergraduate teacher education students and one intrepid faculty member are spending a month in Peru studying the educational system and discussing their own philosophies of education. They are writing and reflecting on their journey, and we are following along! Read on for excerpts and blurbs from Dr. Gibson and the students’ blogs. You can read more on Marquette Meets Peru and check back for updates here.  

Alli Bernard

After educating, it is important for students to act upon what they know. It is not enough to have simply learned about inequality because it does not lead to anything changing. Simply having the knowledge and not acting or trying harms both sides.

Tuesday night we watched the Peru versus Scotland soccer game, which was exciting. Peru won 2–0, and every time they scored a goal our host moms brought us food!

Wednesday was our first full day at La Inmaculada, with no traffic delaying our arrival. I spent the morning in different English classes, which I really enjoyed because I was able to see different grades at work. The first class did the same thing as Monday, but the second class was in the language lab learning about how the world’s economy has changed. The last class was in the middle school, and we worked in small groups on talking about what we did in the past. Groups of six came outside and the teacher and I talked with them using sentence starters. We also had our last language exchange today.

That brings me to Thursday, which was rainy. Today’s class schedule is a little different- I started in an English class (in which they were taking a test), then went to computer sciences (where there was a substitute, and I am still unsure of what students were supposed to be doing), and finally to chemistry. During computer sciences, there was an earthquake drill. An alarm went off and then everyone left their classrooms to congregate in marked circles on the pavement. This is to ensure that if a building falls, it does not fall on someone. Given the frequency of earthquakes in Peru, it makes sense that these drills are a part of their routine, similar to our fire drills.

After our morning at La Inmaculada, we went back to El Agostino for our time at Las Casitas. This time, we were with different groups, and therefore different kids. In my group, we played games and talked about Day of Play, which had been on Saturday. There were two boys and nine girls, most of them between the ages of 5–7. I had a lot of fun, but was reminded that the littler kids can be so exhausting!

Friday was our last day at La Inmaculada, in which I was in English (another grade level so another test), communication (students worked on posters of different countries), and then math. I have really enjoyed my time here and getting to have the first hand experience of education in Peru.

This brings us to the academic part of the blog…

It is difficult to discern what the role of privileged schools should be in unequal society. It is also hard to see these differences and know that something should be done, but not know what. This was my feeling when we visited Roosevelt, which was the elite American school the day after visiting Fé y Alegría. To see a school that has so much space and resources in contrast with a school that does not is hard to see. In my mind, all children should have access to the same resources, and the varying degree of resources offered should depend on the community they are living in. I think this all goes back to the idea of equality versus equity, and what is actually just, instead of fair. I am not a proponent of taking away the resources from a privileged school community by any means, I just think the resources should be shared and distributing in a more just fashion. This proves to be a problem within private and public schools, because I cannot imagine many parents wanting the resources they pay for at their private school to be shared with a school that is publically funded.

I think that much of what a privileged school community in an unequal society stems from education and experience, similar to what we are doing currently. Rubén A. Gaztambine-Fernández and Adam Howard found that when it came to relations between the elite and the oppressed, “individuals with economic privilege have little awareness of economic oppression and sometimes deny that it even exists, instead blaming the poor for their circumstances” (2). This is obviously a problem, especially when there is often a close proximity between these people. In schools such as La Inmaculada, it would be hard to think that these students were unaware of the inequality because they live on the other side of a wall that separates more privileged people from less privileged. In order to get at any root problems, one must start by educating. Inequality such as on the two sides of the Wall of Shame should be taught explicitly in schools and not shied away from. Students deserve to know about the world around them, even if it is different. If we do not allow students to learn about what is happening around them, we deprive them of the ability to learn and grow as people. Since education is often the basis for much of life, it only makes sense that this should be the starting place for this. Much of this work starts with educating students on the fact that it is because of deep rooted, systemic issues that issues such as poverty exist, and not the idea that people are lazy or do not want to work harder. This is an issue that is also prevalent in the United States, where many elite believe that if poor people, particularly people of color, just worked harder and actually wanted to get a job, they could escape poverty. It is does not take in to consideration the barriers working against them, which is something that all students need to be told of.

After educating, it is important for students to act upon what they know. It is not enough to have simply learned about inequality because it does not lead to anything changing. Simply having the knowledge and not acting or trying harms both sides. It is imperative for teachers and schools to help students work at the root problem, instead of simply doing the equivalent of placing a band aid over the problem and hoping for the best. For example, La Inmaculada does an exchange with Fé y Alegría in Pamplona Alta and Roosevelt students spend their weekends working with children of their support staff. Students in more privileged positions should be brought together with students who are not as privileged, because at the core they are all humans and should be aware of this. Despite the fact that some students have more than others, they are all still kids who should be able to have fun and enjoy being a kid.

At the same time, it is also important to remind those students that they should be doing social justice work because they know it is the right thing to do, not just because they think it will make them a good person. Gaztambine-Fernández and Howard also talk about this in relation to an article by Katy Swalwell, in which they say, “implied throughout Swalwell’s article is the assumption that to be justice oriented, whatever it entails, is one way in which individuals demonstrate their “good moral character.” The assumption that to be a “good citizen” is also to be a “good person” is embedded in the framework of civic education through which she examined these students’ conceptions of social justice” (2). They go on to say that the motivation behind a lot of privileged students’ work is the ability to be perceived as caring and generous. We need to move students away from equating good person with their morals, because then they go into social justice work for the wrong reasons. Although it is definitely still good when students engage in the work, if they are in it for the wrong reason then the work is not authentic and raises questions of why it is even being done. If these programs are sponsored by the school or different organizations around the community, it would probably draw more students and increase involvement.

In addition, I think that stating the goals of the school also reinforce to students the work they should be doing and why are they are participating. La Inmaculada’s follows in the Jesuit idea of “men and women for others”, while Roosevelt’s encourages students to “lead lives of integrity and create socially responsible solutions”. Having these explicit messages also reminds students what they are doing and why, because it can reinforce that they are privileged and should use that to help those who are not.

This blog post proved to be quite difficult for me, because I had trouble putting into clear words what schools should be doing. I know that there is work to be done and can articulate it, but when it came time to sit down and write I had trouble putting all my thoughts into a coherent blog. This is a large task that deserves more thought, work, and action. I applaud the school settings we have seen working toward this goal, while also recognizing that more can be (and should be) done.

Dewey and Freire @ Bat: Mary McQuillen

This summer, seven of our undergraduate teacher education students and one intrepid faculty member are spending a month in Peru studying the educational system and discussing their own philosophies of education. They are writing and reflecting on their journey, and we are following along! Read on for excerpts and blurbs from Dr. Gibson and the students’ blogs. You can read more on Marquette Meets Peru and check back for updates here.  

Mary McQuillen

Our purpose is to lead the kids on a journey to help them make sense of the world based on their instincts. Teachers should help the students to achieve moral and intellectual growth by showing them the path and setting them up for their own discovery.

Dewey would have absolutely loved the way that Roosevelt has their curriculum structured. He would applaud them for having such an active role for the students and for allowing them to go in depth in their learning. His whole entire theory is that for the most part, students have four different types of instincts and we should teach to them. He believes that students have a social instinct in which they appreciate the formation of relationships in their lives. Roosevelt has a number of after school organizations that reach a wide variety of students to bring them together with their peers, this ranges from sports to robotics teams. They have a huge emphasis on collaboration and provide many different areas for students to work together. The next instinct is that they have an investigative instinct in which they have a desire to make things. All of this allows opportunities for inquiry learning, a huge goal of Roosevelt. They have a room called the “Idea Room” stacked with 3D printers, tools, and every sort of material that could inspire students. Then there is the Expressive, artistic instinct that is on the constructive side as well. This ties into the idea room, but it goes even further in the arts programs that the school provides. They have a ginormous auditorium for theatre for the students to perform on, they showcase artwork of all the students, even the younger ones, and they have a great music program too. The last instinct is the language and communication instinct, and since Roosevelt is an American school all classes are spoken in English. Since a number of the students are Spanish speaking to begin with, they end up becoming bilingual through this process. This helps them because it widens their range of schools for the future. So in Dewey’s perspective, this school would receive two thumbs up.

Then on the other side of it, Dewey would say that there are a lot of issues with the schools in areas like Augustino and even Fé y Alegría because they don’t allow the student to work in as many inquiry based learning activities. Instead of focusing on the experiences of the students they pay much more attention to the content. I think that this is part of the issue with Dewey’s whole mindset. He praises the schools that have the money to be able to provide every learning opportunity possible, but in doing so he ends up limiting the amount of students that can be reached. He also made a whole big generalization about the instincts because he excludes all of the students to have learning disabilities or don’t fit into the category of what he describes as a capable student. But that’s just me getting off track because I don’t really like his ideas because he’s just full of it…. In his world, and in the schools founded based off of his pedagogy, the most valuable thing for a student is the experience and the teacher’s role should be as a helper or a museum curator. Our purpose is to lead the kids on a journey to help them make sense of the world based on their instincts. Teachers should help the students to achieve moral and intellectual growth by showing them the path and setting them up for their own discovery.

Freire also calls for experience to become a larger part of the learning process, he talks about banking education and how can end up creating an oppressive society. Banking education refers to the storing of information as a sort of deposit system, “in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize and repeat,” (72). In his opinion, the education system has been overrun by the mindset that the students need the teacher to learn instead of having it be a sort of partnership or a connection that the student and teacher can make together. He believes that students should be able to pose the problems in that occur in their lives and that through the problem posing education they will be able to free themselves and better understand the world around them. He would be in awe of all the work that Roosevelt does for its students, the opportunities are endless, the activities are unlimited, and the students have the ability to tackle problems that matter most to them.

I don’t really know how he would respond to the other schools that we have been to, partially because I am working with such young students at De La Inmaculada and Fé y Alegría that I am not even really sure of what the approach is for these students. What I have noticed so far that I really love at DLC is how the students work together so well to uplift the student who has special needs in the class. They encourage her, they play with her, and they make her smile non-stop. I think that this shows that they tackled the problems of inclusivity and tolerance pretty early on and that’s something that Freire would be proud of. When it comes down to it, I can feel a strong sense of community in each of the different schools that we visited except for Roosevelt. I’m not calling them out by any means, but I’m simply passing on what I have observed so far. The people of El Augustino work together so well to create a safe environment for the children through the Socio Deportivo and Casitas, the students at DLC showing love to one another, and the amount of pride Lenny has for Fé y Alegría show me something below the surface. They deal with their problems in a different way, without as fancy of equipment or special rooms dedicated to ideas but through critical thinking and working as a community and I think that Freire would be pretty impressed.

Beliefs About Education: Gabrielle Wroblewski

This summer, seven of our undergraduate teacher education students and one intrepid faculty member are spending a month in Peru studying the educational system and discussing their own philosophies of education. They are writing and reflecting on their journey, and we are following along! Read on for excerpts and blurbs from Dr. Gibson and the students’ blogs. You can read more on Marquette Meets Peru and check back for updates here.  

Gabrielle Wroblewski

The language means that the students should have a voice in the classroom- whether that be asking questions, communicating ideas, collaborating with other classmates, etc.

So far, I have seen a total of 3 schools that each are quite different from each other. Colegio Roosevelt was top-notch, best of the best. What makes this school be this why, is because of the funds that are being given to the school, in order for it to be constantly improving. The resources and variety of resources is abundant, and the basis of learning is something that both Dewey and Freire would approve of. The focus of Roosevelt was to get students to learn skills in the classroom that can help them becomes better people socially, and positive members of society. The structure of the classes was also mostly project and experience- based, so this allowed the students to be more independent and in charge of their learning. This idea directly relates to Dewey and Freire’s philosophy of education. Freire proposed that education needs to step away from the banking concept and make the teacher and students equal. The banking concept is basically the idea that teachers are a higher power and hold all the information who them feed it to their students. The students as a result just absorb the information that teachers give them because they are treated as lesser than. This strategy of how to teach children is ineffective. The students won’t have a complete and deep understanding of something if they are just being spoon-fed information by the teacher, according to Freire. They need to be able to critically think about what they are learning and ask questions. When students are asking questions and seeking out further information about something, is when they are successfully learning. Freire also poses the crucial idea about students learning from and teaching the teacher, and teachers both teaching the students and learning from them. This relationship between the students and teacher is what is crucial in having a positive and effective education. I wasn’t able to see how the students and the teachers interact with each other at Roosevelt, so I cannot determine if they have this relationship, but I was able to see the interaction between teachers and students at the school La Inmaculada. Here the students and teacher do not really have that “equal relationship” between teacher and student that Freire talks about. Instead it is the teacher who has the power and the students are listeners. My teacher in particular, however, has stations in her classroom because she believes in the students having a learning experience that is more engaging, creative, and gives students more freedom. She was talking to me about the problem of having such a focus on standardized testing and how it is not always the best way to educate. The fact that she is having the students do stations instead of her lecturing to the students, is an example of learning that Freire would approve of.

When thinking about Dewey, Roosevelt definitely showcases that concept of experience-based learning, which is the main theory that Dewey poses. In summary, Dewey theory is “experience is valuable when it allows us to grow and develop which makes society grow and develop, and it is valuable if it makes us understand and make sense of our world.” This theory is basically saying that students should be learning through real life experiences, because that is what will allow them to grow and develop into positive members of society. Dewey also emphasizes four instincts of children- language, social, making, and expressive. These four instincts need to be encouraged in the classroom, Dewey believes. The language means that the students should have a voice in the classroom- whether that be asking questions, communicating ideas, collaborating with other classmates, etc. Dewey even goes to say, “the language instinct is the simplest form of the social expression of the child. Hence it is a great perhaps the greatest of all educational resources.” Students should have a say in how what they learn and how they learn it. I believe the students at Roosevelt are encouraged to speak their minds in the classroom. They have a lot of independence in the projects that they do, and there are a lot of opportunities for the students to work with each other and collaborate. There also are a lot of opportunities for experience- learning. The students do a lot of service work, they have resources that allow them to learn through experiences, and even go on trips that relate to what they are learning. The students at La Inmaculada have less of a voice in the classroom because they don’t have as much freedom and independence in the classroom. My teacher in the classroom I am in, just started the station learning. She said that it used to be just lecture based usually, which makes me think that a lot of the other classrooms at the school are used to using the lecture or banking concept as a way of teaching. In fact, the classrooms at La Inmaculada remind me a lot of the classrooms in the United States. Even though there seems to be the problem of banking-learning in Peru, as well as the United States, teachers recognize this problem, and there seems to be a step towards more experience- based learning.

Blog Post #4: Education beliefs and experiences → Perú vs. USA: Aditi Narayan

This summer, seven of our undergraduate teacher education students and one intrepid faculty member are spending a month in Peru studying the educational system and discussing their own philosophies of education. They are writing and reflecting on their journey, and we are following along! Read on for excerpts and blurbs from Dr. Gibson and the students’ blogs. You can read more on Marquette Meets Peru and check back for updates here.  

Aditi Narayan

This project was so much more than creating a video to present to the class. It has become a tool for the students to address the problems in their communities and present their various solutions to the problems they posed.

Hey Interwebbers!
The seven of us, after travelling to Peru, have experienced a series of educational contexts. In La Inmaculada, the logistical aspects of the school differs from other schools that I have volunteered in. The students switch classrooms from the primary grades onwards, whereas students in primary grades only switch classrooms for other, non-core subjects such as music, art, physical education, and other programs that the school may provide. The students are encouraged to learn through the inquiry-based activities the teacher provides for them. I am with the second graders during their English class. Throughout the week so far, I have noticed how the teacher allows the students to work on the activities at their own pace. While she does warn the students to ‘hurry up’ when she feels that some have become distracted by a side conversation, she maintains the idea that, as long as the students are working, they can work at their own speed. Dewey and Freire would both agree with this, since every student learns at their own pace and, therefore, does work at their own pace. Dewey says in his book The School and Society, that “…You want something at which the children may work; these [materials] are all for listening…That tells the story of traditional education” (page 9 of 41). You may take a look at the copy that I have here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4YrkLKx4DUzcUhxcC1LTEF1SjA/view).
The traditional education that I grew up with as a child seemed quite unlike what I have seen here. Of course, the lessons are different since the students are learning English as a second language. Despite going to speech therapy, I had to adjust to the speed of the majority of the class, in terms of the speed at which I should learn and complete the tasks given to me. Learn for the test and then move on. This was school. At home, I was told to learn for the sake of learning new things. This idea would help me understand what I am studying long after the test is over. Of course, that was much easier said than done as I had already acclimated to the system of how “Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor” (Freire, page 7 of 14). You can check out what Freire has to say about education systems here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4YrkLKx4DUzbzNrSUtSaENIdzA/view).
At schools like Colegio Roosevelt, an American-based International school in Lima, the teachers follow the same common core and next generation science standards that teachers back home are using for their lessons. I did not get to see a class in action, unfortunately, but I can imagine that the students use their innovation and creativity to produce a completed product worthy of presentation. We were told about how a middle school class were instructed to create a short documentary based on a topic about Lima that they care about. Each student picked a different topic, each of those ranging from the pollution to the separation of status in Lima. The students took a full two months to gain the knowledge that they need, based on their research, to create and perfect their small documentaries. These videos were first presented to the class in a common area. Then the students presented their videos to the heads of various organizations that aim to fix the problems that the students researched. This project was so much more than creating a video to present to the class. It has become a tool for the students to address the problems in their communities and present their various solutions to the problems they posed.
The education beliefs that I have encountered here in Lima very much align with my own: education is one of the most important tools to a happy and successful present and future. Each student is going to grow up to be someone important in their community and society someday. They need the tools in order to grow and thrive in the world that they live in. School is not just a thing that everyone does just to say that they have been educated. While the government here in Lima would be the first to cut public funding for schools, like the US, many of the public schools are privately funded by families of students and alumni of the school. However, I have never heard any one student complain that they did not want to be at school. For many, school is a safe place where the students can be happy, play, and be children. The world outside of the walls of the school campus is a different story altogether.

Until next time,
Aditi Narayan

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