Education is defined that encompasses many differentmeanings. It can be defined as the educational system, schooling, studies, learning, and the list of education continues. As I read the articleson education I was able to find twoauthors that shared my views about education in today’s society: Adrienne Richin “Claiming an Education” and Jon Spayde in “Learning in the Key of Life”. Adrienne Cecile Rich was an American poet, essayist, and radicalfeminist.
She was called one of the most widely read and influential poets ofthe second half of the 20th century and was credited with bringing theoppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse. On theother hand, Jon Spayde is a solo performer, writer, editor and he has been onstage since he was 3 months old playing a baby to race reviews, 35 years injournalism and a love for spirituality, literature, art, culture and history. Bothof the authors, Rich and Spayde, believe that education should be acknowledged and taken to a farther extent than just what we learn in school. Education is power,which one must gain without oppressing anyone in society, and it is learned throughout a lifetime and not just throughformal schooling.
Nevertheless, both essays encourage an active education, nota passive one. Firstly, power is said to be the ability andcapacity of an act to perform effectively, however; it proves thatknowledge is very much necessary in order to gain power. Education is must that everyone should acknowledge because it showshow responsible humans are for themselves. In the article “Claiming an Education” by Adrienne Rich, Rich specifically addresses a group of female students in demanding tone and enforces her requests for equality in higher education and adds on by saying “…you cannot afford to think of being hereto receive an education; you will do much better to think of yourselves asbeing here to claim one”(Rich 1). She genuinely emphasizes on femalestudents that to receive an education is to come in possessionbut to claim an education is to be the rightful owner.
—- Likewise, JonSpayde in the article “Learning in the Key of Life,” also discuss about the importance of claiming an education using conversationalist tone throughouthis article and stated “education is power that has everything to do with attitudeand access: an attitude of empowerment, even entitlement, and access to tools, people and ideas that make living- at any income level – easier, and its crises easier to bear” (Spayde 1). Having said, education truly is a power,therefore; considered a large part of our lives that eventually comes fromexperiencing the happiness, horrors, tragedies, and other lessons that life will bring us upon. Nowadays, life is so competitive that one needs to do almostanything to obtain higher education than another person.
As a matter of fact, let’s discuss the case about”Knowledge is Power”, and we it hear every day, which summarizesthat a person must be resourceful enough inorder to obtain and criticizeuseful and informative information to become well-informedcitizens who can make intelligent decisions based on their understanding andawareness of everyday situations. Besides, everyone must have theprivilege of education whether it’s someone off the ground or coming from arich home, regardless; of skin color or sexually. Secondly, race and gender aresignificant factors in education.
The most devastating weakness in education is the exclusion of women in the academic community. Although we see an increasingnumber of women in universities, yet there are still very few of thoseinstitutions that women take part of as faculty.Gender inequality, even though some may not want to believe it, still play a big role in students’ education, both in the UnitedStates and throughout the world. Therefore, Rich and Spayde want society to acknowledgethis fact and change it because everyone must have the privilege of education. In spite, women are still oppressed insociety in some way or another.
Both authors describe the importance of education whether it’s learned through a lifetime or in formal schooling. To both, this means that we cannot allow others to label us asmale or female. As Rich takes pride and speaks out for women, she commendsto female students that, “Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, adnaming for you; it means learning to respect and use your brains and instincts; hence,grappling with hard work…It means insistingthat those to whom you give your friendship andlove are able to respect your mind” (Rich 3). Genuinely speaking, instead of “demanding women for their intellectual abilities, they are beingtreated as sexual objects” (Rich 5). Spayde also mentioned whilehe spoke about Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense ofReform in Liberal Education, “Nussbaum arguescompellingly that study of the non-Western world,of women’s issues, of alternative sexuality, and of minority cultures iscompletely in line with classical principles, in particular the Stoic ideal of the “world citizen” with a cultivatedability to put her- or himself into the minds and lives of themembers of divergent groups and cultures” (Spayde 5).
Spayde discuses that women tend complete her degree while working and raising her family at the same time. Female gender isconverted into multiple faces throughout her life yet still does not get thesame values as male gender. Equality in educational settings is something thatwe, human being, need to work toward because education is essential ineveryone’s life, no matter of the gender. Good opportunities should be evenlydistributed among everyone, no matter someone’s race, gender, religion, oranything else. We must continue to advocate for the right of the female genderto go to school because when girls are educated, they are less likely to livein poverty. In result, it can affect their future and the future of our world.
Schools are exploiting students, and theyhave to be liberated, so theinequality in schools can subsize. Having said that,Spayde and Rich also stressed hard throughout their journals about the schooleducation which alone does not prepare the students to face the real world. If studentsare just get educated through college, they are not prepared for problems that the real worldconfronts them until they learn from their own experiences. Lastly, achieving an education at a school inside a classroom is just the beginning part of life, there is muchmore to learn other than what is inside of a textbook.
A college education is not sufficient to survive in life. There many people around uswho did not have a college education but they are well-rounded individuals whoare more knowledgeable than those who had opportunityto obtain college education. Subsequently, both Rich and Spayde feel that an education must evolve from both a balance of school and life experiences.
People need to find a balance between anacademic education as well as a self-education. A school education does not prepare us for the real world, but self-education does. Although, John Spayde feels that “an academic education has some value, he also feels that education and class are about power”.
Spayde discusses that a truly good education “carpenteredout of the best combination we can make of school, salon, reading, onlineexploration, walking the streets, hiking in the woods, museums, poetry classesat the Y, and friendship, maybe the best education of all—not a makeshiftsubstitute that must apologize for itself in the shadow of academe” (Spayde 3).And, it is through these resourcesthat we tend to learn more about ourselves as individuals. While Rich also said, “I wantto suggest that there is an essential experience that you oweyourselves, one which courses in women’s studies can greatly enrich, but which finally depends on you in all your interactions with yourselfand your world” (Rich 3). We all learn by living.
It is our choicewhether we want to take advantage of the learning experience or let it go andchoose not to learn from it. In order to have a well-balanced education, it is necessary to gain knowledgenot just from formal schooling but aswell as self-education. However, people choose to become educated from school andthey forget that life will always bring us learning experiences ifwe choose to open ourselves up to them. “The whole world is a classroom, and to really make it one, the first thing is to believe it is” (Spayde 3)It is extremely important for people to open themselves to learningfrom life experiences and becoming self-educated, as well as acquiring anacademic education. We need an education that will bring balance to our lives.
“School helps, but it isjust the beginning” (Spayde 2). I agree with Adrienne Rich and Jon Spayde about their views on education because I have learned more about lifethrough my own experiences, and not through my college education. My educationstarted from home as my parents taught me about morals, religion, love, and respect. Both my parents taught me right from wrong, they taught me about discipline and made sure I always showed them respect. It is through myparents that I have learned important and valuable lessons to help me survivein the real world. Imagine if we could not learn through living, just what kindof meaning our lives would have. To conclude, both Adrienne Rich and Jon Spaydeemphasize the students to realize the value of becoming independent and learning for themselves.
They both give accounts of what they have experienced inside the educational arena. I haverealized how much I have learned on my own and I am thankful for the resourcesand the people around me that have helped me become a self-defining human being. My own experiences have taught me tosurvive in the real world more than my college education. If we are just educated through college, we will not be prepared for problems that the real world confronts us with until we learn from our own experiences.Although, education is the key tosuccess is one of the sayings that one hears throughout their college life. It is invariably true that every person who is knowledgeable leads a successful life.
Knowledge is something one gains throughout life. From the time of birth, knowledge begins.