Memorable Monday is where I dig through my books (including ones I’m currently reading) and find a quote that really stood out to me and still sticks with me. Some of these quotes you might recognize from reviews, but this time I get to go into more detail.
I’ve just finished reading I Am Malala and the review is going up on Thursday. I don’t really think it needs to be said, seeing that I’m picking a quote from it, but I loved it. There was a lot about this book that stood out to me, but the quote I chose was the hands down choice.
Well…dang. That’s one way to change how I view things!
Let me back up here. My mother is in education and has been for 15 years. One of my aunts used to be in education and another still is. I volunteer frequently at the elementary school my mother works at and have done so for the past 9 years. Eventually I would love to work in an elementary or middle school library. I know a lot about the American education system and I know how deeply and tragically flawed it is. Ultimately education is something that’s close to my heart.
Yet my view of education was very skewed and American focused. I had heard and seen things about education in other countries but it was very much in a “which is better” context instead of a “oh, hey, this might work for us, let’s learn from this.” And honestly, as embarrassing as it is to say, I used to think that what I knew about education was all I needed to know unless I wound up in teaching in a school library myself. And even then, I thought I’d only need to focus on Western education.
When I read those words I had to stop and then read them again. It completely changed my view on education and I realized how right it was.
There really isn’t Eastern or Western when it comes to education. Education is done for the same purposes world wide: to build up those learning and to give them opportunities in the future.
Education is different around the world because of different cultures and lifestyles. But the education fits the lifestyle of the people. Or it should. And when it doesn’t, when education isn’t accessible, then that’s a problem. It’s not a problem confined to third world or developing countries, it’s a problem in the U.S. as well. Yet the problem isn’t going to be fixed if we’re caught in a mindset of “my way is better than yours,” it will only continue to hurt us.
Malala’s words are so simple, yet incredibly eye opening. I realize now that the less we see education as “Eastern vs. Western” and see it as a universal journey, the more we can learn from each other and improve our education systems. And through that we’re encouraging the upcoming generations and improving our world.