It helps to see ourselves in our studies

Published 9:07pm Wednesday, November 16, 2011

“My daughter received a photo of a large group.  She placed the photo close to her face, examining it closely.  I soon realized she was looking for herself in the photo.  We see ourselves when we see people who look like us, talk like us, and struggle like us.  Some of us do not get the opportunity to see ourselves in each course. We must see ourselves in what we do to do our best.

Sometimes we see ourselves by seeing others like us from the past.  Sometimes we see ourselves by seeing others like us in the present.  Sometimes we see ourselves by projecting similar images into the future.  Our children must see themselves in what they study if they are to do their best.

Some say it makes no difference what color the persons are in the books that our children study.  This sounds noble.  It sounds ideal.  It sounds good in theory.  But theory is not reality.

Our race is just one element of our identity.  However, too many times it becomes the gatekeeper to the other elements of our identity.  If we are not of the “right race,” we don’t get in the gate so that other elements of our identity can truly matter.

I traveled to Egypt last year.  I visited the pyramids and tombs of Pharaohs constructed thousands of years ago.  I became very interested because I could see myself in the pictures on the wall.  In an effort to get the nearly all white group with us to see themselves in the numerous pictures of brown skinned people, the guide said, “The pictures are dark because the people had been out in the sun.”

He wanted them to see themselves in the pictures.

What does it really mean when children don’t see themselves in their studies?  It too often means low performance.  It too often means high dropout rates.  It too often means failure in school.  It too often means failure in life.

To do anything well requires commitment.  And commitment starts with interest in that which we may become committed to.  Our children must see themselves in their studies.  It is too much to help our children see themselves in what they study?

 

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