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Past and Present of Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass Education

Nov 28, 2012   #1

Education from the Past and Present
Education is the key to success. Many young college students take education for granted and not knowing the true value of higher learning. Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass were self-educated and both faced extreme obstacles in order to achieve their education. While serving time in prison, Malcolm X taught himself to read and write. The first book he read was a dictionary, which he found very amusing, because of the volume of unique words. After learning to write and comprehend, Malcolm X would express his feelings of frustration through letters. "I spent two days just riffling uncertainly through the dictionary's pages. I'd never realized so many words existed"! (X 266) In the early 1800's, Frederick Douglass was a slave and wasn't allowed to learn how to write and read. Master Hugh felt slaves should be uneducated because he feared the sense of disobedience and rebellion against him if they were. "This bread I used to bestow upon the hungry little urchins, who, in would give me that more valuable bread of knowledge" (Douglass 156). Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass wanted freedom. Today, students are dropping out, use of technology; succeed with knowledge, curiosity about learning, and someone who influences us.

Nowadays education is far more different than era when Malcolm X and Frederick Douglass were receiving their education. In the 21st century, students are dropping out of school and college for numerous of reasons such as unexpected pregnancy, poor decision making, or lack of effort. By dropping out of school you are unable to obtain a decent job because most minimum wage jobs in the United States require an individual have at least a high school diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). This is probably one of the reasons why the graduation rates of high school students are dropping.

In the 21st century, education is relied heavily on technology. For example, school systems and colleges have turn to blackboards, smart projectors, ipads, and other smart devices to connect with their students and deliver their lesson plans. Teachers are supposed to use lesson plans everyday supplied by the school district's curriculum so they know what the students are supposed to learn in relation to what they should be teaching within a certain time frame. Teachers now rarely seem to lesson plans they just tell the students open up a book this is what you are going to learn in today's class. The teachings system in which we learn today are more advances and challenging than the teaching systems of the 18th and 19th century.

Is knowledge important? Yes knowledge is an important key factor of life. In other words Knowledge is Power. Knowledge is what we use daily but some don't know or don't care. The survival of learning depends on your determination to succeed in life. It's all progression and the willingness to understand the world and how it works. One day, an individual might want a particular career which requires a typical degree but doesn't have the education or skills set to be successful in that particular career. Several successful careers, such as doctors, lawyers, or teachers/professors, requires a specific degree to obtain this career. Obtaining a degree makes an individual more marketable when it comes to choosing a profession. Using the knowledge and wisdom learned throughout life will help an individual achieve good things in life, instead of opting to not use knowledge and wisdom learned. Some students choose to take education for granted. Parents are the key tool to children gaining knowledge from attending school. Many children/young adults do not realize that education is a valuable resource in life and for success. Education can assists with obtaining a great career and assure an individual with a secure future. Lorri Littlejohn explains, "I believe that every person should further their education, no one can ever take away their knowledge!" Others view knowledge from a different perspective; Frederick Douglas once stated, "I used also to carry bread with me enough of which was always in the house, and to which I was always welcome; for I was much better off in this regard than many of poor white children in our neighborhood" (Douglass 156) in his view of knowledge. Knowledge comes from different angles; everyone just has to pick the path of their journey to knowledge.

Every individual starts out being curious and anxious about learning and what it can hold for their future endeavors. One might ask, "Are teachers motivating students?" Learning you can express new ideas; have a discussion, sense of achievement, empowerment, and different perspectives. I had the pleasure of finding out what encourages several individuals to pursue higher learning. Tori Hollis explains, "she went to college knowing that furthering her education was necessary in order to obtain a career". Lorri Littlejohn explains being able to provide for herself is why she chose to continue higher learning. My option to pursue higher education will provide me with the knowledge and a successful career path to provide for my family due to me unable to join the military. Teachers/Professors are a key tool in the system helping students to obtain knowledge. A teacher's personality is a great influence for motivating students to learn because it persuades the student to learn different things while using an array of teaching techniques. A teacher's desire is to see every student succeed in life. "A student may arrive in class with a certain degree of motivation. But the teacher's behavior and teaching style, the structure of the course, the nature of the assignments and informal interactions with students all have a large effect on student motivation" (Kirk). Students see their teachers as a motivate person because they inspire them as a person in life. Sometimes I wonder if students are motivated about learning and furthering their education beyond high school? "Some students seem naturally enthusiastic about learning, but many need-or expect-their instructors to inspire, challenge, and stimulate them: "Effective learning in the classroom depends on the teacher's ability ... to maintain the interest that brought students to the course in the first place" (Ericksen). Another author suggests that "whatever level of motivation your students bring to the classroom will be transformed, for better or worse, by what happens in that classroom" (Davis). Paula Cannon explains students should be educated and motivated, but not just to go to college, but to also be open-minded to any of the military branches. You can still be somebody even if you don't have a degree. Just because you get the degree doesn't mean there will be a job waiting on you. Tori Hollis continues to explain she feel like children should be motivated to obtain an education. It's very important for everyone to obtain an education (at least high school level), it's a necessity in order to have a successful career and provide for general necessities. Going beyond high school level is an added bonus. She feels that an education not only allows you the opportunity for a great career, but gives you an increased sense of self-worth and empowerment. Every person that I interviewed started their college path within certain degree, but shortly changes after entering school. For example, Lorri Littlejohn, dream of being an accounting one day but she changed her mind after learning about a nine page financial report. She felt being an accounting was a lot of pressure and overload work. Tori Hollis had contemplated on doing a dental hygiene program at a two-year college or pursuing a business degree at a four-year. In the end, Tori decided to pursue a degree in psychology because she loves helping people. Individuals chose or are persuaded to get a higher education for many reasons it just depends on the individual circumstances.

In today's society, every person has someone around them or experienced some type of influence. My father had a huge influence on my choice to join the United States Navy, because he served our country for 20 years as a petty officer in the Navy. I wanted to follow in my father's footsteps to be able to provide for my family and have a stable career. However, I felt like I was forced to follow my father's footstep, instead of my own. I finally made a choice to attend college to better my future. I still am considering joining the Navy within the next two years. Valentino Jacobs explains he was influence by his brother who attended college and decided to become a FBI Agent. To obtain practical grounds for criminal engender and extremity on government officials. He would anticipate counterterriosm, kidnapping, extortion, and interstate criminal activities. Kelson Andrews explains that she knew the medical field was the correct path for her because of her love for people. Andrews decided to become a nurse due to her family's background of wonderful nurses. Some individuals are influenced by the type of career to pursue by the amount of money this career can generate yearly. Evan Grant says he decided to join the Navy as a Machinist to follow in the footsteps of one of his family member and to provide for his family financially. Individuals choose certain career paths to ensure that their family has a secure future.

There are many ways to found motivation in education such as having dropping out, obtaining knowledge, curious about learning, and having someone who influences you. Every student is striving to succeed in their chosen career path to secure a stable and financially sound future. Every student wants to make someone proud of their accomplishments or success. "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will" (Lombardi). The most important aspect of knowledge is its power to help an individual achieve unlimited possibilities.

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