Education does not only concern itself with going to school to study, but all the implications it has on an individual, be it positive or negative (Colombo, & Lisle 4). In the American context, students who hail from other backgrounds away from the mainstream American backgrounds must give up their cultural heritage as well as home values in order to go through the American Educational system forcing them to get more exposure to the new cultures as much of their time and effort is geared towards education. After giving up their heritage and values, what do they achieve in the long run; is it worth the sacrifice?
Richard Rodriguez in his effort to pass his gospel across examines what education does to an individual, his major point of concern being the alienation and separation from ones culture that is brought about by the American Education System (Rodriguez 205). He portrays education as the major reason for cultural erosion, which is seen through the longer time an individual is held to schooling and therefore opening a way for the same individual to be detached from this or her culture (Rodriguez). By merely leaving for school and exposure to education, Rodriguez comes to see how different his parents were in terms of their speech (Rodriguez 196), to an extent that he felt embarrassed by their pronunciations of words with their rich Spanish accents “I was not proud of my mother and father (Rodriguez 200)”. I was embarrassed by their lack of education (Rodriguez 200)”.
He further goes ahead to point out that through his parents insisting on him to read, it got him detached from his culture and at the end of the day he gets his academic achievements but looses his cultural touch. He also admits that his separation from his mother was one of the worst experiences that ever occurred to him in the name of schooling but he had no choice so going to school was a must (Rodriguez 199). Michael Moore on the other hand in “Idiot Nation” focuses on criticizing the intelligence of Americans as well as the general American Education system, his major concern is that the general American system takes in very useless information for example sport facts instead of very important matters (Moores 130). Moore, seeks to pass across the message that “education system in a way has failed due to lack of financing which has led to deteriorating of the educational system in the United States of America, and that despite the progression of one in acquiring education, the more disappointing the outcome because the prerequisites for the standards of learning are not met, he says that” (Moores 100). “The halls are packed with burned-out teenagers shuffling from class to class, dazed and confused, wondering what the hell they’re doing there (Moores 99)”.
The education system that is propagated in the students discourages individuals to have an identity for they are often confused as being members of the mafia group in addition to an education system that does not provoke students to think beyond recitation of answers of what they are taught rather than understand the content of what they are taught (Moores 145). Creativity and independence of an individual is not an important stand. It also shows the not so focused nature of the students who may be assumed to be in school not because they wish to be there but because they are forced to be there by circumstances. The American Education system is left wanting because it deprives an individual of personal identity as well as independence. It does not at all meet the intended objectives of learning; on the contrary the people who come out of it are half baked. Multicultural compositions like in the American context should take into consideration all the groups that are in concern, that diversity rules above individuality such that the main aim of education is achieved. That cultural myth is the centre stage upon which learning should be built.
Those cultural myths that pose a challenge should be dealt with adequately in order for them to be addressed appropriately. Cultural myths should be embodied on the general mainstream education because cultural diversity is put to test here. Of course there are differences as far as people’s opinions and perspectives are concerned in regard to culture and education systems, but where does the buck stop? The complexity in society calls for coexistence and balance among all cultures and education so that no culture is seen to out do the other in the name of education, the end product in education therefore in all partakers of education are called upon to look into the areas that contradict in as far as cultural myths and education are concerned and reconcile them with the mainstream education systems and ideologies.
Colombo, Gary & Lisle, Bonnie. Rereading America.”Introduction: Critically, Challenging Cultural Myths” 8th Ed. New York.
John Willy & Sons Publishers. 2006. pp. 1 – 6. Moores, Michael. “Idiot Nation”. Rereading America. Ed.
Colombo, Gary & Lisle, Bonnie. 8th Ed. New York. John Willy & Sons Publishers.
2006. pp. 128 – 145. Rodriguez, Richard. “Achievement of Desire”. Rereading America. Ed. Colombo, Gary & Lisle, Bonnie.
New York. John Willy & Sons Publishers. 2006. pp. 194 – 206.