Placing Fundamental Before Right
The Atlas of Illiteracy And The Disorder It Represents
“Education should train the child to use his brains, to make for himself a place in the world and maintain his rights even when it seems that society would shove him into the scrap-heap.” — Helen Keller, “Going Back to School,” The Home Magazine, September 1934
This article is the continuation of a mini-series focused on innovative solutions to create an educated and a more humane world. If you have not read my introduction titled “The Unifinished Classroom”, read it here. This article will introduce readers to the present state of education worldwide and the diversity of challenges that the developed and developing world faces.
Many Stars Need to Align
It is October and winter has arrived in the city of St. Louis like clockwork. The cold reminds me that it takes the love of my family to keep me warm. On a Friday evening in October, I could not help but brood as the sky turned dark and the day turned into night. But, I was excited as well. I was on my way to a TEDx talk organized by a not for profit TEDx-Gateway Arch. For those not familiar with the term TED, it stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It is a series of talks delivered by experts in their respective fields to spread ideas and spark growth.
As I listened to Marcus Adrian, an architect in the firm of Mackey Mitchell Architects in downtown St Louis, I realized the complexity of designing living and learning spaces for children i.e. schools. It takes more than four walls to make a home and a school needs great design to foster collaboration and to allow children to blossom.
Even before that, the conditions to enable a willing mind and an environment supportive of education need to be created. It all begins by never forgetting that the word ‘fundamental’ precedes the word ‘right’ when it comes to education.Think about it: nearly 130 million girls across the world have no access to education. Worse yet, the conditions that enable access to education have to be created and then brought on par with…