Friday Photo: Knowledge

Posted on March 16, 2012 by

Viewing the United States Capitol Building in Washington D.C. for the first time stopped me dead in my tracks.  I wasn’t expecting such majesty and grandeur to rise out of the trees and look down over the city.  Maybe it’s from growing up in California-we just don’t have history that is so universal.  Everything in D.C. is grounded in our forefathers’ vision for the American Dream.
I also wasn’t expecting the fascinating experience I had in the Visitor’s Center.  Located in the publicly accessible area of the Capitol, the Center offers a comprehensive display of all aspects of United States history.
Looming large on the entrance wall, plaques proclaim key values of our country.  Catching my eye, naturally, the word ‘knowledge’ jumps out at me.  As I took a closer look, the text spoke to me: “Knowing that democracy flourishes best in an open environment with an educated citizenry, Congress has promoted public education…”
Is our forefather’s message still accurate?  Does our democracy still flourish?  Can our children still hope for the American Dream?
Are we advocating for educated citizenry in this time of education cutbacks, pink slips, and layoffs?  Is this really an open environment for our children, when they are told if they work hard, take the right courses and score well on standardized tests they will be rewarded with a college education,  yet that reward will strap them with debt for decades?
Knowledge definitely is power.  The question is, who has control?


Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Comments: 6

  • My Inner Chick

    March 17, 2012

    ~~~Knowledge definitely is power. The question is, who has control?~~~

    We ( The People ) need to take the control back.

    Most of us, including me, allow the control to be regulated by other people.

    Why do we do that?

    Great post, as usual. Xx

    • Jennifer Wolfe

      March 17, 2012

      Yes we do, Kim. We lose control for many reasons, but if we believe that we know what is best for our country and children we can continue to fight against the NCLB mind set and teach our children to be prepared for careers in the global economy, to think critically, to live with social justice for all.

  • glittergirl

    March 16, 2012

    Hi- I work for Global Franchise Group and we manage Marble Slab Creamery, MaggieMoo’s Treatery, Pretzelmaker, & Great American Cookies. I wanted to add you to our internal mail system (so that we can send you coupons for your readers). You won’t receive any spammy emails…just the coupons and special offers. If you are interested, please send your email address to me directly @ Best- Jasmine 🙂

  • Dee

    March 16, 2012

    Dear Jennifer,
    You raise some truly important questions/concerns in this posting. Somehow the idea of public schooling helping to build an egalitarian populous has been lost. Public schooling is the great leveler. It puts everyone on the same playing field. But oh, how different the schools on that field can be. And the cost of higher education is so prohibitive.

    Washington keeps forming committees to study education and yet all we come up with is “No Child Left Behind.” Which, to me, is a travesty of what education is about. We need to help children learn to think critically. Only then will we have an informed electorate that will want more than sound bites and slogans. Well, I’m on a rampage now. Best stop here.


    • Jennifer Wolfe

      March 17, 2012

      Dee, At a teacher meeting I attended on Thursday, NCLB was referred to as ‘scarf and barf’ education. I thought it appropriate. This generation of kids has been taught to intake information and spit it back out, with less emphasis on critical thinking and analysis. It worries me. With the new common core standards I do believe there is change in the air, though!

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