As I mentioned last week, my next few blogs are going to focus on my plans for the future. There are two reasons why my co-blogger and I feel this mini-series is relevant to this blog. First, as a graduate of the Jefferson Parish Public School System, my personal success represents one of many successes for Louisiana public schools. And as I mentioned in a previous post, if we are going to keep making progress, it is important that we discuss both our failures and our successes and learn from both. Second, because I will be attending a Master’s program in education at a prestigious university abroad, I will have the ability to evaluate our state and national education policy from an international perspective. As such, I will be able to approach discussions concerning policy and practice from a whole new angle, which is always beneficial. Hence, for the next few posts, I will be straying away from current events and talking about myself (one of my favorite activities.)
To kick off the series, this post is simply going to provide basic information about my plans for next year. For those of you who have read the blogger bios, you know that I will be going across the pond to England where a will be pursuing a Master’s of Philosophy in Education at a little university called Cambridge. However, I will not be studying education in the traditional sense. I am not preparing to enter a classroom or become a school administrator. My specific course track is entitled “Politics, Development, and Democratic Education,” and it is the key route in the Education, Equality, and Development research group in the Faculty of Education. And you’ll excuse my French for a second, but my program is the shit and I couldn’t be more excited to start.
After four years studying English, political economy, and education, it is without a doubt the program of my dreams. It pretty much combines all of my interests into one year long learning extravaganza (with the added bonus of a Cambridge degree at the end.) The route focuses on major contemporary educational debates faced by policymakers, practitioners, and researchers in the UK and internationally. It takes educational theories in the social sciences (i.e. economics and politics) and the humanities (philosophy and history), and shows how they are relevant to educational policy issues. Using the theories, the route contextualizes and assesses national and local education policies and school practices, particularly as they relate to concepts of equality, democracy, and justice. It also considers a ride range of topics such as gender, class, multiculturalism, citizenship, and social change as they pertain to the contemporary issues of globalization, modernity, and development. Then, to top it all off, it throws in a little research on ameliorative and democratic education reforms, differences between income rich and developing countries, and how models of democratic schooling are impacted by power, participation, and social inequality.
You don’t have to say it. I know you’re jealous. You would even swallow the $40,000 bill to go too. Why? Because if you’re reading this blog and you’re anything like me, you realize that a program like this has the potential to give its participants the skills needed to identify educational problems and needs, and then create effective new policy solutions. And it is people equipped with such skills that communities like New Orleans need if they are going to keep improving and changing well into the future. So on that note, I’m going to end this first installation in my series and return on Thursday with a more extensive post on why this interests me. Stay tuned.