So this may be the last GEDI blog post for the semester, but our work is far from done. I can see the parallels between 21st century education and the newest wave of (our namesake) Star Wars films. It has been nearly 40 years since the original Star Wars movie, and even though it is still an amazing story, it has been time for an update. In watching Episode VII, the recent edition to the epic saga, one can see how similar the story is to the original 1977 plot. But the newest edition to this saga allows for much more inclusion and diversity. I’ve heard people say that movies with minority and women as the main characters don’t tend to be as popular. Well, Episode VII was the highest grossing film of all time!
Just as movies can be updated to the times, the same must happen for education. The ways that teachers worked in the past do set a good a framework for what we do in education now, but we have a much more diverse population and meeting their individualized learning needs can be done. The former “one size fits all” form of education has now become outdated. We also have a whole new set of technological facilitators to learning that didn’t exist in prior teaching.
One quote that really stood out to me from Parker Palmer’s article A New Professional: The Aims of Education Revisited was this:
“Education in mathematics is a prime example. It was long assumed that females failed at math because their brains were structured differently than men’s. Then came a generation of pedagogues who saw the secret hidden in plain sight: Women are told early on that “girls can’t do math,” so they come to class with minds paralyzed by fear. Today, as many math educators pay attention to emotions as well as to the intellect, women succeed in math at rates similar to those of men” (p. 10).
This shows that it is time for us to update the way we see education. I’m in Counselor Education, so focus on feelings is at the essence of what we do as educators. Granted this is more specific to this field, but the whole point of being a GEDI is to learn from how other disciplines emphasize education. I am excited to see that we have a female lead in the most recent couple of Star Wars movies that have come out. The time has come for more inclusion and diversity in our culture, film, and especially education. This may be “The Last GEDI” post for this semester, but the legacy of it will continue for years to come in all that we have taken away from this class. We are the next generation of educators and therefore we have the force to make education all that it can be. Let’s continue to improve education for the 21st century and more!