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What Is Your Educational Value


Have you ever considered what your educational value is? What you bring to the classroom when you enter? What you bring to corporate America when you are working hard on the job?

Educational value consists of so much, but yet is rarely considered. Education is not only the knowledge, book smarts that is brought away from an institution of learning… it is also the cultural, social, and political capital that every person brings with them every day. We wake up with this value and it influences everything about us, particularly how we interact with OUR education.

Often researchers have noted the lack of CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHERS in the classroom. How teachers do not consider the value which their students present…. their experiences outside of the classroom, at home, in the real-world.

Have you ever thought about your value? What you experiences, cultural, social, and political you brought to the classroom? What you bring with you to your job every day? Are these values accounted for? Do you recognize them? Do you try to suppress them?

These values are to be appreciated… our cultural backgrounds, political stances, social circles/skills bring each of us a critical viewpoint and mindset different from others. I often wonder how many times I’ve set through a class, undergrad and grad, and felt I was undervalued or my value was put on display to make a point in some educational way. I have brought my culture, my understanding of other cultures, my biases, political views, and the social circles into every class, discussion, paper, etc. All of these have influences on how we answer a question on a test, whether in 3rd grade or 12th. WE bring our understandings and our value to the realm of education which is not written in a textbook.

Many teachers, professors included, do not take the time to get to know their students in order to understand and appreciate the value which they bring to the classroom. Positive views of students’ backgrounds and understanding the diverse constructions of knowledge, varying from person to person, both take into account the educational value. The recognition of these and so much more make the learning experience for any student, at any age… any employee, at any age completely different than without.

*For more thorough and detailed information on culturally responsive teaching see the following articles: Preparing Culturally Responsive Teachers: Rethinking the Curriculum by Ana Maria Villegas and Tamara Lucas and Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice by Geneva Gay.

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