My Quality Education

For years I\'ve heard that in order to succeed one has to receive a
quality education. It\'s kind of funny though, with all the talk about the need
for this great quality education nobody ever says exactly what it is. While
examining this strange phenomenon I\'ve discovered the basic universal elements
of a "quality education". I\'ve also learned that everyone has different
standards by which they judge what is and what isn\'t a quality education,
different groups are treated differently, the importance of home education and
the effects that my own pursuits of education have had on me.
Depending upon who you ask you will almost always receive a different
response as to what the qualities of a good education are. However, most will
agree that there are four basic elements to a quality education. The first and
most important to our survival is the ability to compete in the job market.
Without this many, if not all of us would find it impossible to play a
significant role in society. Also included, but often ignored element of
education is our ability to interact with others. Every day of our lives we
will be required to interact with another person or many people. School
provides us with the perfect opportunity to learn how to get along with others
with minimal conflict. This could perhaps be the single most element of
education. Education also provides us with an education of our own culture. In
a school setting the extent of the information often varies depending on which
culture is being studied. Much of the time, if not all, the primary focus is on
European and Western civilization. Asian, African, Indian, and South American
civilization ten to be ignored in comparison to European cultures which we are
required to learn from the time we enter school and many times beyond the time
we leave school. Since these cultures are often ignored much of the cultural
knowledge for "minorities" is provided by family and passed on from generation
to generation through oral stories like "corn mother" and through artifacts.
The standards of a quality education are defined by many different
institutions, each of them having their own definition of what an education
should be. Take the employer for example. The employer sees a good education
as having the proper training to perform the job correctly in the workplace, we
place a significant amount of importance in the knowledge of ourselves. This is
valued so much that often one who is ignorant of their history can be labeled a "
sell-out" or something similar. People from other culture have their own
standards of education. For instance, if one were to meet a person from culture
and were insensitive to their customs, disrespectful, and showed no appreciation
whatsoever for their culture, they could very easily be viewed as ignorant. In
essence everyone makes the rules of what a good education is. Many of these
rules differ which is why it is so vital that everyone of us receives the best
education possible. No matter where we turn our education is constantly being
scrutinized and tested.
Many groups are treated differently under the different standards of
education. Women often have to acquire an education that is twice as good as
their male counterparts in order to accomplish the same goals. The same also
goes for minorities which are many times provided with sub-standard learning
facilities. One group that I personally am guilty of treating differently are
those who speak languages other than English. Often I encounter people who
speak little or no English and many times I have to remind myself that they are
not stupid, instead they just don\'t speak my language just as I don\'t speak
theirs. The elderly and youth are also very often treated differently. Both
are many times viewed as being ignorant to the world around them and not in
touch with the current state of the world.
I personally find home education to one of the most important elements
of education. As a black male, most of my life was spent in predominately white
school systems. If it weren\'t for the education I received at home I would most
likely have very little sense of self. I\'ve grown to deeply appreciate the
accomplishments of my ancestors, many of whom were never mentioned in school.
The basic principles of language were also learned at home. By listening to the
conversations of others and trying to speak myself, I became fluent in English
before I attended school. Home education is also important in the teaching of
customs. Many schools