Category Archives: Education

The link between poverty and (mis)education

When it comes to economic inequality, and the cycle of poverty, I have been researching at my internship (New HaveScreen Shot 2018-01-30 at 2.32.06 PM.pngn Reads) how the lack of proper education contributes to the cycle of poverty.

Specifically, the lack of suitable education, or education at all, provided for women creates a cycle of illiteracy, which results in the inability to gain tools necessary to make an income.

Nearly two-thirds of illiterate adults worldwide are women, it is estimated that 496 million women 15 years of age and older are illiterate. The cycle of Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 2.31.29 PM.pngpoverty is parallel to illiteracy rates. While efforts have been put in globally and nationally to improve the quality of education among women, those who missed out on the proper education early on in their formative years still feel the effects today. It is estimated that if a student is not reading proficiently by the 4th grade, that student has a 78 percebt chance of never catching up.

This is a factor to the wealth inequality and income inequality rampant in our country. While the statistics provide information globally, improper education among America’s youth definitely serve as a catalyst to perpetuate the income gap the nation faces.

By Sarah DeMatteis


And so it begins…

matthew_gamber_blank_chalkboards_06_905By the time you read this, I will be standing in front of my JRNL 3367 (Interpretive and Editorial Writing) class, my start to the Spring 2017 semester at University of New Haven.

This is my fourth semester teaching there, and I have to say, the contrast between this semester and the first, say, two, is stunning. I slept last night. I got to my office early, I prepped a little bit (mostly looked over some notes) and I was only a little nervous. Maybe Real Teachers don’t get nervous, but I am not a Real Teacher, I think, because I am at least a little bit nervous every single time I walk into a classroom. Will this resonate with the students? Am I leading them in the right direction? Will this one catch fire? That one? What? It’s like alchemy, only scarier. Students pay a lot of money to attend my school, and I feel honor-bound to make their time with me worth it.

So wish me luck. Wish my students luck. Better: Wish for us a fruitful and challenging year that will end with that chalkboard above absolutely covered with great ideas. That would be awesome, thanks.

When an indifferent student becomes a serious teacher:

ht_professor_baby2_cf_160324_12x5_1600I know you.

I see you from where I’m standing, at the front of the classroom. You think I don’t know when you’re checking your phone, or you’re zoning out into space, but I do. I didn’t have a phone to check during college (back in the dark ages, when mastodons walked the earth), but I zoned out with the best of them. Oh, I got a college degree, and somehow ended up with a decent transcript, but I wasn’t there for the classes. I was there to Learn Journalism, and then get the hell outta Dodge and be a Journalist, capital J. The rest was just a waste of my time — or so I thought.

That list of things-that-wasted-my-time grew with my indifference to classwork. Communication law? Waste. Why memorize case law when there’s just another lawsuit coming down the pike to change what I just memorized? Photography? Waste. I’m a writer, not a photographer. Unless I stayed too long the night before at the campus newspaper office, I warmed the benches of those and other classes, learned just enough to be dangerous on the tests, and left secure in the knowledge that none of this mattered.

I was an idiot, maybe the Prime Idiot, so I see what you’re doing there, and if  you remember nothing else from this semester, remember this: It matters. All of it. Those cases I refused to memorize? If they’ve been overturned, they still form the foundation of communication law, even 100 years later. Photography? Many’s the night I’ve kicked myself for not paying attention, because writing journalists became photographers/videographers/all of it. Who knew that would happen? Well, one of my professors at j-school, but I ignored him, too. “One day, class, the world will read its news off a television screen.” He said that in class one day and I believe (arrogance of youth) I snorted out loud. Why would any one read a television when they have their newspapers right outside, in the bushes or on the porch roof?

He was talking about the internet. He told us there’d be no newspapers in 30 years (right about 2011) and I remember telling him that I was a newspaperwoman, and I would ride that pterodactyl into the ground — which I mostly did.

So go ahead and keep your head down, and ignore my hectoring. And 30 years from now, when I’m long gone, remember what Prof. Campbell said: You’re going to need this, and not just for the final. I promise.

Twelve things to know about segregation

rubybridgessegregation_0This is kind of interesting. It’s certainly a resource I’ll use in class next semester.

As you read this, I’m in class.

unnamedSo if things go as planned, right about now I’ll have my PowerPoint loaded up, and I’ll walk around my desk, ask after everyone’s health, and launch into my last-lecture-of-the-semester in COMM3399, Media Campaigns. (At least, I think that’s the name of the class. I hit the midterms last semester before I realized I’d be calling a class I was teaching by the wrong name.)

But whatevs. I showed, every time, on time, prepared to teach. And if I can’t for the life of me remember the class name, or when is scheduled the final, that’s all on the syllabus, Sparky, and you can look it up yourself.

This 8 a.m. class was not my idea. 8 a.m. is never my idea. I am almost always up before 8 — sometimes long before 8 — but I am rarely both dressed and ready to speak coherently. At semester’s start, I counted the days I’d have to be up at 5:30 to make this damn class, and then teared up a bit because it seemed insurmountable.

Who knew that it would turn out to be one of my favorite classes? Who knew that the election (which we followed closer than most) would go so much off the rails and give us so many hours of discussion pleasure?

Who knew? I didn’t. The same goes for my JRNL3352, Journalistic Research, which may actually be called Journalistic Performance. We started the class with “What is the truth, and where can I find it?” We were so young back in August. This was before we talked about “fake news” and “post-truth.”

So today is the last day of the campaign class. I don’t have much planned, mostly a quick run-through of what we discussed, and what might show up on the final (to be held at 8 a.m. on an upcoming Saturday, if you can imagine that). I will be done by 9:25, at which point I might do a little jig down the hall. I did it. I showed up, on time. And learned a great deal. That’s one of the secrets of teaching. You learn.

Onward. And I really would like to live the kind of of life where a 5:30 a.m. alarm is followed strictly by climbing onto a plane to go somewhere awesome.

Double onward.

I wish I’d written this, Part CCXX

fundamentalist-bible-david-haywardSally sends this: “The dark rigidity of fundamentalist rural America: a view from the inside.” I think it’s an interesting take on the Elites Don’t Get White Pain,” or some such thing.

Here’s a tough part:

At some point during the discussion, “That’s your education talking,” will be said, derogatorily, as a general dismissal of everything I said. They truly believe this is a legitimate response because to them education is not to be trusted. Education is the enemy of fundamentalism because fundamentalism, by its very nature, is not built on facts. The fundamentalists I grew up around aren’t anti-education. They want their kids to know how to read and write. They are anti-quality, in-depth, broad, specialized education. Learning is only valued up to the certain point.

Phew. That hurts. But how far off is it? My brand of fundamentalism taught me to question everything, and that sometimes meant deep, in-depth questioning. But I get the point.

Brother Ben Carson is an atrocious choice for Sec. of Education

downloadAnd here are five reasons that is the case, from Right Wing Watch.