A Vision in Education
by Manuel Hernández
Thanks to the National Democratic and Republic Conventions,
the two major political candidates for the Presidential position
outlined their proposals of a vision in education. The educational
challenges experienced in the United States have usually been
identified with the fluctuating political circumstances of
the government of tenure. Whether it be one or the other the
political party in power, the educational policies and strategies
implemented take a 360 degree u-turn every four or eight years.
These on-going and never ending changes have proven to be
a disservice to our children who are the ones mostly affected
by the everlasting transitional stages of those in power.
That is why a specific, concise and definable vision in education
must be established by the educational community (parents,
students, teachers, counselors and administrators) with the
input, feedback and support of the government but without
the intrusion of sorts.
Research and statistics have supported the fact that a quality
education is much more than a fixed set of norms, rules and
regulations. A vision in education begins in the heart. It
has to be written in the hearts of all those involved in the
process. Once upon a time, there was a teacher who lived,
loved and gave his life for his students. In a far and distant
land, another teacher changed the course of a nation by defying
violence with non-violence and peace. In the United States
of America, a Southern Baptist preacher and teacher revolutionized
the heartbeat of America with his struggle for liberty and
justice for all. It is a profound sense of commitment that
goes beyond petty social, political, cultural and religious
differences and elevates objectives to stimulate critical
and creative thinking. Prior knowledge and past experiences
are stored in the heart. Love is the element that inspires
them to come out. As a consequence, a healing stage flourishes
and enables students to express themselves academically and
become excellent pro-active participants in society.
Authority, grace, character, family, service, creativity
and excellence are seven of the twelve values of the vision.
Many of our students have fallen prey to adversity. The national
high school school dropout rate, low national testing scores
and teenage pregnancy are just three of the dilemmas that
our children face today. A vision teaches them how to react
and respond in times of testing, trials and tribulations.
It is the development of character with identity and dignity.
Finally, a vision recognizes that all students are a valuable
resource, and it is up to educators to develop the potential
that exists in them.
How do we define a vision in education? First, we must restore
faith in ourselves. This is a process in itself. In many aspects,
the American culture promotes negativism. From prime time
gossip, to gibberish talk shows on the radio to the exploitation
of young and beautiful women on television, our children have
been fed with bad news, crime and rumors, but we can overcome
these negatives by overwhelming ourselves with positives.
Second, we must do it ourselves. John F. Kennedy said, Ask
not what the government can do for you but what you can do
for your country. The vision is much more than institutional;
it is individual. Third, we must impart it to others. Share
by grace what by grace you have received. Make time to write,
design, create and share; no strings attached. Last, deeply
believe that you were called to carry out the vision. As you
share it with others, its consequences will generate supernatural
blessings for you and your loved ones.