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Education Against Prejudice

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Education against Prejudice

Categorical labeling is a tool that humans use to understand the complexities of our world. We often generalize groups by making comments like: 'black people are good at sport' or 'women are more romantic than men', or 'Jewish people are good at making money'. Most of the time we are not aware that we are creating stereotypes, and this can lead to prejudice. But, what is the best way to deal with such an important issue that surrounds everyone's life? In the article, "Mother Tongue" written by Amy Tan, she talks about labeling and language prejudice, and Ambrizeth Lima in her article, "Teaching as a spiritual journey" gives us many examples about how good education can help less fortunate people to fight for their rights in order to have a better life.

The United States is a country built by immigrants and, especially in California, it is almost impossible not to be acquainted with someone who had origins from a foreign country. Even though we are exposed to it all the time, there are many people who discriminate against immigrants for their "broken English", as they call it. Amy Tan gives us many examples about how her mother was often not taken seriously or didn't have as much credibility as she did as a result of the fact she did not have perfect English - "I believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say. That is, because she expressed them imperfectly, her thoughts were imperfect". One of the examples given by her is that her mother had gone to a hospital to get the results of a CAT scan of her brain, and when she got there they said they had lost her exam and she had to make another appointment in order to re-take the exam. No one even apologized to her, but when Amy Tan called and talk to them in her "perfect English", the hospital gave much more importance to her case, they apologized, they said that the exam would be found, and that they would hold a conference call in order to fix the problem. It shows us that speaking proper English give us more credibility and makes life easier.

Ambrizeth Lima is a passionate teacher from Cape Verde, and she tells us that one of the reasons she is very happy to be a teacher is that the only hope she has for "her children" is to make sure they are capable of fighting the racism, despair and poverty they have been suffering since very early in their lives, and education is the best way to achieve this. They should be able to have access to higher education despite the obstacles they confront in their lives. Once she was doing a pilot study on a school with Cape Verde students, and she noticed that they didn't interact very much with the rest of the class. When interrogated, the students said that they didn't like to participate because the other students used to laugh at them when



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