It took me a long time to realize that my parents were taking a stance against what they perceived as management (Cook, 1978). Both were laborers and they viewed my teachers as peers, but everyone else was management. I was in high school before I figured out why my parents were so supportive of the education system on the one hand, and so against it on the other.This was the beginning of my own conflicted feelings about schooling and education. By high school, I could see that my parents wanted me to get a college education so that I would be a part of a class of people that they mistrusted. I know that this sounds conflicted, but that’s my parents. They wanted me to be more secure than they were themselves, but their view was that the only way this could happen was to be something other than I was.Not quite fitting into a defined social position is not something new for me. From elementary, through middle and high school, I always felt that all of the students were strongly encouraged to fill a slot in a specified, existing group. Some students are academically inclined, others are athletes. Some students are compliant while others are rowdy troublemakers. There seemed to be a lot of either/or decisions that were expected of me in school that caused me to question what I was and what I really wanted out of life.Two of these incidences that were very powerful occurred when I was in elementary and high school. They both involved a conflict in scheduling that could have been resolved had the school not been trying to force me into a specified social construct.In elementary school, there were many activities that were commonly called pullouts by the teachers. Looking back, I realize that some of these pullouts were for students that struggled to learn, but others were and effort to differentiate instruction for small groups of students (Tomlinson, 2005). I was identified as Gifted students, so one of my pullouts was a required class called Reach. I met with other Gifted students at this time. At the beginning of the year, I had expressed interest in something called Construction pullout. This was a special class where students made toys and everyday items like pencil holders out of wood and metal. I loved this sort of thing, but was told that I could not go to this pullout because it conflicted with my Gifted schedule. My parents agreed because my teacher informed
Cook, Frederick P. The American Struggle: The Story of the Continuing Conflict between Labor and Management. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1974. Print.
Friedkin, Noah E. A Structural Theory of Social Influence. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. Print.
Tomlinson, Carol A. Differentiated Instruction. Mahwah. N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005. Print.
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