Thirty-two urban education students from Swarthmore College recently watched the introductory First Person DVD on their first day of class. Over the next several weeks, excerpts from their responses will be posted as part of this blog.
The portraits presented in the First Person documentary…challenged the distinction that it is made between urban education and other types of education. These portraits reminded me that, though we can call these students â€œurbanâ€?, they are nevertheless, still high school students, experiencing many similar events to any public high school across the country.
This film will impact how I view urban education simply because it focuses on real individuals instead of statistics or generalizations. I believe that the film will broaden my concept of urban education and the students that attend urban schools. Having heard many statistics about students in urban schools concerning pregnancy, drop-out rates, or gangs, I often have a singular picture of who an urban student is. This film will change my perspective by reminding me that thinking about a â€œtypicalâ€? urban student is not significant since these real schools are made up of real, unique students. Even if some of these students are connected by similar statistics, such as socioeconomic class or school drop-out rate, these students think, feel, and learn very differently from each other. Keeping these unique portraits in mind, along with the idea that there are millions of other unique students in what we lump together as â€œurbanâ€? schools, will change the way I think about urban education as a whole. In presenting issues that both challenged and affirmed my previous thoughts, the film will hopefully broaden my understanding of the reality and complexity of urban education, instead of limiting it to what can be implied by the term.