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How Do Different Educational Systems Reflect On Their Respective Cultures Societal Values?

Colegio Los Angeles, Madrid, Spain 

University of Hartford Magnet School, West Hartford, Connecticut 

These series of photos are from two schools, the first one is Colegio Los Angeles, Madrid, Spain. Los Angeles provides a primary and secondary education but are kept separately. The second one is the University of Hartford Magnet School is a public CREC school in West Hartford, Connecticut. Starting with Pre-k and going all the way to fifth grade

 

Starting from a young age it’s important to develop and facilitate cognitive skills and social behavior. This third grade classroom doesn’t have singular desks where students are each sitting individually, instead they have tables where a range of students can sit together. Having four kids sit together at a table for the school year builds the fundamentals for young students to learn how to interact with each other, working together, and how to advocate for themselves and their peers.

 

 

A safe learning environment is one of the most important things especially in elementary school. Many aspects contribute to a safe environment, one of the most notable ones is praising student work. This was shown in and out of the classroom, student artwork and projects are what fill the halls of this school.

Artist Statement:

My final product is a photo essay which includes a wide variety of photographs that I took of different learning environments. What I want people to see through this product is a different learning atmosphere, culture, and “normality”. The photos on the first slideshow are from Colegio Los Angeles, located in a small suburb right outside of Madrid, Spain. The last slideshow has photos from the University of Hartford Magnet School in West Hartford, Connecticut. 

Growing up in an immigrant household I was constantly seeing the differences between the way I was raised and what I was being taught in school—not academically taught but more so morally and socially. My family’s values have always had an impact on me, the way I perceive the world and how I handle social interactions. I never thought in depth on how my two separate worlds collided every day until the differences became more noticeable as I grew older. Alongside that, whenever I visit Peru my cousins have always talked about how intense school is and the vigorous amount of work they do every day; and society/culture is completely different there versus here. My older sister has studied abroad in Amsterdam, Spain, and Sweden; When she talked about how different the education system was in these countries it made me think deeper about the correspondence between cultures and education. These two things are what stemmed my interest in choosing this as my senior seminar topic. 

 

During the beginning of this process I was so sure my final product would be a podcast with multiple people. After my 2 week “internship” and having 6 different interviews with students and teachers I realized that I wanted to do something with more visuals rather than recorded conversations. What I want people to take away from this topic and product is the role that our culture and societal norms play into the fundamentals of our education. My main takeaway was the importance of the type of environment that we all are a part of in our primary education. This is crucial because this is the foundation of everything we learn, academically and socially. For the pictures in my product I decided to focus on classroom environments. What I was able to learn is that classrooms is where it all begins, posters on the walls, highlighting kids' schoolwork, and even the importance of having group tables rather than individual desks. My hope is that people can see these examples through my product.

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