Mr. Stem is an all-male “beauty pageant” for Downingtown STEM seniors. At its best, it is a critique of society’s perception of beauty and pageant culture in general. At its worst, it is a time for the school to get together and laugh at the dancing, strutting, and “talents” of a group of brave seniors. The event is run by the student council, and each year the seniors vote on a charity to donate the proceeds to. This year, the students chose to donate through LiveYourDream.org. Organizer and teacher, Adam Hosey, reflects on lessons beyond the classroom.
In the 21st century, what is the role of an educator?
As teachers are beginning to understand the development of skills is more important than the memorization of content, I grapple with my own set of problems as a history teacher who believes in the development of the citizen.
My role as an educator is clear, but what does it mean to be a good citizen?
As another group of learners leave high school, I find myself caring more that my students have media literacy about issues in race and gender rather than the historiographical interpretations on the origins of the Cold War.
Education is the ultimate tool for empowerment. Historically, information has been power.
Recently, the ability to think critically and possess knowledge has taken a backseat to hyperbole, vitriol, and fear mongering in the media and at dinner tables.
The only way to combat this is through education because knowledge truly is power– not the color of your skin or how much money is in your pocket.
A good citizen can think critically and can empathize with groups that are underrepresented and historically oppressed.
For me, this path towards good citizenship starts with understanding the intricacies of feminism and how women, despite being a majority, have been methodically and systematically oppressed by governments and societies.
At pretty much every stage of life, women start at a disadvantage.
We chose to donate to LiveYourDream.org because they believe in education as a tool for empowerment and provide women a better chance to meet their goals.
For our school in the suburbs, it is often hard for young men and women to understand their own privilege and to see that there are millions who haven’t been given a fair shot at opportunity.
These students will be leaders in their communities, and this exposure to feminist causes will plant a seed that will grow into more compassionate, empathetic human beings and citizens.
|Mr. Hosey is a history teacher at the Downingtown STEM Academy. He studied history and film at Penn State Schreyer, and has a masters degree in education. Having spent time teaching in both traditional and cyber classrooms, Mr. Hosey brings a unique educational background to Downingtown.|