Hi everyone! So, today’s guest post is going to be a little different than what I usually feature. If you’ve read my post, Service Is Love Made Visible, you would know that education is a very passionate subject for me and I’ll do almost anything to ensure that there is as much support for the cause as there needs to be. My friend, Sunidhi, has asked all you awesome nerds to like her page, The Prism Project, on Facebook to raise awareness about the American Education System. Why like it? Well, she’s about to explain it to you. And, why not like it – it’s simple to just click a button. You’re not the one doing the hard work, here.
Q: What is the Prism Project?
The Prism Project (TPP) is, in short terms, an initiative to raise awareness for the experiences of students who learn and thrive under the American Education System. More specifically, I share the stories of students who have experienced cutthroat competition, gifted labeling, or any other “pitfall” of education in either high school or college.
All of these situations are generally new in that they didn’t exactly exist twenty or even ten years ago (when most teachers/professors were being educated). Thus, many professionals in the field are unaware of just how bad it is.
I want to change that.
I want students to have a platform to speak out without having to worry about their identities being revealed or their stories being changed to fit an agenda. I want people to look at Prism and really come to terms with what is going on in the education sector.
I think there is this general stigma that the American system is top notch- that so many countries look up to it for a reason. This is true, to an extent.
In recent years, though, the system has morphed into something else. Gifted labeling and cutthroat competition are beginning to define every student’s schooling experience, creating unhealthy and undesirable learning environments that value an arbitrary label and an even more arbitrary letter grade over learning quality and effort made.
These are the sick products of what may otherwise seem like a perfect system.
And that is what needs to change.
Q: Who is the audience of the Prism Project?
Generally, I would say that the audience would be students in high school and college who can relate with the stories I share. These are the people who will look at TPP and nod their heads in agreement.
But, in regards to change, the audience would be a much older population- educators, administrators, and individuals who will be able to really take these stories in, understand that they are surrounded by this problem, and do something about it.
Q: What inspired you to start the Prism Project?
I have had a lot to say about the subject matter for a really long time. I grew up in an unhealthy educational environment (in that it was ridiculously competitive) and I watched as students shortchanged EVERYTHING for their grades. In time, I noticed other, more subtle problems, but remained pretty silent in regards to speaking out.
A couple months ago, I wrote an editorial for The Emory Wheel and put my thoughts that had remained unheard for so long into words. The reception for the article was great; I began to realize that this was not a problem in just my school, but something that many, many people were experiencing and noticing.
It is weird, but TPP was literally born as part of my crazy midnight musings.
Q: Why is it called The Prism Project? What is it about prisms that made you title this initiative after them?
Prisms are known for taking in white light and separating it into an array of colors.
I hope for TPP to do a similar thing- to take in what may seem like a single issue and instead bring forth a variety of problems that may not be so obvious or widespread.
Q: How do people get involved with this project or contribute/follow it?
I would consider any avid reader of Prism to be “involved” in its movement. Essentially, like the page, like the posts, and share your opinions on them.
In the end, that is the best way to get the word out, since his is more of a grassroots movement than anything else. Prism will be dormant and ineffective if its readers do not continue to interact with its stories.
In regards to sharing stories, I have made a form that students can use to share their stories to be posted on the page. It is quick and has little to no limitations. If you’re interested, here is the link!