Abolitionist Education: the Future of Cleveland State

Befenits not only for the students, but educators as well

Testing standards have caused additional stress in the face of COVID. Photo courtesy of Ideastream

Education comes in many shapes and sizes, as we saw recently, with a massive shift to online learning during COVID. However, there is one aspect of education that always remains the same: students are graded on a standard grading scale for standard assignments and tests.

We all understand that everyone is different and that everyone learns differently, so why are we standardizing education? I think Cleveland State University, along with every other school in Ohio, should move towards an abolitionist deliverance of education.

Abolitionist education allows teachers to fight injustices and systemic racism in their schools. According to Dr. Bettina Love, the “architect of the abolitionist teaching theory,” abolitionist education is a way for us to “restore humanity for kids in schools.”

The theory was created to address the inequality that faces minority students in school. This form of education is concerned with creating educational freedom for all students– a critical goal for diverse schools such as CSU.

Dr. Bettina Love, photo courtesy of American Libraries Magazine

This form of education is not about simply tweaking the current system. Instead, as the name suggests, it is about changing the underlying framework of education. It requires teachers to recognize the different backgrounds their students come from and give them a voice in the classroom. By allowing students to speak up about their experiences, beliefs, and ideas, they are laying the groundwork for those students to be active members of society and to make genuine changes.

In Cleveland, a diverse and active city, it is crucial to educate citizens in this manner and provide them with the ability to make changes. After the recent issues that came to light regarding the Cuyahoga County Jail, it is clear that Cleveland is ripe for reform. The students that are currently attending CSU and the Cleveland school district will be the biggest influences for change if we provide them with abolitionist education and foster the activist that lives inside them.

Author: Dina Usanovic

I am an English and Political Science major at CSU in my third year at the university. I love writing for the Cauldron and I'm so excited to bring student opinions to the forefront of university news!

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