Yesterday, the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut sponsored an event titled Now What Education. This is part of an ongoing series of focused sessions related to the 2020 presidential election where students can discuss issues varying from intersectional feminism to social media analysis.
Glenn Mitoma, assistant professor of human rights and education, hosted a discussion on the topic of education. The event was held on Zoom from 2 p.m to 3 p.m and with a discussion about teaching internationally, the differences between the 2016 and 2020 election and teaching students about politics.
Mitoma answered questions regarding education and the election.
“I helped to co-organize all of the Now What? Events with my colleagues Alexis Boylan of the Humanities Institute and Kathryn Libal of the Human Rights Institute because we thought it important to give the UConn community an opportunity to come together in small groups to discuss what we knew would be a highly contentious, possibly unexpected election,” said Mitoma on the reason behind organizing the Now What? discussion.
Regarding his thoughts on the most important part of education and whether he thought the candidates or the news has done an adequate job at addressing such, Mitoma explained this election was about personalities opposed to issues. He went on to share the most significant aspect of the election for education, “Are we democratic citizens prepared to meet the challenge of understanding and taking action on the choices we face?”
Compared to the 2016 election, Mitoma saw the conversation around education as shifting towards “a broader recognition of the civic mission of schools.” He said students are more aware of their power and voice when it comes to demanding schools to give them the education they deserve.
“Educators are now more aware that they need to provide students with the democratic skills of critical thinking, collaboration, dialogue and decision making,” said Mitoma when asked about how the conversation surrounding education changed compared to the 2016 presidential election.
If you are interested in attending a Now What? session, there will be discussions available to join until Nov. 15. Sessions include Human Rights work in the United States; Creativity and the Creative Arts and Making Sense of the 2020 Election, co-hosted by UConn Avery Point English Professor Laurie Wolfley and former UConn President and professor and resident emeritus of political science at UConn Stamford Susan Herbst. The discussions are free to join and will be held through Zoom. To sign up, visit humanities.uconn.com and search for the Now What? discussion you would like to participate in.