A Counterpoint on American Education and Media: One Fulbright Scholar's Quest to Prepare Students for Travel to America

A Counterpoint on American Education and Media: One Fulbright Scholar's Quest to Prepare Students for Travel to America

Shahla Naghiyeva (Azerbaijan University of Languages, Azerbaijan)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3082-4.ch016
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Abstract

Coming from Azerbaijan to America as a Fulbright Scholar, I packed as many assumptions as I did suitcases. After conducting my research, I realized that everything I learned while visiting the United States should be shared with my students, to prevent them from some culture shock and to prepare them to be globally-minded, thinking of mediated messages about foreign countries in a critical manner. This chapter is a result of this endeavor, a sort of auto-ethnographical tour through the America that I saw through my positionality as an Azerbaijani woman.
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American Education Through An Azerbaijani Perspective

The American education system of America is vastly different from the Azerbaijani education system. This chapter will first explore the primary school grades. I had the opportunity of getting acquainted with work system of one of the elementary schools of Greenville city. The school principal, Isabella Weaker, informed me that there were 485 pupils at the school. She also mentioned that majority of the pupils were African American and 25% of the students were representatives of other ethnicities. With a high population of this school’s student being from economically disadvantaged families, many of the school children walk directly from the bus that takes them to school to the cafeteria for a free breakfast.

As I discussed the school with Weaker, I noticed there is a TV set in all the rooms and in the room of the principal. The principal can watch what is happening in the classrooms. As the classes begin in the morning, the principal greets all the schoolchildren and the teachers. Then two pupils give a talk on the most important events taking place in the history of America this day. They also memorize the names of the celebrities born this day. After all this, the principal urges the schoolchildren and teachers to take a loyalty oath to the state flag of the country. The text of the oath consisting of is as following:” “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” During taking this oath the pupils and the teachers stand in a queue turning their faces to the state flag hung in the classroom putting their hands on their hearts.

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