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What does desire mean to me?

jafelician's picture

I just feel that society today is so westernized. Even dating back to history, students only learn from the Western perspectives, which influence thought and society. How can we move past societal expectations in order to capture desire in what isn't considered to be the "norm," especially when it comes to education and learning? I really enjoyed Tuck's writing "Suspending Damage: A Letter to communities" because it shows how research is so centered around stereotypes and what is perceived as "bad." I think that everyone is guilty of going into settings where they look for what is wrong instead of trying to undestand how things function, and finding how they work in a particular context. I'm not sure if this is clear, so let me give an example.

I am a product of public education. I loved my highschool and I feel like I learned alot; however, outsiders looking in perceived my high school as bad. Even Governor Christie would not step foot into my high school after there were complaints to him about the conditions of it. It has a bad reputation, but it is not bad at all. The reason people believe it is so bad is because of damaged centered research! Newspaper editors and others are quick to write something negative, but when we do positive things, like win debates, volunteer in the community, etc., it goes unnoticed. This is the reason I greatly appreciated Tuck's piece.

However, I have even fallen victim to damaged based research. Coming to college, I feel like in many of the education courses I've taken, when we discuss urban public schools in the Philadelphia area, people automatically think of disadvantage. When we've done field work, I have taken field notes where I go into the setting and automatically look for what is wrong, instead of seeing what is done right becuase I felt that others want to know what is going wrong. Why public schools are not equal to private or even suburban schools. I did not realize I was doing that until I sat and reflected on my field notes. As much as I hated damage based fieldwork, there I was doing it to other students that are products of urban public schools, like myself.

I appreciate this class becuase it allows us to not focus on what is wrong, rather we are forced to look at the whole picture. So after hearing a list of others views and re-lthinking about it myself, this is how I would define desire:

-It is capturing the whole story, and not simply focusing on what is expected.

-It is looking at the complexity of a situation, and not being narrow-minded, focusing on stereotypes.

-It is about delving deeper! Being open to accept what is not expected.