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Getting teachers on board

HCRL's picture

I found Kumashiro's section of "Anti-Oppressive Education" to be extremely compelling. He very clearly explains his ideas on what is currently happening in (most) schools, and what education reformers need to focus their efforts on:

 "The question for educational reformers is not whether schools should be addressing issues of oppression. Schools are always and already addressing oppression, often by reinforcing it or at least allowing it to continue playing out unchallenged, and often without realizing that they are doing so. The question needs to be how schools should be differently addressing issues of oppression.”  (XXXVI)


akelly's picture

I was very interested in Kumashiro's point about "good" knowledge and teaching.  To describe "good" teaching, he says it is what makes taking "effective," "successful," "desired," and "valued."  Kumashiro argues that "good" teaching is comfortable, but it often furthers oppressive structures and blinds teachers to the problems that they do not want to see.  What I notice most in these descriptions, though, is the subjectivity of each adjective.  How is effectiveness and success measured? Who is the one that determines what is desired or valued?  Obviously, just in these word choices there are voices silenced.  My question, I suppose, is how to enact change, when the system itself is not changing?

Response to Kumashiro

SergioDiaz's picture

While reading Part I of Kevin Kumashiro’s “Against Common Sense,” I could not help but remember the comment I made in class earlier today regarding the sexual education enactment. My comment, as attempted during class-time, was focused on the fact that the purpose of sexual education is still in essence to educate students about sex but I failed to adequately explain how this varied from the conversation we were having about sexual teaching.

Field Notes Post

MiriamPerez's picture

In my field placement I work with 10 or so bilingual 3rd and 4th graders. My most interesting interaction from my first day was with a 9 year old girl, Sofia. Sofia was working one on one in Spanish with a Columbian volunteer, Mariela. Mariela was talking her through her math homework in Spanish because Sofia felt more comfortable in Spanish than in English. When Sofia was done, she asked me  if I would play guess who with her. We played like 10 rounds of Guess Who and I was so sick of it by the end, but I think she would have continued to play forever if I hadn’t had to use the restroom. It's kind of crazy how much energy she had!

Clone of Confronting Differences: Field Post 1

HCRL's picture

I am writing this on a bit of a high, because I just got back from our book club session at PIC (not the real name), a women’s prison, which went really well. There inevitably were hiccups getting in, and we had a group about a third the size of last week, but it meant we got to have some great small group conversations. One of my favorite aspects of the book club is that I get to learn and hang out with a wonderful group of women. These women often have quote different perspectives than myself, but while I am there I try not to focus on the differenences, but rather on how I enjoy my time and conversations with these women, and how I hope everyone in the club shares the same sentiment.

Forcing classroom dialogue

MiriamPerez's picture

A small but salient part of Pedagogy for Liberation was when Freire articulates the complication in expecting dialogue, which is that it is sometimes expressed as a requirement to speak "even when [the students] have nothing to say" (102). So often in classes that are trying to shy away from the traditional lecture model of imparting knowledge, the professor adds a speaking requirement into the syllabus. While I understand the logic behind their choice, I have always thought that creating speaking quotas and rules is counterproductive. For a student who may not feel comfortable being a vocal presence in class, a speaking requirement could detract from his or her learning experience by injecting tension where there doesn't need to be any.

Risk of Empathy

SergioDiaz's picture

Empathy and pity are closely related social constructs that are used to relate to human experiences and across cultural identities. However, identifying with an experience becomes a problem when pity is the main source of relation because it could lead to a misunderstanding of situation. To summarize what I found Megan Bowler’s main points in The Risks of Empathy, she describes the main risk of empathy is that it can become pity and if this happens there is no full understanding of how oneself is implicated in the creation of the social situations of the Other.  Without this understanding and cross-cultural analysis I feel like something is missing fundamentally from the multicultural space. I find that this idea of empathy v.

The Civic Empowerment Gap

HCRL's picture

I really enjoyed Levinson’s “The Civic Empowerment Gap,” although there were a few parts that I wish the chapter had included. First, I wish she had talked more about how the new civics classes could better engage students like Travis and Laquita. It is great that she speaks about the need to not just teach old-school civics class, and she seems to be using Tuck’s desire-based rather than damage-based approach, but the chapter left me hanging on how that would be shaped into a many year long curriculum. I did really appreciate though her discussion of she had to "back up" to explain the events of September 11th, and how her students' guess that Bush had organized the attacks was very much grounded in a government that hadn't served ther communitites.