Reading Response- Nov. 5

3 Things I Learned:

  1. In the first article posted by MacLean’s “Why are schools brainwashing our kids”, extreme examples are given to call into question social justice education. My learning in this article came from the realization that on either side of the political coin, it is easy to take another viewpoint’s extreme and outlying actions to call out what people can obviously see as uncomfortable. On top of this, we can see from this article that education is politically charged and constantly called out when seeking a new path forward. While these examples given are obviously quite ridiculous (and maybe untrue or blown up?) the discussion of having social justice education as a thoughtfully crafted platform rather than based on the whim of what seems to be politically correct. Connecting to my CBSL placement at the Regina Immigrant Women’s Centre puts me into the perspective that true social justice education comes from listening and understanding others rather than “pushing a liberal agenda”.
  2. In the second article, Racial Tolerance vs. Racial Transformation a chart is given describing the differences between tolerating and allowing minorities to exist within a system and transforming the system, specially education, to work for minorities. A great example given is the idea of “multicultural days” where classrooms merely tour through cultures often taking only the food and artwork with them. A transformation involves changing the Western school system to be more inclusive to all students and taking cultural practicing from the bottom of the iceberg to transcend cultural tourism. This practice reminds me of my own schooling which included single days of folk fest, and mentions of cultural celebration rather than including other forms of knowing into the daily classroom setting.
  3. The Crash Course video on Schools and Social Inequality revealed another layer of schooling and privilege that I had not previously understood. Within my home, postsecondary education was not only praised, but expected along with the narrative of success coming from achieving a university bachelor’s degree. The video references this understanding and discourse as an example of cultural capital, as my upbringing gave me the knowledge in order for me to “behave appropriately” in a Western schooling setting. This cultural capital transcends money and educational opportunity with it’s ability to “speak the language” of the affluent or successful in a Western society.

2 Connections I Made:

  1. I connected the tolerance vs. transformation to the narrative I hear surrounding not only race, but the LGBTQA+ community. In my experience the vast majority of people have come to accept and acknowledge queer folks with the limitation that no intersectionality occurs and queer people live within every other confine of the dominant discourse (must be white, able bodied, well educated). This has been called into question with discussion on implementing the transformation of changing the system to allow for differences in literature and family representation or when queer people hold high positions of power.
  2. The Maclean’s article reminded me of ECS 110 and our discussions on courageous conversations. I believe these pieces of anecdotal evidence are very common in the rebuttal to social justice education, and must be thought about carefully when questioning what educators believe to be truly progressive and necessary to employ in the classroom.

1 Question I Have:

  1. How do we hold ourselves and colleagues accountable for employing true social justice education, that is thoughtful and well researched? When do we know when we have gone too far?

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