I came across this picture while researching inclusive education for our inquiry project. In order to promote inclusion, students need to understand what inclusion is. Part of that is realizing that the language they use can have a profound impact on others, even if they do not mean for it to.
While reading the ten assigned stories in my “New Teacher Book,” I was continuously reminded of one word. That word is Acceptance. Even though each story has a diverse plot and problems, the underlying message is that people should be accepted for who they are. I find this message to be especially prevalent in stories such as “The Brown Kids Can’t Be In Our Club,” “Framing the Family Tree,” and “Heather’s Moms Got Married.” In all of these stories, students are faced with situations that cause them to be outside of the supposed norm. Whether their situations are based on skin color, family life, or sexual orientation of parents, it would be common for these students to become the victims of racism, judgment, or discrimination. However, good teachers know and understand that these differences are not what form the individuals. While these differences might contribute to their individual personalities, they are not the only things. These students deserve to have their differences accepted, and it is up to the teacher to realize and teach others that we are all made and shaped by an assortment of traits and experiences.
My views on the importance of acceptance are what inspired my visual representation. People should be treated equally regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Celebration of individuality is crucial when teaching, as long as students are not treated any lesser based on their individuality. This visual representation exemplifies the importance of seeing someone as a whole person made up of an unlimited number of components, rather than just judging based on one component of his or her make up.
How might the changing nature of learning and increased prevalence of technology be related to social justice and anti-oppressive education? What is made possible by these tools and types of learning?
In modern day society, there is almost no avoiding technology. Many shy away from the use of technology in their teaching because they are unaware of the positive effect that using it can have on learning. Technology is just another medium that can be used to get students interested in what they are learning about, and allows them to have some control and say in what they are doing. It is possible to incorporate technology into every subject, including topics of social justice and oppression. The use of technology when teaching these topics could increase the students’ interest in learning about them, as well as open a new world of information. Social justice is a topic that is not always covered accurately in textbooks, so the use of technology means that more information can be found and discussed. Social media forms of technology create a platform for voicing opinions and viewing the opinions of others. They allow society to band together over an important cause, such as social justice. Technology brings people together, and hopefully this united feeling will help put an end to oppression. People are more likely to join a movement when they know that they are not the only ones.
During seminar on February 5th, Julie set out objects on each table. She proceeded to ask each student to pick an object they identified with and tell a story about it, while walking with a partner. I chose the teddy bear. I loved playing with toys when I was younger, but never had one stuffed animal that I was attached to while at home. However, my favorite auntie had a stuffed dog that I loved carrying around with me while visiting her. After my auntie passed away, I was given the stuffed dog and slept with it for many nights because it reminded me of her. Although I no longer sleep with the dog, I still have it, and plan on keeping it forever in memory of her. I really enjoyed this activity. I find it amazing that one seemingly random object can stir up so many memories.