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Making the Invisible Visible

Making the Invisible Visible

Cover art taken from tinybuddha.com

Introduction

In this week’s post, we were asked in our #COETAIL11 material to Bobbie Harro’s Cycle of Socialization (cycle pictured below). In the text, Harro describes the phenomenon of oppression and how the mentality that if we just began to “appreciate differences,” and “treat each other with respect… then everything would be alright.” Here, Harro raises the idea that many people believe we all need to get along to overcome deeply rooted systemic injustice. According to Harro, we must instead become aware of our own social identities and how institutions and cultures perpetuate power dynamics.

Harro, Taken from  Readings for Diversity and Social Justice

Above, Harro created an image to represent the cycle of socialization to show how from birth to giving birth, we perpetuate the “brainwashing of our cultures”. The cycle also shows how change might happen through challenging, questioning, and seeing that something might be wrong.

My Thoughts and Reflection

In our #COETAIL11 unit this week, we took Harro’s reading and responded to it through a thinking routine called “Text Rendering Protocol“. We were asked to find a sentence, phrase, and word that meant something to us. My answers were:

  • Sentence: “What makes this brainwashing more insidious is the fact that is is woven into every structural thread of the fabric of our culture.”
  • Phrase: “Brainwashed by our cultures”
  • Word: “‘Last straw’ experience”

See my videos below in the QR code/link.

QR Code above links to the COETAIL Community Grids

Reflection

Have you used Flipgrid before?

I have used FlipGrid before. It’s great that Microsoft purchased it and made it free for everyone to use. It’s a perfect way to get 100% participation from students in a class as opposed to calling on students one by one. I also really like it because students can practice their speech until they perfect it and are satisfied with their responses. I also like how it can record and document things in a quick and snappy manner. It makes regular check-ins efficient and plausible.

How was this experience similar to/different from other times you’ve used Flipgrid?

It’s similar in that I often have students use it to share their ideas in class as well. It was different in that I don’t usually have professional conversations on FlipGrid. The interface is geared a bit more toward students. Typically, other times, I have used FG, I have students reply to one another with a video. I will also leave formative feedback to students through a reply.

How might you use Flipgrid (or other tools) in your classroom/school in order to collaborate with colleagues and expand students’ authentic, real-world learning experiences?

This question is what I was thinking quite a bit about after completing these activities. I feel like this would be a great way to have a PLN around professional reading. I imagined an online book club with international teachers who can discuss a book and share ideas.

Another idea I had after this activity was doing a jigsaw (we’ve been doing that a lot lately), but using FG. Wouldn’t it be cool if learners could read and summarize a section of a text? Then they could share what they learned, creating a summary of a larger body with a team of students? This way, the jigsaw is permanent and documented for later reference! I love it.

How might your reading on diversity and social justice impact your practice?

This question is something that I was talking about in my second video. One thing that I brought up was the idea I am a white, middle class male. As such, I have had specific experiences and privileges that have shaped my perspective that I may not be aware of. As an international teacher, I don’t teach white, middle class, male students exclusively. I have to be aware of my own filters perception and how they might impact the language I use and the actions I take.

Image taken from koogle.tv

I also thought about LGBTQIA+ students in Korea. I have noticed that there is a deep-rooted homophobia in this country. There have been subtle ways in which students will show homophobia in front of me while we are in class. I think it’s essential that I consider how students have been raised in this culture that has impacted their own perceptions. That is, I should be patient with the students and be understanding with their individual identities and filters of perception. I also feel that it’s essential I encourage students to use inclusive language. I can promote it by modeling it and using inclusive language whenever possible.

How has being part of a privileged or oppressed group impacted who you are today and how you interact with your colleagues and students?

I think I have experienced oppression on a profound and personal basis. Going online and sharing it with the world somehow doesn’t feel right to me. But I will say this. Getting out into the world and interacting with people who are different from you is an eye-opening experience; staying in one’s comfort zone and in one’s neighborhood encourages small, local thinking. When we are continually meeting people that are different to us and building relationships, it creates a broader sense of empathy. Furthermore, by seeing systems, cultures, and people who are different from us, when we visit our home-cultures, it makes that which was invisible, visible. By noticing these invisible privileges, mentalities, and beliefs, it is then that we are capable of saying, “something is wrong with this picture.” –Bobbie Harro

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