How has your upbringing/schooling shaped how you you “read the world?” What biases and lenses do you bring to the classroom? How might we unlearn / work against these biases?
Growing up in a pre-dominantly white community, I have read the world through a specific lens. Through these lens, my focus was narrow as I stereotyped individuals due to a lack of experience and diversity in my school. However, I have begun the process of unlearning these damaging narratives. Specifically, I accomplished this through university, primarily the faculty of education. As a future educator, I now feel empowered to help other unlearn their misinformed behaviours and beliefs before they reach university or other stages of their life. Nonetheless, I will still unintentionally bring biases into my classroom as a white, privileged individual. Despite this, I will continue to unlearn such biases, and improve on myself.
Which “single stories” were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered?
Specifically, I remember the prime narrative that my school and its students had developed around Africa. Unfortunately, even referring to the place as “Africa” can be offensive as it groups over 40 different countries together due to our reluctance to differentiate them. Growing up in a white community, our perspectives of this entire continent were molded into one single story: Africa is poor. As a result, we associated Africa as a country, instead of a continent. Additionally, rather than celebrate and learn about its different cultures, we pitied them. Of course, this was ignorant and unhelpful as we focused on our own perceived “truths” of this region, rather than theirs.