Emily Columpsi

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery" -Mark Van Doren

Chapter 3 – Kumashiro Reading

The concepts of race, gender, sexual orientation, social hierarchy and ethnical heritage all help to define a person and their identity. Overall, these concepts contribute to how we are all perceived and treated in society.  We do not, however, choose to be a certain culture or race, rather we are born into these situations and most of the time they slip into our subconscious. As a result, I did not include the concept of being a middle-class, White, straight, female because 1) I thought it was not necessary, and 2)  I did not even think about it. At the time , when I was writing my autobiography, I assumed that this journey that I was on was not related to how I looked or who I was, rather it was highly influenced by those around me and my experiences. Therefore, those hidden messages remained hidden and under the surface. Now what does this say about me? To be honest I do not know. With some inclination, however, by not addressing the obvious, for example the colour of my skin etc, this could potentially imply that I do not want to flaunt my race to others, as to make to known that my culture is apparently dominant. On the other hand, addressing the obvious creates productive spaces in which everyone can learn and visibly see the commonalities and differences that contribute to our ‘common sense’. Furthermore, sharing these hidden messages can set people apart, and this separation can be either inclusive or exclusive. Thus, it is important that teachers disclose to their student’s facts that are either necessary or educational, but still include information that can be and should be challenged.

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