Diversity and Culture in Education

nia.pike's picture

Final Web Event - Addressing Inclusiveness at Home at Bryn Mawr: A Seminar

Bryn Mawr is my home.

            That one phrase is so much more than the five words it contains. Now more than ever before. To me, a home is much more than four walls or a campus. Bryn Mawr is home to me because of its people, because of its community. It is here that I have become comfortable with who I am - my sexuality, my past, my life.

            When I first began to think about this final paper, I knew I wanted it to be about this place that means so much to me. Bryn Mawr. I also wanted to incorporate in parts of my other papers. As I reflected over my work and growth in this course, I realized I left my third paper open ended without a firm direction in terms of education for Wabash. During conversations (usually over food) with my friends, I began to see that Bryn Mawr also needs a new form of education. An education in inclusion. I began to think of my second paper on the inclusiveness/discrimination of the straight community within Bryn Mawr's community. I concluded Bryn Mawr needs an intervention.

nia.pike's picture

Fear of Feminist Indoctrination at All-Men's Colleges

            The phrase "feminism unbound" is strange to me. I thought at first I understood it, but when we began to discuss this phrase in class, I got even more confused. So I sat down to think about it on my own. I thought about the rigors of society, the boundaries have set for ourselves and others, the world we have been told should exist. As someone who has chosen to go to an all-women's college I know I follow certain boundaries within the walls of Bryn Mawr College, regulations the college sets for me. I began to think of similar institutions. A friend of mine also goes to a single-sex institution, Wabash College, an all-men's college in Indiana. Wabash sets regulations for its students as well. A potential new regulation is a gender studies graduation requirement. This debate struck a chord with me, especially when I discovered the contorted view of gender studies some members of the institution had created around this issue . . .

            "[The] wimpy, neutralized guys that gender feminists are trying to create:  men who are not committed to constructive struggle and conflict and fighting for a cause and coming out the winner." (Michaloski and Allman) This statement was made by Dr. David P. Kubiak, a Classics professor at Wabash College in relation to the debate at Wabash over the proposition of a gender studies graduation requirement.

Betsy Biernat's picture

Multicultural Education in Mathematics

My inquiry project looks at how one can incorporate a multicultural/diveristy/social justice perspective in math classrooms.

Cathy's picture

very weak post that I was wondering if I should even post

So this week, in terms of ed placement I've been trying to discover more of Asian culture in relation to America. In my placement I figure out that I knew nothing of the Asian American experience even thought I want to honor everyone's diversity in my classroom someday. I wouldn't have picked up on this if it hadn't been for my suburban placement having only white and asian kids. I was taught to look at majority and minority balances in terms of possible difference and then I thought "Oh no, I want to teach at a suburban school someday, but white culture is easy to adapt to, what do I do with the Asians?" This was really weird for me because I pride myself on being multiculturally sensitive becuase of my backgrounds, and what was even weirder is that my best friend since 3rd grade is Viet, but I still don't feel like I know how her race and culture relate to her experience. For some reason, that racial experience has always been invisible to me, despite my exposure to literature about the Hmong in the US and other groups. I decided to reconsile this dissonace by bugging my asian friends to help me learn more and I hope to take an Asian American history/culture class before I graduate. I can't believe I didn't notice one of the biggest groups in America in my quest to be inclusive. I'm really embarressed about this, but at least now I know and I can work towards making that better. 

Serendipitaz's picture

Becoming Miss A

I knew this day would come some day
since it is the culture here to call one’s teacher by her last name.
But, I have a long way to go before I become a teacher
I honestly don’t think I can ever be a teacher

Nan's picture

Half the Sky

Hey everybody, I don't really know if this has any place in this Ecological Imaginings class, but maybe if we can imagine the preservation of women to be a form of ecology, not unlike the preservation of all plant life, animal life.

I just wanted to call everyone's attention to this excellent documentary currently being shown on PBS on Mon & Tues nights at 9:00 PM.  I imagine you guys have lots of time to watch films, yeah!  But this is an amazing series.

"Half the Sky" about gender based violence.

Here's the link to the first & second segment:

http://video.pbs.org/video/2283557115   

http://video.pbs.org/video/2283558278

Briana Bellamy's picture

The Teaching & Learning Initiative: Nepali Style

Hello beautiful Serendip world! 

My name is Briana Bellamy, I'm a BMC alum '11.  Recently, I returned from an incredible year of living in Nepal, working on a project funded by the Davis Projects for Peace grant. The project was called Sharing Knowledge for Peace, and its basic structure and philosophy grew from something that may be very familiar to some of you: the Teaching and Learning Initiative (TLI). As a sophomore at Bryn Mawr, I became involved with the staff-student branch of the TLI as a student mentor with a wonderful man from transportation services. It completely transformed my experience at Bryn Mawr, and became a huge part of both my sense of community and personal development. The relationships I built through the reciprocal model of the TLI and the deep learning I experienced both in these relationships and in the reflection meeting had a deep impact on me. I went on to become a coordinator for the program, and even wrote my thesis about it, exploring the inner workings of friendship, community, and shared spaces. I knew there was something powerful about the dynamics at play, and I was curious as to how the model of intentional reciprocal teaching and learning relationships could be valuable in other settings. 

meowwalex's picture

Be Like Others: An Issue Transcending Borders

 

Of the many riveting cultural situations that we have only begun to explore in class so far, one of the most striking were those of men and women born in the body of a sex that they do not identify with and how society responds to them as transgendered individuals. As I approach the question of feminism and how it differs geographically, I want to take a look into the transsexual community in America and compare it to that in Iran, specifically after having watched the film “Be Like Others”.

In the United States, transgender issues are rising to the forefront – in films such as “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Transamerica” and in news stories about transgendered children and the increase in support for these individuals and their families. Coming across the color photography project My Right Self was an experience that provided me with a more personal and moving account of what it is like to be transgendered and hopes to do the same for the public.

The website is an informative project while the photographs are intended to be a traveling show and part of advocacy to benefit the healthcare community, those who are transgendered and their loved ones. The website’s eager invitation to use photography as a vehicle to initiate conversation shows that part of America, even if a slim one; is becoming more accepting and actually attempting to understand this point of view on some level.

allisonletts's picture

Language Diversity Reflection

I was in the group that presented on language diversity in Ghana. I was talking specifically about language within the school system, and how English is currently the accepted language of Ghanaian education. It isn't until Senior Secondary School that Ghanaian students are explicitly taught Ghanaian language. This policy makes me feel sad and a little angry, the same way that it does in American schools. Last semester in Empowering Learners, I defined agency as "the learner’s decision to take ownership of the world in which he/she lives and to apply his/her skills to shape that world." This definition was very much attached to language. I see literacy as a crucial skill for shaping the world. When a school system denies a student access to literacy in their native language, the system is taking away some of that student's agency. Waiting to provide this fundamental access to students who make it into schools that have stringent academic requirements is completely in opposition to what I think needs to happen. Language skils should be built upon, not limited. It's sad that this can be influenced by politics or ideology. 

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