www.pbs.orgDecolonizing Our Classrooms Starts With Us | PBS EducationYour source for teaching inspiration, blogs, and online professional events.How would you amplify the voices and stories of the students and their ancestors in class?
Students are very connected to what they are learning in class and if it is something that relates to them then it will definitely make this class a lot more personal to them. To be learning about their past with their ancestors, it allows students to understand the struggle throughout time and what people down the road from them had to go through in order to get them to where they are currently. I feel that it is extremely important for students to feel comfortable to be able to have this kind of discussion in a class because their voice matters and they should be allowed and not be scared to voice their opinions and feelings on this matter.
Exhibiting behaviors of an antiracist is a lifelong commitment that requires active participation. Patience, contemplation, and dedication are certain attributes required to achieve this. Although deepening one's knowledge of self could be difficult and unpleasant, it is essential if we are to abandon and liberate the structures and frameworks we pass in, adhere to, and profit from.How else can we start by examining how mainstream culture and white privilege have influenced our personal values and practices. Racism is designed and configured into education, screening, approach to actions, and instruction. Educators therefore have a duty to eradicate racism that is designed into schooling. Lerone Bennett Jr., a social historian, claims Educators have always played an important part in revolutions. Those who claim our effect is unrivaled, given the population of schools and communities we represent. A first objective is to determine our own position in propagating racism and to consider what we may be reproducing the leadership style. The culture of authority manifests itself in literature and standard curriculum. It is important that we educate our children regarding racism and include examples of what being anti-racist is. Offering students a safe haven within the enclosure to study, work, and stand against this injustice is the first step.
I think this is a great step forward to change the way students are educated. It is important to teach children to not be racists and to be more understanding. One way to stop future racism is to address the acts of racism that have happened in this country. We can’t move on together if students don’t fully understand the genocide of the Native People on this land or the trauma of slavery. History is always told from the winners point of view and that has been the white community. To decolonize these spaces it is important to amply students' voices and let them be heard. A lot of the things that happened in the past are still affecting us today and it is important that these issues are not swept under the rug for a future generation to find. Teachers have the ability to be revolutionary and break away from the norm, I think if more teachers did that we’d have a much more progressive and less racist society.
Education and allowing people to hear the truth about American history will be what changes American history to allow us to actually come to be people. The amount of education and history that is withheld from the American students is bewildering as people would rather lie and stop Americans from hearing the truth about how America came to be. To be antiracist is to be truthful and honest and take into account everything about American history even if you may not like what you hear. Teachers and educators will be the one who open the eyes to the future generations to allow the truth to come forward. Allowing history and familial stories to be told will allow people the knowledge and understanding of what others go through and what we may not know about America.
Amplifying student voices as an act of decolonizing the classroom is reliant on structuring a class into a tight-knit community. A place where students feel comfortable enough to speak their mind as well as feel as though they are being heard. Educators must focus just as much attention on equipping students with the ability to evaluate, create, and analyze as they do on basic skills and test preparation. This focus on test preparation and basic skills creates passive learners that you don't engage with the information they receive. A means to rectify this would be to allow students to be partners in their learning experience as much as possible.
If I was a teacher, I would amplify my student's voices of their stories and their ancestors by first creating a safe environment. I would want the whole class to know that whatever is spoken in the classroom stays in the classroom and its a place they can speak freely without feeling any judgement. Another thing I would do that I think would be really cool if students had their culture day or their family tree ancestry day where they brought in something from the past and allow them to share it with the class. I would also want to teach students the truth about history and not a "lighter" version of what happened. I think lastly, the best way to amplify a student's voice is if they are ready to share and talk about it. I would not want to force students to share for a class grade if they were not comfortable with it because I think thats also part of bonding with a student.
One of the really cool things that the author of this article mentioned was how educators, under their role, can either be an oppressor or a revolutionary. With that in mind, if I was an educator, I would exercise my revolutionary power by encouraging students to speak out when they are against something. But the one condition would be that they have to do so in a civil manner and back up their claims have a reasoning for why they feel things are unfair. For the person who is in the teacher's position, they have the authority and control. The students are expected to operate under whatever conditions the teacher has set. In that way, the teacher can be a source of repressing a student's freedom. In order to not create a toxic environment, it is crucial that the teacher allows the student's to be open and comfortable sharing what they do and don't want to. Some students may be more reserved, and it is unfair to force them to participate in activities they may not be comfortable with, and some students are naturally more talkative so it would not be fair to constantly silence them. People should not be shamed for their nature.
I would amplify the voices and stories and their ancestors in class by first creating a very safe and open environment in the classroom. If students do not feel comfortable in the classroom, they will not open up about their history, culture, stories, etc. As a teenager myself, it is important for people my age to have a good relationship and safe place to learn more about our history. Also, if we were provided with credible resources such as videos, articles, etc. it would help us understand better. We wanna be treated with respect and honestly when speaking with each other and our teachers. All in all, many aspects contribute to hopefully amplifying the voices and stories of students in the classroom.
I would amplify the voices and stories of students and their ancestors by letting them openly talk about their history and where they come from.
As an educator one of the goals is to teach the student right from wrong. With things like decolonizing the classroom it is important to tell the full story and to not spare any details. Too often in my now 20's am I learning about things in history as how it actually happened-- not the watered down, palatable version I was taught. I think it is important that educators not patronize their students and to respectably speak to them as adults.