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Jeewan C @jeewanc
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(THREAD) When my son was in Gr 10 he brough home, To Kill a Mockingbird. I was angry -my child, was reading a text of a past romanticized by some, even tho it was riddled with #racism. I wondered how many texts he would read that looked like him. But he had to read that- why?
I had asked many times for a reading list of books theyd have in their English class. I asked if the texts looked like them, reflected their experiences bc #IdentityMatters. I never could get an answer. Replies included, it was a #Classic but y'all know #Classics aint #Neutral
Of course, the response when we have these convos - "Y'all want to Censor...". Funny how "#freeSpeech" and "#censorship" always come up when issues of #equity are being discussed. That our children shouldn't be exposed to #racism and #trauma they live EVERY. SINGLE. DAY
Even when we ask that texts be taught from a #Critical approach or an #AntiOppressive stance, people make a stink about it. Then make it about #CanadianIdentity, the glorious past and #Culture. All #Code for thinly veiled #Racism (imagine Racism hiding behind a veil - lol)
What it ignores, is my child who's racialized #Black has to deal with racism all the time. He doesn't need to explore it in a book that is dismissive to who he is often by people who may not be aware of how they are reinforcing trauma. And marking him based on it #InclusiveDesign
Both my sons live/d thru a school system that only saw their highest potential as #Applied even though they had #LearningDisabilities & functioned at L3 and L4 when they were given proper #accommodations. I had to fight low expectations EVERY SINGLE SEMESTER of EVERY SINGLE YEAR
So pardon me, if i dont want my child exposed to more racism. To learn nonsense like "Columbus discovered NA". There were over 80 Million #Indigenous people when the dude rolled up on #TurtleIsland by accident.
#DoctrineofDiscovery is #FAKENews
Or using Fake maps that make #Africa seem significantly smaller than North America and than it actually is in the world. (And I mean Africa the continent not the way ppl tend to refer to it as if it's a country). #DecolonizeTeaching
Or to only learn European canons/texts. Or to think that #Shakespeare is the only literary genius & yes I liked Shakespeare too. Im NOT saying delete it - Im saying DECENTRE it- so its not the ONLY "standard" that they learn. Instead, make it ONE of many rich learning opps.
When I taught History - the girls used to ask me if women had any role in Canadian history- bc they never saw them mentioned in the text books. The books arent enough. What we did in the past isnt enough. Not if we want to help raise a new generation thats ready for a diff world
Hold my child & all Ss to #highExpectations, help them see themselves #reflected. Let them know, they belong in all their beauty & potential. Let their learning reflect the world they live in. Do not use them as guinea pigs to teach them about a racist past.
Along with the "classics", let them read Dionne Brand, David Chariandy, Austin Clarke, Lawrence Hill, Richard Wagamese, Lee Maracle, Chiamande Adiche, Esi Edugyan, Leitich Smith, Tanya Talaga, Catherine Knuttson, Audre Lorde, Uzma Jalaluddin, S.K.Ali...so many more
If you want to find great books, check out adifferentbooklist.com it's one of many companies that has amazing texts from diverse authors!
And please remember, making Ss read "classics", bc its what we always did, is not enough of a reason to keep doing it ESP when we arent doing it critically! We came to Ed to make a difference in the world - to make it better not perpetuate the past mistakes.
Its not ok, to subject students to racism and trauma. So if you find value in a text, make sure and do your Homework and teach critically through an #AntiOppressive stance
My child deserved to read texts that made him feel proud of who he is, know the great legacies of his past, understand the #Indigenous history of this land & its richness. All Ss should learn it. Just as we learn certain stories- we should learn about the diverse world we live in
Much gratitude to Dr. @KimberleTavares who helped me with literary choice authors - she has great expertise in this field and if you ever get a chance to hear her speak- take it bc shes excellent!
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