ECS 110 is officially a wrap and I have enjoyed all the challenging conversations that I was able to participate in throughout the course. I’m looking forward to continually debunking myths and normative narratives about social justice issues and working towards eliminating the binaries in my future classrooms.
Below I have attached the written script for my video and the links to my borrowed photos.
- Kendall. S
Hmm that was surprisingly very easy, I have solved it already and I’m confident the I’m familiar what all these words and their meanings, why would we learn about this in an Education related course?
Turns out that puzzle was trying to teach me much more than I initially understood.
Canadian, a term I’ve used for as long as I can remember, simply a person who lives in Canada, how much more is there really to it? The media portrays ideas about Canadians that are simple to accept and make Canadians look good. In reality, these ideas are examples of Normative Narratives. As citizens of Canada, we are able to hide behind basic surface elements of our country because that is where the focus is placed rather than acknowledging serious attributes that truly represent our nation The Canadian Grand Narrative is problematic because it demonstrates the idea that Canadian history begins with the arrival of Europeans and entirely disregards the people who were on the land prior to this settlement. Daschuk’s final quote helped me realize that by believing the stereotypical definitions of Canadians, I have shown ignorance towards Canada’s true history, and that needs to change.
Treaty. I knew a general definition of treaties prior to this class but I did not ever think of myself as a treaty person and I never considered my rights to be treaty rights. This seems absolutely crazy to me now because if both European and Indigenous parties signed the agreements and I am living on treaty land than of course I am a treaty person. I realize now that I was practicing willful ignorance because even though I knew about treaties existence, I chose to ignore their effects on me and never had the desire to learn more about them. The treaty backgrounder said it best by explaining how non-aboriginal Canadians forget that they gained rights through the signing of the treaties and that all treaty people must understand their common history to take action to renew treaty relationships and understand their rights and responsibilities as people who are continually influenced by the treaties in order to be harmonious.
Four months ago, I confidently believed the dictionary definition of racism. I was trapped in the good and bad racism binary, and I was practicing white fragility. My new understanding of racism initially blew my mind and the idea that coloured people can’t be racist was difficult for me to grasp. Once learning the true definition of racism, I realized why this made sense. As a white individual living in Canada, I am associated with racism, not because of my personal actions or comments but because I benefit from the distribution of resources controlled by the whites in our country and I am protected from race-related stress. I must acknowledge that I have white privileges and that my perspective on race is limited because I have always been part of the dominant group. It is my responsibility to teach the truth about racism, take action to address racism by learning about racial realities through authentic interactions and understand that my racial comfort is a privilege, not a right.
Classism, something that I could define but I never had thought about the problematic prejudice that results due to its categorization. The myths that state we all have equal opportunity or that poor people don’t try hard enough stood out to me because I often practice the rebuttal that since choice is involved it is not oppression and that if individuals applied themselves and showed a desire to be successful that they would be. I can now see that there are effects of institutions, political systems and community behaviours on social classes. By blaming poor people for poverty, it allowed me to feel that I was doing right for myself but now I am able to recognize poverty as a social issue rather than an individual failure and I am aware that poverty cannot simply be overcome by working hard.
Society has always taught that boys are associated with the colour blue and girls are associated with the colour pink and honestly speaking, I loved engaging with this concept and thought it was adorable when my twin brother and I had matching outfits just in the contrasting colours. As much as I still believe that our baby pictures are cute, I have learned that this social conditioning is problematic because it insists on internalized gender roles and intensifies the girl/boy gender binary. The gender binary teaches children that they must fall exactly into one of the two categories which causes non-gender conforming behaviours to be viewed as unacceptable and results in hypermasculinity and sexism. When writing my gender blog post I repeatedly used the phrase “because I am a girl” to explain my exclusion due to feminine labels and it is horrible that this is thought to be an acceptable way to think. Rather than being absorbed by the developed categories, we need to start diminishing the line between genders and challenging gender roles.
Prior to this class, I understood the term disability and I was aware that although disability simulations sounded helpful in theory, that they actually created harm by evoking empathy rather than acceptance. I have learned to understand disability as an identity which has helped me to realize greater problems with disability simulations. Racial simulations would appear to be absolutely appalling but for some reason, disability simulations are not and that is a major red flag. Simulations only provide temporary glimpses of what it is like to live with a disability meaning that by pretending to live with a disability for an hour does not provide a true understanding of what it is like to have a disability. Rather than imitating people with disabilities, the differences among individuals as a fact of human existence must be embraced by firstly recognizing disabled people as People who have disabilities.
The terms Canadian, Treaty, Racism, Classism, Boy, Girl, and Disability do not even begin to explain the content of ECS 110. It is the socially constructed ideas, normative narratives, binaries, oppression, discrimination, and rebuttals created by these identities that explain the importance of discussing these topics as preservice teachers. I am a Canadian, treaty person who is a white able-bodied female and I now have a greater understanding of what these terms mean regarding my personal identity and how I interact with others. I am now aware of the privileges and oppression that each of those identity features offer me and the problems these labels can create.