Reading Response 4: Escaping a narrow mind: “But its just who they are”

Reading Response prompt: How could the Santoro reading help you/us to reconsider a resistance to “seeing whiteness”?

The Santoro reading,  Teaching in culturally diverse contexts: what knowledge about ‘self’ and ‘others’ do teachers need?” has encouraged me to look outside of the margins of “stereotypical constructions” (Santoro, p. 37) that prompt me to align myself with the perspectives of others, and rather to focus on learning WHO the people I interact with within my classroom truly are. The explanations given in response to behaviour from students with a cultural background other than my own, is often diluted and automatically screened on the basis of that background. As ingenuous as these comments and cultural assumptions may be, they are not appropriate and can be harmful to students growth. These predicted responses, “construct the students, their cultures and ‘the way they’ve been brought up’ as the problem and places the blame on the students and their families” (Santoro, p. 37) is harmful to the student’s psyche and is a destructive perspective for a teacher to have.

This article has helped me to recognize that we are often resistant to “seeing whiteness” because it makes us very uncomfortable. We do not want to admit that we are biased through our whiteness because we are trapped and in love with the simplicity of a narrow mind. A narrow mind is easy and comfortable, I am sure there are lazy boys in there and a TV screen that puts us on autopilot. But especially as educators and potential role models to inspire these students, we have got to click off the white noise and run for THEIR lives to a wooden stool where we can sit and think about what whiteness really means and how we can escape it.

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One thought on “Reading Response 4: Escaping a narrow mind: “But its just who they are”

  1. shantellesjuberg says:

    Sarah, I loved how you stated that this article has changed the way that you focus on others. I agree that it has helped to realized we must focus on “learning WHO the people I interact with within my classroom truly are” and how we must try and not be resistant to seeing whiteness although it is easier. You made some very great points in your blog post! Are there any ways specifically that you will change in order to help yourself “see whiteness”?

    Like

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