Hi all, it’s almost the end of this month and it seems like the first semester of grad school for me is flying by so quickly. Last week I was not feeling too well, even so, I’m glad I made it to class anyway. Congrats to Christina for an amazing presentation and class discussion.
Last week we viewed Kim Crenshaw’s powerful TED talk on the Urgency of Intersectionality. In her talk, she presents a case that highlights the issue of both gender and race in America. In her example, she described the case of an African-American woman who believed that she was being discriminated against in the workplace based on her dual identity as a woman who is black. The court, unfortunately, dismissed her case because they deemed it was unsolvable and there was a lack of evidence to support her claim. Nevertheless, Crenshaw makes a point that her case is a very common issue in America. Many other black women are overlooked and treated unfairly and they are getting no justice. Their cases go unreported in the media, unlike other white women and men. I thought Crenshaw’s argument was very powerful and edifying. From the very beginning when she mentioned the names of some of these victims, I did not recognize their names and was incognizant of their cases. This goes to show that violence and discrimination against black women in America is an unrepresented issue that we as a society must notice and make changes to resolve.
Furthermore, we also viewed a short video experiment from the Equity Unbound website (A class Divided). In this experiment, a classroom teacher (Jane Elliott) conducts a social experiment with her students. These young students were told at different times that because of the color of their eyes they were better than some other students. As a result, when the students believed they were superior they worked faster, were happier and had a more positive disposition overall. In contrast, when these same students were told because of the color of their eyes they were less competent, they behaved differently. This experiment proved that equality in the classroom is essential for a child’s learning experience. While this sociological experiment served as a moral research method we all agreed that in this day and age any teacher who tried an experiment like that would get fired. The topic of equal learning, however, should always be an important topic of discussion.
In regards to this topic, while we will not meet physically this week, I followed up with the Equity Unbound website and browsed the twitter conversations happening around the @mozillafestival and #unboundeq hashtag. The tweets allow learning to be inclusive and interactive. The materials present sources that are open to learning from others. I am excited to read some of the tweets happening soon and participate in the discussion on open learning and social media.