Javon Johnson – “Cuz He’s Black” (NPS 2013)

This poem touches on many of the issues we have discussed during class. Each time I watch it, I get goosebumps.

It reminds me of the privilege I have had, especially at such a young age. I never had to think about or have these conversations with anyone in my family.

I would love to hear your thoughts. I hope you are all well.



Questions for Shauna, Emily, and Mo

1.  In Picower’s article, she expresses an ideological tool that is used is the phrase “out of my control.”  Throughout this class, we have also discussed on societal issues and felt overwhelmed.  How do we avoid using that term as a crutch? What are the small steps we can take in our classrooms and communities that can shape and challenge our own behaviors? What experiences have you lived that made you feel that things were “out of [your] control?”

2. McDonough describes that Jaclyn’s experiences helped her recognize inequalities in structures of education.  What were defining moments for you? What have been experiences that caused you to recognize the inequities and privilege?

3.  McDonough also reveals Jaclyn’s experiences with staff members who try to “help” her understand the students and families she works with. How can we avoid preconceived ideas and judgments from influencing our own teaching and ideals?

Reflection Questions from Margaret for Mo, Shauna, and Emily

1) Ben Barres asserts that “If women would just start demanding fairness, they might get it.”  To what extent have women been demanding fairness? How does this relate to Freire’s notions of oppression and the fact that liberation must be lead by the oppressed? How would male voices demanding fairness influence the attainment of that goal?

2) Ashcraft claims that “teachers need to assist students in using these cultural tools [media, film, etc.] to explore and fashion new identities and alternative discourses that help make them make sense of the complex and contradictory conditions of their live experiences.”  How would this look in a school? What difficulties would arise considering student’s home lives, family values, and beliefs? 

What other films have you seen that “contribute to a discourse of sexualtiy where young women and young men are not positioned as opponents in a sexual game but rather navigate these experiences and meaning together” (65).

3) Bell Hooks reveals that the problem with feminism is that there is not a clear definition or solid foundation.  What definitions of feminism are you familiar with? Is there a definition you find most convincing or one that resonates with you?  What are your experiences and perceptions of the word “feminist.”

Freire and Bourdieu

Hi group!  So sorry about this.  This is the third time I’ve tried posting, and each time it looks successful…but then it is not there! I’m not quite sure why.  Hopefully this works!

Freire reveals, “at a certain point in their existential experience the oppressed feel an irresistible attraction towards the oppressors and their way of life.  Sharing this way of life becomes an overpowering aspiration” (p. 62).   How does our current education system and view of “schooling” support the notion that many oppressed desire to become the oppressors?  How does our current definition of success encourage more oppression?

How do we get our students to believe they are more than simply a student? How can we get them to have courage and find the answers for themselves instead of saying “what can I do? I’m only a [student or child]” (Freire, p. 61).  Freire reveals that “the oppressed are emotionally dependent” (p. 65).  Does or how has our current education system caused students to be “emotionally dependent,” and as a result, “oppressed?”

Freire reveals that liberation derives from the oppressed and “from those who are truly solidary with them” because “who are better prepared than the oppressed to understand the terrible significance of an oppressive society?” (p. 45).  How does this relate to Bourdieu’s The Forms of Capital? How can one with “more” social, cultural, or economic capital truly be in solidarity with the oppressed?  Will a hierarchy still exist?