On my last blog post, I set the stage for where I was coming from. Along the way, I was always gathering resources: educational for my classroom and academic for my papers. Although the academic did prove for some interesting (and not so interesting) reading, it was the educational resources that were more relevant to my every-day classroom instruction. With my new-found zest for everything relating to social justice, technology, and narrative; my resources were undeniably being grouped into three specific, yet separate, themes. The first theme I explored was social justice. Perhaps you can use the resources in your own instruction; but more to the point, I am hoping that you can help me with mine.
I have found three excellent resources for viewing assignments related to social justice. The first is a documentary called Mickey Mouse Monopoly and Generation M that questions the messages that Disney sends and whether or not Disney has an obligation to change its message. I have included a brief video that describes the documentary, but I would also recommend the full version.
The second video, Tough Guise, questions male stereotypes and how our society creates a culture of ‘tough’ men. I like this video because it is rare to see a documentary that questions male stereotypes instead of female stereotypes. The following video is an excerpt (part one of seven).
The third video that I show is a VHS tape that I borrow from a teacher. She was lucky (or unlucky) enough to be involved in Jane Elliot’s blue-eyed brown eyed experiment when it was brought to Regina, SK. In the video, she is part of the brown-eyed group who is given special treatment and privileges. All of the brown-eyed people in the group are of Aboriginal descent. During the video the ‘brown-eyes’ are given the opportunity to treat the ‘blue-eyes’ the way they have been treated in the past. During discussion, the ‘brown-eyes’ explain why they were unable to treat the ‘blue-eyes’ so poorly. Having been on the receiving end of racist treatment so many times, they were unable to treat others in the same way.
I really like this video because it makes students recognize that racism is just not an ‘American’ problem or something that happened in the past. Students are exposed to ways that racism is perpetuated today and in their own community. They also know one of the participants in the experiment so are able to make very real connections to the video.
Every time we view a video, students must complete an accompanying response assignment. It is through their responses that I can gain an understanding of their awareness of and connections to the issues being discussed. But, this is only one piece of the puzzle. With these activities, I understand that social justice is not necessarily embedded in the curriculum. Instead, I have a collection of random videos that show three different perspectives. I still need to make connections to technology and narrative. Plus, what about curriculum?
Now, you’re probably wondering why I chose to put a picture of a nail at the start of this post. Besides the obvious reason of me demonstrating that I can post a photo through creative commons (thanks eci831), this picture tells a story.