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ORAL HISTORY

Page history last edited by Wynnetta 11 years, 7 months ago

 

ImageChef Word Mosaic - ImageChef.com

 

"Each word tastes of the context and contexts in which it has lived its socially charged life" (p. 293).

Bahktin, M. (1981). The dialogic imagination: Four essays by M.M. Bahktin. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

 

Because we are old, it may be thought that the memory of things may be lost with us, who have not, like you, the art of preserving it by committing all transcriptions to writing. We nevertheless have methods of transmitting from father to son an account of all these things. You will find the remembrance of them is faithfully preserved, and our succeeding generations are made acquainted with what has passed, that it may not be forgot as long as the earth remains.

Kanickhungo - Treaty negotiations with Six Nations

Nerburn, K., & Mengelkoch, L. (1991). Native American wisdom. Novato, CA: New World Library

 

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(Teachers College Press)

 

Her-Story and His-Story narratives share educational rememories (Morrison, 2006) from early childhood, K-12 school & college experiences. Students discuss any experiences which they feel have had an impact on the type of teacher they have become, their role and personal responsibilities as a member of their teaching environment; what they view as the responsibilities of the students, and their hopes for the roles that parents will play in the establishment and maintenance of an inclusive learning environment. Students include insights into their experiences as related to the tenets of culturally responsive teaching.

  

A shared STORY is an invitation to connect. The response provides an opportunity to validate opinions, thoughts, and practices. Varied forms of literacy are being developed to adequately capture the life experiences, the stories that represent members of diverse populations.  Every group, every member of the group, has a story. Every story provides entry points for connection and understanding. The conscious and curricular choices made by teachers, administrators, and care givers to explore literacy with an emphasis on authenticity and from a variety of perspectives, helps us each to see how others are coping, dreaming, and even thriving. It is the story that has the generational, cultural, social, political, religious, and gendered power to move through time. The story is literacy. The story is the thing! 

  

We each exist as the main character in our own unique and personal story.  Our progressive tale involves an ever changing cast of characters, plots, settings, heroes, heroines, and challenges. What happens when the story, the vision of self, fails to be validated by the surrounding environment?

 

Multicultural education celebrates the coexistence of many distinct cultures within a given context, such as a community, nation, or era. In schools, we look closely at various cultures and create festivals featuring specialty foods, costumes, key words from the language, flags, and maps of the country, famous people, and important products. We may also decide to include the folktales, myths, and legends of a people, country, or time period. However, when we study through distinction rather than inclusion, we miss a large part of our collective narrative, the inclusive story of human frailty and human triumph. When we fail to include in our curricular choices, the stories with recognizable characters – moving through scenes on parallel literary searches trying to understand societal issues, generational questions of identity, survival, status, and place – we miss an opportunity to see ourselves in the book or to be validated as having a connective role in the ever evolving social narrative.

 

A focus on inclusive diversity, rather than just multiculturalism, supports a much broader meaning and spans so many aspects of our lives and life experiences – political, social, workplace, community, schools, and in the way we treat each other. Knowledge and understanding of all aspects of diversity is of paramount importance in today’s world, today's classrooms and school environments. “Diversity – the act of recognizing, appreciating, valuing, and utilizing the unique talents and contributions of all individuals regardless of differences or similarities relating to age, color, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, culture, ethnicity, language, national origin, physical appearance, disability, marital, parental or family status, communication or management style, educational  level or background, speed of learning or comprehension.” www.magazines.org/diversity. This definition of diversity delves deeper into the complicated and nuanced strands of similarity and difference, connection and separation than can be found in the term multicultural. It is the story that serves as the connective tool, the place for communal perceptions. Stories, “are means for individuals to project and present themselves, declare what is important and valuable, give structure to perceptions, make general facts more meaningful to specific personal lives, connect the self with others, proclaim the self as a cultural being, develop a healthy sense of self, and forge new meanings and relationships, or build community” (Gay, 2000, p. 3).     

 

Every group has a story and every story provides entry points for connection and understanding. The conscious and curricular choice to explore literature with an emphasis on realism, from a variety of perspectives, helps us each to see how others are coping, surviving, and even thriving. This literary exploration gives them, if only briefly and vicariously, the opportunity to walk in another's shoes and to see themselves in the story. It is the story that has the generational, cultural, social, political, religious, and gendered power to move through time. The story is the thing, we all have one to tell and we can all treasure the opportunity to see ourselves as the main character of the tale.

 

 

RETURN TO FRONT PAGE: CULTURAL-EDUCATIONAL RESPONSIVENESS

MOVE ON TO: PISA

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