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October 1st Class Discussion

Question posed: Some of the activities may make students physically uncomfortable. Are we oppressing the oppressor with these activities? (Friere 46-47)

For example:
-making students uncomfortable (touching) holding hands
-asking them to violate cultural boundaries
In doing this, do you turn it around and use the same oppression of the people that have oppressed you?
Although, there is a big difference from the oppressed becoming the oppressor and the oppressed becoming a part of the system of oppression.
-the classroom has always been an unsafe place for unwhite students
-the ways in which a traditional classroom forces students to feel unsafe, not part of it. Is this different than a activity that is meant to disrupt the classroom and (make is unsafe??)
On the other hand, it is beneficial to intentionally engage in this behavior in order to get students to think about it more critically?
-is that oppressing the oppressors? Or is it engaging critical thought?
-is the uncomfortability worth the learning experience?
Do we have to go this far to get this point across?
• One possible solution: we can give them control and offer them to opt out.
Can we even do exercises like this? It is allowed by the university?

Whose right is it to change the consciousness of someone else’s child? Whose values are being taught?
-Should school teach values? Who owns the knowledge?
• This is one particular way of thinking and learning.
• It's important to consider who gets to decide what is taught. Especially considering variation across cultures

Is it inevitable that values are part of curriculum?
-Remember that college students are active participants/subjects . They can reject and resisit what we tell them.

Bringing the bodies back into the classroom
• These exercises are a way of expressing themselves through their bodies
• Engaging bodies helps students get it
• Use your own judgment
• For example, putting chairs in a circle embodies the students
• using actual bodies or words to talk about them is uncomfortable for us (is that a cultural thing?)

-One way to prepare students is ask students before hand to get ready for some physical touch/interaction

Other things we talked about:
Race
• Do African-Americans learn differently?

Transgender
• Activity on pg 135 and 136: Male-identified and female-identified students walk “like the other?

Children’s literature: It can put students of privilege in situations that make them uncomfortable so that they can learn what life is like for others.
• unsettling is important
• discomfort is sometimes valuable