Culturally responsive teaching and inclusion is one of the topics always on table for discussion. It has been incorporated in teaching strategies and preparations for years, yet there is an urging need to address it every time.
I was watching the video recommended by Homero “Same differences: How microaggressions are like mosquito bites”. I think it accurately compares microaggressions to mosquito bites to allow others, who don’t experience them, feel what it is really like. Some comments have shallow effect that vanishes instantly, while other bites might have a lasting effect that could even destroy other people’s dreams and hopes. Some people tend to speak freely what is on their mind, with good intentions, yet they fail to recognize the effect of their question or comment on others and how it might be perceived. The lack of consideration is primarily the main reason for all these unfortunate incidents. Now imagine this person is a college professor, who is teaching and inspiring hundreds of students during a critical stage of their lives. It is no exaggeration if we assume that their comments and behaviors in the classrooms have the ability to either build or destroy the future of these students.
There is a lot of articles and videos written and shared about inclusive pedagogy and even some guidelines to follow, discussing the importance to “insert culture into education”. Although this seem under control, it really isn’t. People who are not experiencing the effects of these bites might encounter or hear about this but would not relate or act to face it. This is why I really think discussing such topics in graduate courses, as ours, is very important. Sharing the experience with other students who fall under this category and learning the implications of such actions/comments on students and how it changes their lives or seeing an example of the effect of simple few words on others’ feelings can make a difference.
This might be a long journey to teach an entire society how to be more inclusive but we should start somewhere. And I think starting to enlighten future professors on the effects and importance of culturally responsive teaching is a very important first step towards changing a society.