Breaking Down Barriers

Photo by alessandro fazari on Unsplash

The Cycle of Socialization

In the book Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, which covers issues related to identity and oppression from a social justice perspective, there is a chapter written by Bobbie Harro titled: “The Cycle of Socialization” that will help us understand “the way in which we are socialized to play certain roles, how we are affected by issues of oppression, and how we help maintain an oppressive system based upon power” (Source).

It appeared to be an enlightening reading that I encountered at the right time as I recently had a conversation with my nineteen-year-old son and friends on the distinction between innate and acquired characteristics, and it led to some interesting debates. Although a different topic, what Harro explains complements this discussion, adding food for thought, especially about the concept that  “things are the way they are because it always has been that way” (!).
In Resistance to Change: “We’ve Always Done it That Way” Leslie Durr explains how people often continue to apply “the rules” from their family of origin without questioning them, even without having personally experienced negative consequences from having tested those rules.

Thanks to Harro’s graph on the Cycle of Socialization, we can follow the process and notice that there is also hope: at a certain point, some people will be able to break it in order to take their own chosen path. You can find out more about that in The Cycle of Liberation

Technology to Connect with Diverse Ideas and People

This Text Rendering Protocol from National School Reform Faculty (NSRF) is designed for working collaboratively while constructing meaning, clarifying, and expanding our thinking about a text.  It is easy to set up with any group size.
As I applied it to Harro’s text, I realized that it helped me think deeper about what I was reading, especially about what resonated best with me as I had to pick a word, a phrase, and a sentence. 

I recorded myself sharing these on Flipgrid, an online tool to create engaging video discussion experiences around a topic. I had never used Flipgrid before and it required going out of my comfort zone: it can be difficult to hear your own voice as it sounds different on a screen compared to what you perceive when you talk. Same with your own image, gestures, head, and hand movements. To be honest, I practiced a couple of time on my smartphone before going to Flipgrid 🙂
But after this experience, I see how I can take advantage of this tool to integrate technology into lessons when planning with my classroom colleagues. And I know that students are already used to film themselves: after all, they were born with social media apps.
For this project, linking the text Rendering Protocol with Flipgrid is a nice combination as it mixes written text, technology tool, and collaboration: a winning ticket!

In this first Flipgrid video, I mention a word, a phrase, and a sentence that resonated best with me when reading The Cycle of Socialization.

You can view it by scanning this QR code:

Word: Change – Phase: Internalized oppression – Sentence: We fail to realize that we have become participants by doing nothing

The next step was to find out what my co-COETAIL-ers picked up, and watch what they have to say about this text. Here is what I understood from some of them:

Word: Confusion – Phase: Inherited without our permission – Sentence: We are exposed to roles, rules, and assumptions that are not fair to everyone.

Word: Interrupt – Phase: We are innocent – Sentence: It should be simple, but it isn’t.

Word: Humanize – Sentence: Our silence is consent unless our discomfort becomes larger than our comfort.

Word: Empower – Sentence: Once you know something you can’t not know it anymore […].

It would be great if you could join this conversation on our Community Discussion topic

2 Replies to “Breaking Down Barriers”

  1. Hi Christel-
    I’m Reyna, a Cohort 11 graduate, and I was just stopping by current cohort blogs to see how things are going. I remember this week in our course very vividly. The materials and topic only became more important as the months went on and I was displaced from China staying with relatives in the US during much of the protests and election process. As someone who works in EdTech, I love the ability to connect people in different locations and cultures with technology; it creates such a rich learning experience when you can have a dialogue with people who are diverse. One of the few tools that works here in China is Fligrid, so we used it a lot to integrate across subjects, continents and time zones. Glad you had a chance to use it and see how it might be applied in your setting with colleagues/students! Take care and I look forward to seeing how your final course(s) and project unfolds.

    1. Thanks Reyna for leaving such a interesting and caring message. COETAIL is indeed broadening our horizons and nurturing collaboration both in our own school I found out, and with “colleague” educators on the other side of the world. I just watched your COETAIL final project video and: Whaouw ! It was so intense: you achieved so much during those months both on site and then on Distance Learning. Congratulations to you! Hoping we can connect another time… Take care, Christel

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