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Re:[teacherartexchange] lesson idea: race (digest: Dec 26, 2005)


Date: Wed Dec 28 2005 - 06:56:41 PST

Hi Curt and all,

Interesting topic about race. I think it would be good to have discussions, but
I do wonder what the goal might be. Is it to instill a value that you might
have (tolerance, respect for others, which is arguably a noble goal, etc.) or
is to help them become more familiar with how others think about the topic and
the many ways one can think about the topic. If it is to instill a value, I
would be might come across as "preaching." Back in the seventies
many teachers got into trouble with "Values Clarification." I guess I am more
comfortable talking about various values and how they have come to exist. I am
not sure I would be comfortable advocating for a particular value. I would be
most comfortable in having students advocate themselves. I think it would be
important for me to stay neutral because of Freedom of Expression, civil
liberties, and my desire for students to develop their own ideas without undo
pressure from me.


Quoting Curt James <>:

> ><snip>
> > 4. lesson idea: race
> ><snip>
> > Subject: lesson idea: race
> > From: wendy free <>
> > Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 11:25:53 -0800 (PST)
> > X-Message-Number: 4
> >
> > hope everyone is enjoying the holidays! wanted to
> > share some things i've been intrigued and inspired by
> > - this came first:
> >
> >
> > which led me to this:
> >
> > (scroll down to "white in america"
> >
> > and this artist:
> >
> > i understand this can be a tougher "theme" to navigate
> > for some but it is extremely important for us to
> > consider. i'm lucky to teach in a racially diverse
> > high school and am looking forward to engaging my
> > students directly with these resources. am thinking
> > of a composition that includes painted colors, text,
> > and collage focused on personal feelings/experiences
> > relating to race and skin color. anyone up for
> > discussion?
> >
> > :D wendy free
> I'm up for discussion re feelings/experiences relating to race and
> skin color. My students are racially diverse. I teach in two
> inner-city schools where the majority of students are Hispanic and
> African American. There are often examples of name calling related to
> skin tone. In fact, during my early days of teaching - as a substitute
> teacher - I heard a girl tell a boy (both children African American),
> "I will slap the black off you!"
> (blink!)
> /What did she just say?/
> In the one school where I am currently teaching, I have heard children
> refer negatively to their classmates regarding their skin tone or
> degree of blackness: "You're all black!"
> My response varies as much as our skin tones. Often, the retort is a
> comment between friends and, perhaps, not deserving of the full
> lecture, however, I make known to the students that the value range
> often isn't so extreme among the individuals in our class and that it
> is unacceptable to diminish the worth of a classmate based on
> something as superficial - as literally skin deep - as our skin color.
> Pride, however, is an important characteristic to develop in students.
> In my classroom there is a globe, a large map of Africa (taken from a
> relatively recent copy of National Geographic), a flag of Puerto Rico,
> as well as cartoons offering various art instruction and depicting
> cartoon characters of intended African American and Hispanic
> appearance. Two popular cartoon characters I include in my instruction
> are Quiet Man and Loud Man.
> Both are simplistic - Quiet Man has a large Q on his chest while Loud
> Man has LOUD MAN screaming across his superhero costume. Both are
> recognizably black. Q has a huge afro and a Lone Ranger mask while L
> has close-cropped hair with a sculpted hairline and an ear adorned
> with a hoop earring.
> Although I have created the cartoons as being recognizable as black,
> they are not disrespectful stereotypes. Using these characters has
> created an interest in cartooning which leads into a variety of lesson
> plans - contour line drawing, blind contour, self-portraits, etc.
> I am caucasian and am grateful to be teaching in a racially diverse
> and culturally rich environment. I believe it would be wonderful to
> develop a series of lesson plans related to the skin we find ourselves
> in.
> Thank you for initiating this thread, Wendy.
> Curt James
> ---
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