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Lesson Plans

Re: one more totem pole...

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Stenger - Judith DiSalvo (jstenger)
Thu, 16 Oct 1997 18:01:40 -0400 (EDT)

Hi Bunki,
Thank you for this message. It has always seemed to me that in our
efforts to celebrate diversity, we may have forgotten to teach that human
beings are much more the same than we are different.

On Wed, 15 Oct 1997, Bunki Kramer wrote:

> Hi.....I have been reading with interest many thoughts of using
> (ie....totem pole) other cultural beliefs, mores, artwork, etc. and putting
> those into our cultural place and time. I think, BTW, we have been handling
> this potential firecracker rather well between all of us. I have some
> thoughts for pondering...
> If you are comparing Christianity and the "cross", you might think also
> that in our own Christian culture, we have ALSO used the "cross" to mean
> many other things other than spiritual. Instead of original wood, WE'VE
> used wire, jewels,
> paper, toothpicks, TP rolls, pretezels, etc. for materials. Think Madonna.
> Think Klu Klux Klan and burning cross.
> I will never know "exactly" what the Northwest Indians might really have
> intended when they made their masks, but what I do know, or research, I
> intend to share with my students when we make our own. To know that there
> are other cultures who also make masks and also other reasons to make them
> is beneficial to my kids. It broadens their scope in many ways. So the
> Indians make them out of wood and natural fibers, etc. That's not what is
> all-important to me. There's much more than this to discover.
> One last thought....
> We have been enlightened, pushed, forced, asked, required (you supply your
> own verb) into including and enlarging our "take" on diversity/integration.
> Until this past year it had been left up entirely to me. I personally love
> this exploration but only when it enriches what I'm teaching as in
> everything else I use. But....and a big BUT....doesn't "diversity", in a
> sense, deepen isolation? We should all relish our heritage...don't get me
> wrong. But shouldn't we ALSO be pushing what we have in common? Wouldn't
> this commonality make for a better world and a better
> brotherhood/sisterhood of man? We're different, to be sure, but also aren't
> we all the same in humanity? Just a thought.....
> Bunki Kramer
> Los Cerros Middle School
> Danville, California 94526